How Long to Let Paint Dry Before Hanging Pictures?

Choose the best paint option to update your house design!

When doing an apartment repair, most people want to decorate it as soon as possible.

But there are some things to do before you can bring furniture and decor.

Let’s imagine that you have bought some fancy pictures and want to hang them on freshly painted walls in your living room.

Do you know how long should paint dry before hanging pictures?

This question can be answered in multiple ways because the answer usually depends on several factors: paint type, humidity, the space where the painting will be placed, etc.

In this article, we will cover all of these questions and more to inform you about how long to let paint dry before hanging pictures.

How Long to Wait to Hang Pictures After Painting?

How long to wait before hanging pictures after painting is one of the first questions when repairing. Many of us want to finish the repairs in the fastest way possible and live in a new, cool apartment.

But the thing is that you have to follow the instructions of painting in order to get a good result.

You need to remember that during the process of drying, there are particles of debris and dust, inevitable during repairs, that can stick to the paint, and then the anticipated aesthetics are over.

In addition, paint usually requires two or three, or even more layers to create a dense monolithic coating, and here the question of the paint drying time becomes an edge.

For coating walls, there are a lot of types of paints used. From water-based, acrylic, to oil.

The drying period of each paint kind depends on the location of the wall (external, internal), temperature, humidity level, type of surface, texture.

How Long to Wait to Hang Pictures After Painting
Credits: IgorVetushko, via Crello.com

How Long After Painting Can I Hang Pictures?

A decrease in temperature or an increase in humidity will increase the period of complete drying of the paint.

In any case, if the wall is re-treated, this should be done no earlier than a day later (when applying oil paints), or no earlier than 8-12 hours later (if water-based paints were used).

Keep in mind that paint dries faster on walls made of natural material.

More time is needed if the application was carried out on the concrete, brick, stone.

The curing speed of water-based paints directly depends on the thickness of the material applied to the object.

If the paint is diluted to 10% with water, its drying time can be reduced to 3 – 4 hours.

Many paint compositions give a wide variation in drying time, depending on the staining conditions and the type of substrate.

For example, silicone paint can dry for two hours or a day, depending on the weather and the condition of the base, and the thickness of the applied paint layer also affects the drying time.

One of the best tips from experts is not to rush to start subsequent work after painting, it is best to throw on an extra day or two so that the paint hardens well, and not just dries.

How Long After Painting Can I Hang Pictures
Credits: HayDmitriy, via Crello.com

Related: 12+ Ideas For Your Living Room Color Palette

What Conditions Affect Paint Drying?

Visually, this difference may not be visible, but the strength of the paint layer can critically depend on just a few hours allotted for drying.

And also from several related conditions, such as:

Room ventilation & humidity

Is it effective enough? If it’s summer outside, it is recommended to open windows to help the walls dry faster.

The higher the humidity in the room, the longer all types of paints dry.

Some paints and varnishes in humid air do not release moisture well, which increases the drying rate.

How to paint a wall fastHow to paint a wall fast

Temperature

In the cold, many paints liquefy, and it is simply impossible to work with water-based paints.

The painted surface will not dry under such conditions. It is also not recommended to paint walls in overheated rooms.

Heat creates too much evaporation, which can adversely affect the strength of the layer.

After painting, in order to ensure reliable drying of the paint, it is recommended to increase the room temperature and decrease the relative humidity of the air.

An excellent tool for this is a regular room heater.

Typically, manufacturers indicate the temperature range that is acceptable for applying paint.

Temperature
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Surface

The greater the capillary structure of the material to be painted and the amount of paint that gets inside, the longer the drying time.

For instance, the same paint on metal can dry faster than on wood.

To close the pores and create a uniformly homogeneous surface, various primers can be used.

Another factor is the thickness of the paint layer applied to the surface.

Surface
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Paint composition

The composition of the paint deserves special attention. In simpler words, the type of solvent used in the base matters.

There is a certain pattern here: the more harmful the base, the faster the polymerization process.

Nitro enamels traditionally dry faster than oil-based paints. Water-based paints also dry quickly.

Paint composition
Credits: IgorVetushko, via Crello.com

How Long Should Paint Dry Before Putting Furniture Back?

Whether it’s a full repair or you decide to redesign one or several rooms, after painting you need to put furniture in the needed place.

But you need to understand that it takes several processes to give paint perfect conditions for drying.

How long to let paint dry before putting things on it depending on paint type and composition:

Acrylic paint

How long does acrylic paint dry?

The answer is best looked for on the packaging of a particular paint, but the approximate drying time for acrylic, acrylate, and latex paints is 5-6 hours in the warm season with normal humidity.

Acrylic paint, in comparison with other various coatings, belongs to the group of quick-drying paints.

Typically, it dries in half an hour, however, complete drying of this type of coating occurs in a day.

Experts recommend re-painting the surface no earlier than 2 hours after applying the first layer.

The drying time of the first and second layers of acrylic paint directly depends on the type of surface, as well as the ambient temperature.

The drying rate of acrylic paint directly depends on a wide variety of factors and not only on temperature but also on the ventilation of the room being painted.

