How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster For Best Results!

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster

If you’re anything like me, you grow impatient over having to wait for things. And waiting for paint to try is at the top of the things I hate doing. And recently I’ve been wondering if you can make the paint dry much faster. How to make spray paint dry faster? Is there a way?

Let’s find out! 

But first, let’s look at some of the basics of spray painting. 

What Is Spray Paint? 

Spray paint is an aerosol paint that has been packaged in an airtight, pressurized container. Once the valve button of the can is depressed, the paint is released through the air and onto the surface. It can be used on many surfaces, including wood, plastic, metal, canvas, ceramic, etc.

How Is It Different From Other Paints? 

Aerosol painting is a kind of spray paint that is very versatile in nature. Due to this, it goes with many surfaces and gives a very smooth coat, and a shiny finish. 

Unlike other types of paints, spray painting is a rather modern method. It works better at providing an even coat of paint and a smoother finish compared to traditional rolled and brushed paints. 

Can You Help Spray Paint To Dry Better? 

Aerosol paints are notorious for taking an unbelievably long amount of time to dry. And we don’t always have the time or the patience to wait that long! So is there any way to get spray paint to dry sooner?

Fortunately, yes! Internet users have found their way around this problem. With just a few tips and tricks, you can ensure that your spray paint drying won’t be a problem anymore! 

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster?

How fast your paint will dry will depends on the combination of many factors, including the temperature of your room, the weather, the humidity, and the type of paint. While you cannot individually control all of these, the more changes you make the better your end results will be.

Let’s look at each of these elements and see how we can optimize our painting process!

1. Types of Paints

There are many varieties of paints when it comes to spray painting. And the type of paint you’re using will determine the time and finish of your spray paints. 

  • Enamel Paints

Enamel paint, also known as hard-surfaced paint, is usually considered a higher quality paint that is used in floor coatings or spray cans. Enamel paints are super quick to dry and give a dry surface within 20-30 minutes. 

Since it is solvent-based (oil-based) paint, they dry up to a hard, shell-like finish in a matter of minutes. Enamel paints take about 8 hours for a solid, full dry.

  • Lacquer Paints

Lacquer paints are best known for a hard, highly glossy finish. Using this kind of paint will also give you a much faster drying time! 

Unlike water-based or oil-based paints, lacquer paint is resin-based. It is made out of a thermoplastic polymer. What this means for us is that lacquer paints will dry as quickly as under 5 minutes! A full surface dry will take up to 3 hours. 

  • Epoxy Paints or Latex paints

Epoxy paint is a relatively new concept, but a very popular one nonetheless. The concept used in epoxy or latex paint is that it combines a resin into a hardener for a long-lasting, durable, and waterproof finish. 

If you want to explore the fastest drying paint, epoxy is your best bet. The chemical reaction between the resin and the hardener makes it dry in under 5 minutes! What’s more is that a full, complete dry takes just about an hour!

2. Environmental Factors 

While many people are unaware of this, environmental conditions play a big role when it comes to spray paints! 

  • Humidity

Humidness plays a major role in the time taken by your paint to dry. And while you cannot decrease humidity on command, there are ways to combat it. 

Did you know that as the moisture in your surroundings increases, the drying process of your paints slows down? It’s true! The ideal situation for you to take out your spray paints will be when the humidity is at 40-50%

  • Temperature

If you’ve ever read the instructions on the paint can, it says that you should ideally paint only when your surrounding temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This is because temperature variations affect the adhesiveness of your paint job. Air circulation plays a very important role in any painting project. 

  • Weather 

Now, this factor is slightly bendable. There are products in the market that are made keeping in mind the weather factor, meaning that your paint cans won’t be affected by the weather conditions.

However, if you’re using regular spray cans, they’ll likely dry up in very hot weather, and not be good enough in cold weather.

3. Surface Material 

This one is pretty obvious. How rough or smooth your surface is will directly affect how much your paint will hold on to the surface, and how long the drying process will take. 

The logic here is simple. The smoother your painting surface is, the less amount of time it will take to dry. Therefore metal surfaces dry more quickly than wooden surfaces. 

It is always recommended to thoroughly clean the surface before you apply any paint. Sanding it to remove any irregularities also works to your benefit. 

Spray Paint

Tips To Help Spray Paints Dry Quicker

Sure, we now know why our spray paints take so much time to dry, and how all these factors contribute to its drying process. But here’s a bonus for you! Let’s look at top-notch hacks and tips to help your paint drying even faster!

