How Long to Wait Between Coats Of Spray Paint?

Learn how much time you will need to wait until the first layer of paint dries so that you can apply the second one.

Painting projects are not something that we do every day, or even every month. In the majority of cases, we think of the need of repainting something in our household if we see those objects being really worn out!

This is probably why most of us are not very knowledgeable and experienced in everything that comes with paints and their drying times in particular.

However, being aware of how much time you might need to wait between two different coats of paint is essential.

Like this, you will be able to calculate the time needed for finishing the painting work.

And also, it will help you to avoid the common mistake that people make: ending with an uneven coat of paint simply because they were too impatient to wait after the first coat dried completely!

So how long do you have to wait between applying two coats of spray paint? Read on and you will find out the answer not only to this question!

We will also tell you how long different types of spray paints take to dry, and how much time a regular spray paint needs to dry before you can sand it.

In addition, you will learn what influences the drying time between spray paint coats, and we will also share a brief guide on how to figure out how much time spray paint normally takes to dry. With all that in mind, painting anything in your household will always be super easy for you!

How Long to Wait In Between Coats Of Spray Paint?

Spray paint is so loved by the homeowners and paint enthusiasts because of its short drying time. See, if you want to make use of oil or latex paint on any surface in your home, you need to take into consideration its drying time.

That’s simply because oil and latex paints take pretty much time until they become dry to the touch. In general, a coat of such paint will need around two to four hours, no less, before you can apply the second layer!

In comparison, a spray paint coat will take something like an hour or maximum two to dry completely!

Why is there such a time difference, you may wonder? The answer is very simple, in fact. See, the drying time of any type of paint depends on several essential factors and nuances:

  • the type of paint
  • the way of its application
  • the humidity level
  • ventilation
  • heat

That means that, in case you are applying oil paint or latex paint with a paint roller or with a paint brush, the layer of paint will be much thicker than if you do the same with a can of spray paint instead.

How Long to Wait In Between Coats Of Spray Paint (2)
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Thus the paint that is applied with a brush or with a roller will take more time to dry. In comparison, a thin layer of spray paint will dry quicker which will allow you to recoat the surface sooner.

Also, the type of paint matters. As you probably know (especially if you have already been through any home painting projects!), all the oil paints take way more time to dry to the touch in comparison to latex paints, for example.

How Long to Wait Between Coats Of Spray Paint
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This is why we recommend you choose the type of paint very carefully if you are into any painting affairs in your household! Like this, you will know for sure how long it might take you to finish the project!

And of course, the surrounding conditions matter greatly! Humidity, heat, and ventilation can significantly extend or, on the contrary, shorten the paint drying time. Of course, it is possible only if you take them into consideration in advance and get the most out of it!

Now that you have a general understanding of the matter, we suggest you learn in detail how much time different types of paint usually need to dry completely. Nobody knows what paint you decide to make use of, so this information will anyway be handy!

How Long to Wait In Between Coats Of Spray Paint
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How Long to Wait Between Coats Of Enamel Spray Paint?

So, you need to paint something in or around your home, and you decide to make use of a spray enamel paint to have the job done.

Great! But now here is the question: how much time will this type of paint need to dry completely before you can proceed with the application of the second coat? That’s the riddle, some of you may think!

In fact, it is not a riddle at all. When working with enamel spray paint, you need to make sure that you apply all the coats needed on the piece you are spraying within an hour. In case you can not get this done, you should wait for forty eight hours before a new coat of paint will be applied.

How Long to Wait Between Coats Of Enamel Spray Paint
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And please keep one thing in mind: if you apply the second layer of your enamel spray paint before this waiting time frame, you run the risk of the paint wrinkling! And that may lead to the need of ripping the painted layer off and reapplying it from scratch.

Since nobody would like to do an extra job and waste more time on that, better do everything according to the instructions from the very beginning.

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How Long Should You Wait Before Applying the Second Coat Of Latex Spray Paint?

With latex spray paint, it will be somewhat different. See, most of us use latex paint regularly enough.

This type of paint dries relatively quickly in comparison, for instance, to chalk paint and oil based paints.

This is why it is considered to be a more convenient type of coating material if you don’t have enough time to wait until it dries.

But why does this type of paint tend to dry faster than others? This is because latex paint is water based and some brands are even labelled “fast drying”.

So, what about its drying time in between the coats? How long does it take for latex paint to dry?

We recommend you follow our basic guideline and wait for two to four hours and then test the newly painted surface in a hidden area. Like this, if the paint coat is not yet completely dry, the damaged part of the surface will not be much seen.

How Long Should You Wait Before Applying the Second Coat Of Latex Spray Paint
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How Much Time Does Oil Spray Paint Need Between the Coats to Let Them Dry?