The drying speed of the coating also depends on the applied layer: if the layer is thin, the paint will dry relatively quickly, but a thick layer will dry longer.

Acrylic paint
Credits: IgorVetushko, via Crello.com

Oil paint

Oil-based paints offer a lot of benefits, but long drying times have drastically reduced their ratings for home renovators.

They cost quite a little but dry for a very long time (up to several days).

When dried, they release harmful substances, so they are more suitable for outdoor work.

Their significant drawback is that over the years the painted surface turns yellow.

You have to wait at least 12 hours for the layer of oil paint or drying oil to acquire minimal strength and dry out, and several days will pass until it is completely hardened.

It is especially difficult to paint floors with oil-based paint.

To walk on the floor, you have to wait two days, and a few more days to avoid “sudden movements” like rearranging furniture and other things since the paint is still fresh.

Complete setting of the oil layer usually happens after 7-10 days.

Oil paint
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Water-based paint

Such emulsions and solutions can dry in two hours, after which you can continue working in the painted room.

But the full strength of the water-based paint will come no earlier than after 24 hours.

Enamel

Enamel paints are made based on varnish, which provides high gloss and a beautiful finish. Enamel paints are used for painting metal, appliances, wooden surfaces, walls (plastered and puttied), etc.

They can be used for both indoor and outdoor work. Nitro Enamels dry very quickly and it usually takes 15-45 minutes.

Enamel paints are waterproof and resistant to rust and light.

Enamel
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Latex paint

Latex paints are the most expensive of emulsion paints.

They are made with the addition of latex.

This gives a strong water-repellent effect, which means you can wash the surface as much as you want.

Latex paints are used on different surfaces: structured wallpaper, walls (concrete, plaster, brick, drywall), ceilings. Dry in 20-60 minutes.

But how long should paint dry before installing hardware? Installation of hardware is recommended when your room is ready and cured after painting completely.

So, you need to wait for 24 hours before proceeding to do any further steps of decoration or repair.

Don’t rush and give a room needed time to cure.

Consider that a painted floor dries longer than painted walls, so you can put furniture back only after that you’re sure the room is totally dry and cured.

Check the recommended time on the paint package to know exactly how long to wait after painting a room.

No matter which type of paint you choose, make sure you give it enough time to dry and evaporate.

So, considering all of the recommendations above, it is better to wait at least a day to put pictures and furniture in the room.

Unless you use special methods to make the paint dry faster, you have to be patient and wait until the room is ready for further processes.

Latex paint
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What if I Painted My Bathroom?

Wall painting as a bathroom interior decoration is gaining popularity and is replacing tile.

Most people are attracted to this option by the ease of use and affordable prices.

You can not use any type of paint for decorating the bathroom, obviously.

That’s why, first of all, we have to define which paint options will suit you best:

  • Latex paint forms a dense barrier on the surface, is easy to apply, and it has a long service life. Talking about drawbacks, it has a high price and requires perfect surface preparation.
  • Water-based silicone or acrylic emulsion are good choices for painting a bathroom. They usually are characterized by a medium price range and good water resistance.
  • Alkyd enamel has a low price, good water resistance, but is produced based on organic solvents that provide a strong odor. Another disadvantage is that the wall painted with alkyd enamel does not let air through, and it can cause coating destruction in the future.
  • Oil-based paint is a long known bathroom option of coating, which is becoming less and less popular because it has a strong smell and does not last long.
What if I Painted My Bathroom
Credits: serezniy, via Crello.com

Painting Bathroom Properly

An essential feature of bathroom paints and varnishes is their vapor repellency.

Pay attention to the composition so that it contains fungicides and algicides. They prevent mold or mildew from spreading.

To get a quality result, you need to paint the prepared walls in the bathroom in several layers.

If you approach the process creatively, it will be exciting and interesting.

First, you need to paint over all the corners and hard-to-reach places with a brush.

Only then treat the entire surface with a roller. But in order to get a denser layer and smooth out all the bumps, it is better to apply the first layer with a brush too.

For the first layer, the paint can be thinned by 10-15%.

Wait until the surface is completely dry, and only then apply a second coat of paint.

Painting Bathroom Properly
Credits: serezniy, via Crello.com

How Long After Painting a Bathroom Can You Shower?

Despite the type of paint you’ve chosen to process your bathroom, it is better to wait for 24 hours to let the paint dry completely.

Nobody wants to have a shower in a room with an odor or destroyed walls.

Finish your repair and take your time by giving a bathroom a day to get fully dry and ventilated before showering after painting the bathroom.

After the paint in your bathroom is dried, you can furnish it the way you like and take a shower in your newly made beautiful room.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How long after you paint a bathroom can you shower?

Best options for bathroom paints take from half an hour to several hours to dry.

⭐ How long does paint take to dry on walls?

Whether it’s a living room, bedroom, or kitchen (or any other room, that doesn’t get much humidity), it takes 5-6 hours to dry.

⭐ How long for paint to cure?

Experts say that it is recommended to give the painted room at least a day to dry and cure completely.

⭐ How long for latex paint to cure?

It takes 20-60 minutes to dry and it has a nice, glossy finish.

Written by Melinda Sherween
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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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