How Long Does Deck Paint Take to Dry?

Learn how much time it may take to have your freshly painted wooden deck completely dry

Every house owner wants his home to look nice not only indoors but also outdoors. This is why the majority of those who live in their own houses tend to make different refreshing works around their household. For instance, repainting their facades or decks.

However, if you decide to cover your wooden deck with a fresh coat of paint, you might be wondering how soon it will be possible for you and for your family members to walk on it again without sticking yourself to the floor.

So today we decided to give you an answer to the most frequent question which sounds like: “how long does it take for deck paint to dry?”

From this article, you will learn how much time it usually takes for a wooden deck to dry to the touch, when to move your outdoor furniture back on your deck after it is painted, and how long different types of paint take to dry.

Also, we will tell you what factors may influence the drying time so that you are aware of all the nuances before you begin your painting project!

How Long Does It Take Deck Paint to Dry?

As you surely know from your own experience, decks take a lot of beating and damage from different external factors that we can not influence at, such as hot sunny weather, rains, snowfalls, etc.

This is why applying a fresh coat of painting or staining on your deck is always recommended every eighteen months to two years.

Of course, you can sometimes go longer than that, but to keep your deck looking its best, at least every two years is the optimal time frame for having it repainted. Then the question is, when can you walk on a freshly painted deck?

How Long Does It Take Deck Paint to Dry
Credits: benedek, via Canva.com

Well, there is no common answer to this question since the reply will depend on the several factors:

  • the temperature when the paint or stain was applied
  • the temperature after the product begins to dry
  • the type of paint
  • the level of humidity in your area
  • the application technique used for painting the deck

In most cases, however, a full body stain or acrylic deck finish will be dry to the touch within an hour in dry, hot weather. After two hours you could take a chance and walk on it with shoes, though we would recommend barefoot.

But surely, to be absolutely sure that you can walk on a freshly painted deck, we recommend you learn more about each of the factors we have just mentioned that influence the drying time of the finish.

Like this, you will be able to figure out whether or not your deck needs more time for becoming totally dry and thus safe to walk on. Otherwise, you might need to repaint it all again or fix the abraded areas. And who needs that extra work?!

How Long Does Deck Paint Take to Dry
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How Long Does It Take For Oil Based Deck Paint to Dry?

If you decide to paint your deck with an oil-based finish, you might be wondering how much time it takes for this paint layer to fully dry. We are sure that most of you have already heard that oil paints tend to dry really long!

If you do arts and you paint on canvas with oil paints, you definitely know that this type of paint may sometimes take days until it dries to the touch! But what about the outdoor oil-based finishes?

Do they take the same long to dry?

How Long Does It Take For Oil Based Deck Paint to Dry (2)
Credits: kyrstyokeffe, via Canva.com

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Well, if we take a closer look at this question, we will learn that oil-based enamel paint normally takes between eight and twenty-four hours to dry between coats.

That means, if you decide your deck needs two coats of paint for better results, you will have to apply the first layer, then wait for a minimum of eight hours until it gets dry, and only then will you be able to start applying the second layer.

In some cases, it might require you to wait for as long as twenty-four hours until the first paint layer gets dry. For example, the air might be too humid making the paint dry slower.

But in the majority of cases, your wooden deck must already be ready for light use after roughly forty-eight to seventy two hours. And finally, its complete drying and curing time takes from three to seven days.

How Long Does It Take For Oil Based Deck Paint to Dry
Credits: Yatesy, via Canva.com

Related: Can You Use Interior Paint Outside?

How Soon Will Latex Paint Dry On My Deck?

Latex paint is another popular option for those who want to refresh their deck somehow before summer comes.

Of course, if you have been working with outdoor paint long enough, you will find it easy to figure out how long you need to wait until your freshly coated deck will be available for use again. But what if this is your first painting project?

In this case, we suggest you a simple and easy tip to keep in mind. Latex enamel paint usually takes between four and six hours to dry between coats.

In other words, if you decide your deck needs two coats of paint for better results, you will have to apply the first layer, then wait for a minimum of four hours until it gets dry, and only then will you be able to start applying the second layer.

How Soon Will Latex Paint Dry On My Deck
Credits: lostinbids, via Canva.com

In general, the deck will be ready for normal use after twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Lastly, the final cure and maximum hardness time is between twenty-one to thirty days. Of course, you need to take additional factors into consideration, for example, weather conditions, the paint application technique, and others.

Also, please take into account that these time frames we have provided are approximate.

Many popular paint brands offer a deck enamel paint, so always make sure to read the individual paint product manufacturer’s label for specific drying times because they may vary quite significantly!

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How Long Does It Take Paint On a Deck to Dry Before It Rains?

This question may become a real issue for those of you who live in areas with many rainy days. Indeed, it is important to know this information since, if you repaint your deck, and then it suddenly rains the same day, the paint can be washed off partially!

As a result, you will have to take off the whole layer and paint the deck again from scratch. Extra work and extra money will be wasted.