If you have ever used oil based paints (no matter on canvas or on your home walls or other objects), you know for sure that this paint is a real long-drying stuff! So, how long does oil based paint take to dry?

We would suggest you really should wait a minimum of twenty-four hours before testing your first coat!

And if you experience higher humidity, if you are using a brush or a roller, or if there is poor ventilation where you paint, that means waiting even longer.

By the way, paints containing less oil dry faster.

So to speed up the process a bit, try to purchase a brand with more pigment and less oil to get those projects done sooner.

How Much Time Does Oil Spray Paint Need Between the Coats to Let Them Dry
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What If My Oil Based Paint Does Not Dry?

This is not a common issue, let’s state that at once, but it can indeed happen quite often.

You apply a coat of oil based paint, you wait the required amount of time, but nothing happens!

It just won’t dry! Does it mean that you did anything wrong?

Let’s try to figure this out. If your oil based paint does not dry as it should be, this is usually because of two things:

  • the paint was applied too thick
  • there is a ton of humidity in the area.

What we suggest you do in this situation is that you should get some fans or a dehumidifier, and ventilate the area properly to help speed up the process.

You can also purchase a product called Japan Drier for paint. It helps speed up the drying process for oil based paints, varnish and even enamel.

What If My Oil Based Paint Does Not Dry
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How Long Should Spray Paint Dry Before Sanding?

Sanding is a great way to make your freshly painted surface ideally smooth and even.

However, before you reach for the sandpaper, it is important to know for sure when it is the right time to start the process.

See, if you start sanding your wall, for example, while the paint layer is still partially not dry. you put the whole work at risk of damaging the painted coating!

And since sanding is very much recommended and even required when you spray paint anything, being aware of when to sand between each coat of paint is a must.

But then you would like to know exactly how much time you should give your painted surface to get completely dry.

How Long Should Spray Paint Dry Before Sanding (2)
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Well, if you are using spray paint that will be later sanded between the coats, we would say you should wait for at least two hours before you can sand the surface and proceed with applying the second coat of paint.

This time is usually enough for the paint to dry properly. But still, don’t forget about the additional factors that may influence the drying time! Take the humidity level into consideration, as well as ventilation, and heat since they can influence the drying time quite significantly.

So, now you are fully informed about the drying time that your spray paint needs before you will be able to apply the second coat of it onto the surface you are painting.

With this information, you will surely have a smoothly painted wall or any other object in or around your home.

How Long Should Spray Paint Dry Before Sanding
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How Much Time Does Spray Paint And Other Types Of Paint Need to Dry?

So, we have already figured out that, when spraying paint with a can sprayer, the layer of paint comes out much thinner than when you are using a brush or roll it on.

This is why spraying paint can save you a lot of time and effort!

We have also figured out that a coat of spray paint normally takes around two hours to dry enough for the second layer to be applied. And now we would like to provide you with some comparative information to take into consideration regarding the drying time needed for different types of paint.

How Much Time Does Spray Paint And Other Types Of Paint Need to Dry
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Like this, you will be able to easily decide what paint will be more suitable for you depending on how much time you have for finishing your home painting project.

So, first of all, the drying time may vary depending on how the paint is applied:

Application MethodPaint Dry Time
Spray PaintShortest
BrushLong
RollerLongest

Climate and weather conditions create another factor that plays an important role in your painted surface drying time. Those of you that live in high humidity areas will need to wait longer, up to twenty-four hours to get the painted surface properly dry.

In low humidity areas, or in areas with high temperatures, paint will dry faster.

Paint Drying ConditionsLatexOil
High humidityFasterSlow
Low humidityFastSlow
Poorly ventilatedFastSlow
Higher temperatureFasterSlow
Lower temperatureFastSlow
How Much Time Does Spray Paint And Other Types Of Paint Need to Dry (2)
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Having this information in your disposal, you will be able to compare and decide, what type of paint is more preferable for you in your current painting project.

And also, with all this in mind, you will be able to figure out what type of environment you have where you paint, and how these conditions may affect the speed of your paint drying.

So, now you know everything about spray paint drying time, as well as about what factors can affect it and why.

From this article, you have also learned how much time it takes different types of paint to dry, and how long you should wait before applying the second coat of paint onto the surface.

Like this, starting any home painting projects will always be easy for you, as well as finishing them with brilliant results!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How many coats of spray paint is optimal?

From two to three depending on the material of the surface.

⭐ How long to wait between coats of spray paint on cars?

Usually it takes around 20 to 30 minutes to wait.

⭐ How many coats of spray paint to apply on wood?

At least two coats.

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