  • Apply a thin coat of paint 

Overlaying paints before the previous coats are completely dry can result in a tacky texture. This is why you at least got to make sure that your first coat of paint is surface dry before you pile on it. Ideally, apply a very thin coat of paint.

  • Run a space heater near your work station

If you’re working on your project in colder temperatures, simply closing the windows won’t do the trick. In this case, run a heater near the object you’re working on. This will control the temperature around your project and ensure better efficiency. 

  • Control the humidity of the room

Like we discussed before, the denseness in the air plays an important role in your process. Since you can’t really control it, the best option is to run a dehumidifier in your room. 

  • Circulate air by turning on a box fan

Your next best option to lower the humidness in the air is to run a fan around the house, or near your work area. Thanks to the fan, the air will circulate around the room and this will increase the rate of evaporation from the dense air. The result is lighter air and quicker results!

Be cautious, though. If you have any dust or other small things surrounding your home, you might not want to do it. Ideally, wait for your painting to achieve the hard dry stage, or at least the touch dry stage.

  • Use primer before painting 

Sometimes, you need to paint over rough surfaces. And sandpaper won’t do the trick either. It is in these situations that you turn to the mighty primer. Priming your object before painting prevents any paint absorption and allows quicker drying of the paint!

  • Apply a coat of wax-based furniture polish

Here’s a trick I recently found on the internet. If your paint is taking too long to dry, spray a layer of any wax-based furniture polish! 

You can buy any furniture polis available in the market, but make sure it is wax-based. What this does is the furniture polish helps the paint set better and forms a sort of protective layer over it. All the more reason to use the furniture polish in all of your paint projects!

You may also like: How to Get Spray Paint Off Your Skin

How Long Does It Take For Spray Paints To Dry?

It depends, really. On average, paints become dry to touch within 30 minutes. At this point, they’re okay to flip around without applying too much pressure. You can also recoat at this stage!

As for fully dry surfaces, it should take anywhere from an hour to 8 hours, depending upon what kind of paint you use. 

Can You Dry Spray Paints In The Sun? 

Yes, heat is indeed good for spray paints. But there’s also a thing called too much heat, and sunlight falls into that category! 

Sure, a heater works in your favor when it comes to drying up paints. But when the paints come in contact with excessive heat, or direct heat from the sun or sunlight, the paint dries up too quickly. This may result in uneven texture, brush marks, or even inadequate adhesion. 

The difference between just the right temperature and too much warmth is very tricky. Therefore it is always advised to keep your paints away from the sun. 

Does Spray Paint Dry Better in Heat or Cold?

Any extreme temperature is always bad for paints. But while spray paints cannot tolerate cold temperatures at all, they do relatively better in warmer climates. 

The ideal temperature for spray paints is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the weather gets too cold you can always place a heater near the object or run a fan around the work area.

Another simple trick is to place the spray can in lukewarm water. This will warm it up from the outside, and you will get better results thanks to the temperature of the cans. Check out this video for detailed descriptions!

What to Do Is Spray Paint Is Tacky?

If your spray-painted object appears tacky or sticky from the outside, even after you’ve allowed the coat to hard dry, apply some dusting powder or talcum powder over it! 

Sprinkle some talcum powder over the final coat of your object and gently rub it with your hands. Apply some furniture polish as the last of the outside coats. You should have a perfectly smooth surface in minutes!

Can I Dry Spray Paint With a Heat Gun?

Most DIY painters use a heat gun, not only to strip dry paint off surfaces but also to help the paint dry quicker!

On a low setting, you can hover your heat gun over the painted surface to dry it. You can also alternatively use a hair dryer for the job, or just apply some furniture polish!


How many coats of spray paints do you need?

How many coats you need will depend upon the surface of your object. Ideally, apply at least 2-3 thin coats so that you cover the entire object. 

How long should you wait after primer to apply spray paints?

Most latex primers dry within an hour or two. But to be on the safer side, you should wait at least 24 hours before you apply a layer of paint!

How to unclog a spray paint can nozzle?

You can always fix a clogged nozzle by using a tiny needle and cleaning the nozzle with acetone or nail polish remover. Or, you can check out this video!

Final Thoughts 

Whether you’re working at home on a small school project, or whether you decided to paint the furniture that has been sitting out for weeks, things seem better when you don’t have to wait for hours for your paint to dry! 

We hope that today’s article helped with all your spray painting worries. Remember to keep all of the mentioned things in mind for better results! And if you have any doubts, feel free to ask away!