This is why, if you have rains often enough where you live, we suggest you take the following information into consideration. Water-based or latex outdoor paints that are used for painting decks and/or porches normally take around four to six hours to dry completely and prevent spots due to rains.

As for the oil-based paints, those should be dried twelve to twenty-four hours before the rain comes.

Well, now you know in detail how much time your deck might need to get completely dry depending on what type of paint you are going to use on it.

With that in mind, we are sure that you will be able to both have a perfectly painted deck and keep it the same neat and tidy much longer – simply because it was initially painted correctly!

How Long Does It Take Paint On a Deck to Dry Before It Rains
Credits; joingate, via Canva.com

When Shall I Move My Furniture Back On the Freshly Painted Deck?

This is a common question for those house owners who have furniture on their decks and who enjoy spending summer evenings in a comfy wicker armchair with a glass of wine or a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Well, to be honest, we would not recommend putting furniture (or your pot plants, by the way!) back on your deck for several days. See, if you painted your deck with acrylic paint or stain, those might take a solid week of really dry weather to cure, sometimes even longer!

When Shall I Move My Furniture Back On the Freshly Painted Deck (2)
Credits: NinaMalyna, via Canva.com

But if the pieces of furniture you have are light, a few days after the painting project is just fine.

But in case you have heavy pot plants, heavy furniture, or a sunbrella with a heavy base, we would recommend you wait a good week. Also, be careful when putting potting plants directly on your deck. They tend to cause dry rot because the water can not escape when you water your plants.

You can buy pot risers that help the water escape properly to solve this issue.

When Shall I Move My Furniture Back On the Freshly Painted Deck
Credits: tzahiV, via Canva.com

Factors And Conditions That Might Affect the Drying Time Of the Paint

If you want to have an ideally painted deck with a smooth and flawless glossy coat of paint, it will not be enough to just apply it evenly! It may surprise you, but there are quite many different factors that can influence the final result of your painting project.

Appropriate drying time and conditions are the same important to ensure a smooth, durable finish that will withstand furniture and traffic. Humidity, temperature, technique, and type of paint can all affect drying time.

So let’s take a closer look at each of these nuances in order to figure out why exactly they are so important and how they can affect the drying time required for the paint coat to get absolutely dry on your deck.

Factors And Conditions That Might Affect the Drying Time Of the Paint
Credits: tzahiV, via Canva.com

Humidity

Relative humidity of about 40-70% is recommended for doing any painting projects outdoors. You definitely know that when paint is drying, it requires proper evaporation.

In wetter conditions, drying time may be delayed or even halted. Humidity can also cause problems with condensation developing on the painted surface, leading to issues with adhesion.

Humidity
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Temperature

Before you start painting your deck, remember to check the weather forecast! A dry, warm day is ideal for painting a porch or a deck. The optimum temperature for oil-based paints to properly dry is 40-90 ℉. Some specially formulated latex paint can be used at temperatures as low as 35℉, but for most latex-based paints the ideal temperature is 50-85 ℉.

But if you decide to paint on a colder day, take into account that cooler temperatures may cause delayed drying time. On the other hand, in temperatures that are too warm, faster evaporation occurs leading to adhesion and curing problems that may affect the durability of your project.

So we recommend you take your time prior to starting your painting project, and plan in advance on what day you will be painting your deck.

Like this, you will manage to choose the ideal weather and temperature conditions that can even speed up the drying time without causing any damage to the paint layer and the final result of your work!

Temperature
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Paint Application Technique

Have you ever thought that the way you apply paint on your deck can also influence the time needed for it to dry completely? No, you haven’t? But in fact, this factor also matters!

Drying time can also be affected by the painting technique, that’s true. Two thin coats of paint, rather than painting one thick coat, is recommended to prevent longer drying times. Allowing adequate time in between these coats is also a key factor to quicker drying.

Also, we would recommend you section off the areas of your deck and use long, smooth strokes, going in only one direction with both coats also helps promote faster drying time.

Paint Application Technique
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Type Of Paint

Finally, we reached one of the most essential factors!

The type of paint you choose for refreshing your deck’s look matters greatly. Although oil-based enamels offer a smoother finish, with little to no visible brush strokes, they can become brittle over time.

The only time that oil-based deck enamel paints are suggested over latex is when the surface that you are covering is distressed, such as rusty metal or worn wood.

Type Of Paint
Credits: Lana20211, via Canva.com

In all the other cases, we would suggest you opt for latex-based paint instead. At least, it will dry much faster in comparison to an oil-based alternative!

So, this was all that we wanted to share with you today on the subject of deck painting and drying times.

Now you know in detail what types of paint to use to make your freshly painted deck dry faster, and what factors may influence the overall drying time.

With all that in mind, painting your deck perfectly smoothly will be easy for you now.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ What’s the most long-lasting deck paint?

Latex-based paints last the longest.

⭐ What’s the most popular paint color for decks?

Try greens, blue, off-whites, and gray colors.

⭐ Can indoor paint be used to paint my deck?

No, interior paint is not suitable for decks and porches.

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