How Long Does Paint Need to Dry Before Rain?

How Much Ahead Should You Finish Your Painting Project Before It Rains? We Know the Answer!

Mother nature can be quite unpredictable and play jokes on us, especially when it comes to picking the right weather conditions for the upcoming home painting project.

As you probably know, paint can hardly make friends with water, and rain is not an exception. So if you are going to refresh your house facade, it would be much better if you find enough time to check on the upcoming weather forecast to be sure that the painting day will be sunny and dry!

But what if everything went wrong and it started raining right in the middle of the painting process? Or if you have just painted your house and you suddenly learn that it is going to rain soon? It might feel frustrating, we know, but relax! Everything can be settled easily.

Today, we have prepared an article for you where we will explain in detail what should be done in order to prepare your facade or any other surface for being painted.

Also, we will reveal a few handy tips regarding the home painting projects, and of course, today you are going to learn how much time different types of paint need to dry fully before it starts raining!

So stay with us and read on attentively! It is going to be very interesting and useful information we are about to share!

How Much Time Does Paint Need to Dry Before It Rains?

Painting the facade of a building or your own home is highly dependent on the weather conditions, and you surely know about that pretty well. Temperature changes and moisture can change the way your paint job looks in the end.

The only problem is that sometimes the time of the year that has the best conditions for painting might also have humidity or rain!

And those can be hazardous for the paint, especially if it has been just applied onto the surface!

So does rain mean that this is the end of exterior painting? No, of course not, but you need to plan your painting project in advance because the truth is that you cannot paint while it is raining.

Naturally, the majority of homeowners would ask the same question: how long do they need to wait for the paint to dry completely before it starts raining? Well, first of all, you need to realize that there is no universal answer that will work for each particular case!

See, the answer to this question will depend on the type of paint you are going to use.

For example, if you are going to make use of latex paint for your facade painting work, you need a minimum of two hours of direct sunlight before the rain comes. Only in this case the painted surface will dry fully and rain drops will not be able to damage it.

How Much Time Does Paint Need to Dry Before It Rains (2)
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Of course, it is good to consider that paint may feel dry to the touch after an hour already, but it will still wash away once it gets in contact with rain. But after two hours, light rain will already not be able to completely ruin your work.

However, you might still have to repaint some of it when it is dry!

In general, for the best results, it usually takes paint around six hours of sunlight to dry completely but if you want it to be most durable, five days of normal weather is ideal.

How Long Does Paint Need to Dry Before Rain

This is why we recommend you pay close attention to the forecast and choose a time when it is supposed to be nice for a few days in a row.

However, this is all just common information. To get a more detailed one, we suggest you keep on reading since below, you will find a precise explanation of different types of paint drying times.

It will help you to define not only what sort of paint to use depending on how soon you want to finish your painting project. With all that in mind, you will be able to pick the optimal day for painting your facade or any other object in your household.

How Much Time Does Paint Need to Dry Before It Rains
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How Long Does Exterior Paint Need to Dry Before It Rains?

Again, to give a precise answer to this question, you need to understand what type of paint we are talking about. Since exterior latex paint and exterior oil based paint will need different amounts of time to get fully dry before it starts raining.

And of course, if being caught with rain, different types of paint will react differently.

For example, if you paint your facade or any exterior object with latex paint, and then it starts raining while the coating is still wet, the water will dissolve your paint and you will end up having to repaint.

Also, the time needed for outdoor or exterior latex paint to dry before it rains will always vary depending on factors such as temperature and humidity.

How Long Does Exterior Paint Need to Dry Before It Rains
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These are also the important factors that must be taken into account. So, as for the exterior latex paint drying time, like most paints, it usually takes between four and eight hours to fully dry.

However, it will be a good idea to allow your painted surface for at least twelve hours of drying time before the rain starts. Like this, you will be absolutely sure that the coat of paint will not suffer or get somehow damaged.

And if you can allow the paint to dry full twenty four hours before it rains, that would be the best! In addition, you need to remember that, if in a high humidity environment, your latex exterior paint will take much longer to dry.

If you have a choice, paint an exterior surface when the humidity is low.

As for the other types of exterior paints, consider that water-based paints are generally thinner. This is why they will be able to cope with rain after two or six hours of drying in sunny weather.

Speaking of the oil-based paints, you need to take into account that, since they are thicker, they might need to dry in the sun for twenty four hours to not be affected by the rain.

How Long Does Exterior Paint Need to Dry Before It Rains (2)
Credits: Debbie Galbraith, via

How Long Does Interior Paint Need to Dry Before Rain Begins?

