There are many decorating jobs you can take on yourself, including painting and wallpapering, but it’s always essential to follow the correct procedure to produce a professional finish. We’re always talking about preparation and using the right tools for the job, but one factor you may not have considered is how long various paints and pastes take to dry before you can safely apply another coat. Here’s our guide to paint drying times to help you plan your decorating schedule…
Obviously the ambient room temperature and humidity will be a major factor in drying time – a warm summer day with the windows open will allow paint or paste to dry much quicker than a cold and wet evening in January. The ideal drying temperature for most paints is about 21°C, so if it’s colder and more humid you need to recognise that the liquids in the paint or paste will evaporate more slowly.
Emulsion paint drying times
Water based emulsions dry the quickest and you can expect them to be touch dry in roughly 1-2 hours, but don’t add a second coat for another four hours for the best finish because your roller or brush could still pick up the first coat and create streaks.
Eggshell paint drying times
These paints are popular in kitchen and bathroom areas because they offer greater durability than a matt or satin emulsion – but that means they require longer drying times. In a typical scenario, these paints will be touch dry in 4-6 hours and ready for you to apply a second coat in 16-24 hours. It’s probably even more important to sit on your hands and remain patient with these paints before your second coat because they’re much more prone to pulling.
Gloss paint drying times
Stronger solvent based paints are excellent for your skirting boards, doors, window frames and radiators because they’re exceptionally hard-wearing. Allow a good 4-6 hours for these to be touch dry and 16-24 hours before you think about applying the second coat. All solvent based paints should be applied with plenty of ventilation unless you want a headache from the fumes, so remember to open those windows!
Wallpaper paste drying times
Paste drying times are also quite varied and have a lot to do with the thickness and weight of the wallpaper you’re using, as well as the quality of the surface. Because there are so many factors, it’s best to err on the side of caution and watch for signs of a dry paper. If the paper feels bone dry to the touch it probably is, but also watch for any small bubbles being pulled flat to the wall as this is a great indicator that the paper is ready for paint. If you’re in any doubt, however, leave it overnight.
We hope this guide hasn’t been as boring as watching paint dry, but if you’re still not confident of achieving a perfect finish give us a call for advice or a no obligation quote – we’re happy to help!