Interior paints are less dependent on rain since the whole painting work happens indoors and thus the surface that is being painted is protected from rain drops with the roof and the walls of the building.

However, it does not mean that you must not take weather into account when going to refresh your interior walls!

As you already know, paint drying time is highly dependent on the level of humidity and heat. This is why, if you are going to apply paint onto the interior walls when it is raining outside and the air is filled with excessive moisture, it might affect the final result of your work!

However, in general, it is allowed to paint the interior while it is raining outside. You only need to take into consideration that the painted surface will take more time to fully dry.

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How Long Does Oil Based Paint Need to Dry Before Rain?

With oil based paints, it is somewhat different. As you probably know, this type of paint needs a longer period of time to dry in comparison to other types of paints used. This is why it is crucially essential to have a perfectly dry surface in order to use oil paint.

You will probably have to wait for a few days (and those days must be really nice, sunny and dry!) before you can resume painting with this kind of paint. So we would assume that you want to have at least twenty four hours of dry weather after you paint with oil based paints.

This is also the reason why oil based paints are not often used in more humid climates because it weathers quickly in sunny climates.

How Long Does Oil Based Paint Need to Dry Before Rain
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How Long Does Latex Paint Need to Dry Before Rain?

Latex paint, both interior and exterior, tends to dry faster than oil based paints, for example. However, if there is a chance that the freshly painted surface gets caught by the rain, you should consider painting what needs to be painted before weather changes!

Normally, you should think of the time frame between four and eight hours for the latex paint to fully dry.

However, it will be a good idea to allow the surface you are painting at least twelve hours of drying time before the rain starts (or before you expect it to start). Like this, you will be absolutely sure that the coat of paint will not suffer or get somehow else damaged.

How Long Does Latex Paint Need to Dry Before Rain
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How Long Does Deck Paint Need to Dry Before Rain?

You might think that it is all very simple and clear with deck paint and their drying times since they are all supposed to be used outdoors. However, there are also certain nuances that must be taken into consideration!

First of all, deck paints can also be different depending on their content.

You have latex deck paints, oil based deck paints, and water based paints designed for painting decks. Naturally, each of them will require a different amount of time to get fully dry and withstand rain!

In the majority of cases, we would say that water based and latex paints will need from four to six hours to dry completely. If it rains earlier, there is a big risk that the paint will bleed and/or create spots because of the contact with water.

But if you are going to make use of an oil based deck paint, you should consider giving it around twelve to twenty four hours to dry before the rain comes! This is because oil based paints need more time in order to seep into the wood and be properly absorbed by its fibers.

How Long Does Deck Paint Need to Dry Before Rain
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How Long Do Exterior Primers Need to Dry Before They Get Caught Up With Rain?

Just like with paints, the drying time of a primer depends on many factors. For example, different types of primers dry at different rates. The key is to always read the package instructions for more information. In addition, how dry or sealed is the surface that you are painting also influences the time it takes to dry.

See, a dry or porous surface will absorb primer more quickly, which could speed up drying time.

Weather conditions could play a role in the drying time as well.

Primer dries faster in hot dry weather while colder temperatures or high humidity can slow down the drying process. Another factor is the wind, which can, on the contrary, speed up the drying process.

As for the primer application on rainy days, you need to remember one simple rule: one hour after the primer is dry to the touch, light rain should not penetrate it!

The primer needs to be dry before a heavy rain as well, or it may be washed off. Respectively, if it rains before the primer is dry, you will need to wait for the rain to stop, then scuff the area, sand it down, and prime it once again.

Regarding the oil based primers, they will take a little longer to fully dry, but they can handle rain.

The rule of thumb here is the following: if the substrate is dry when the primer is applied, then rain should not affect it thirty to sixty minutes after you apply it.

How Long Do Exterior Primers Need to Dry Before They Get Caught Up With Rain
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Rain will slow the process of drying, of course, and might change the appearance, but it should not affect the quality of bonding.

Like this, you are now aware of the basic rules and nuances regarding the use of the exterior paint on rainy days.

And since now you have all the necessary information needed for planning your painting projects, both exterior and interior, we are sure that weather will never be able to prevent you from making your home look even better!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is it allowed to paint outside while it’s raining?

You’d better not, but if rain got you caught, cover the painted areas.

⭐ If I apply several coats of paint on a rainy day, will it prevent the paint from bleeding?

The number of coats doesn’t matter. The paint will bleed anyway if it gets in contact with rain.

⭐ What may happen to the paint if I use it in high humidity (70% and higher)?

The paint may develop brown or white discoloration.

Written by
Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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