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How to Make Paint Dry Faster: 9 Methods

outdoor drying painted metal

Painting is a great deal of work, but if you are sensitive to paint or have pets or children, the hardest part can be waiting for it to dry. Even non-toxic paint can have a strong odor, and the longer the paint is wet, the higher the risk that it will smudge or drip. If you are looking for ways to get your paint to dry faster, you’ve come to the right place. Here are several methods that you can use to help you get your painting project done as quickly as possible.

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The 9 Methods to Make Paint Dry Faster

1. Increase Air Flow

woman standing by window and opening curtains
Photo Credit By: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

One of the best ways to get your paint to dry faster is to increase the airflow. Open any windows, turn on the ceiling fan if you have one, and add any other available fans. Increase the airflow right from the start of your project for the best results.

2. Use Thinner Paint Layers

One sure-fire way to reduce drying time is to apply a thinner coat of paint. Many people dip their brush or roller into the paint too often, resulting in a thick coat. This will take much longer to dry and is more likely to drip. Thick paint is also more likely to splatter and create a mess as you apply it.

3. Reduce Humidity

Another reason to increase ventilation when you paint is that it helps reduce humidity. Moisture in the air can significantly increase the drying time of your paint. In many cases, the painting will make the room more humid, especially in a small area. High temperatures in the summer can also bring humid days that might slow down your drying time. Look at the forecast to choose a cool day with low humidity for painting. A dehumidifier can also help reduce the moisture in your painting area.

4. Use a Hair Dryer

Pink hair dryer
Photo Credit By: Olha Solodenko, Shutterstock

If the area that you are painting is not too large, you can use a hair dryer to help speed up the process. Keep the nozzle about 2 inches away from the wall, or you might cause the paint to blister. You might also want to use a low wind speed, so the force doesn’t cause streaks or drips. Move slowly but steadily, and take frequent breaks so the hair dryer doesn’t overheat.

5. Check Temperature

Temperature can affect how much humidity is in the room, and high temperatures in particular can slow the drying time. They can also cause the paint to dry unevenly, affecting the finished appearance. However painting at temperatures that are too cool (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit) can prevent the paint from sticking to the wall, making the project take longer.

6. Look for Fast-Drying Paint

Many people are unaware that many companies make fast-drying paint that will dry quicker than standard options, though it’s typically more expensive. But if you need to finish your project quickly, a fast-drying option can be worth the extra cost.

7. Use Latex Paint

Latex Paint
Photo Credit: David Pisnoy, Unsplash

Latex paint is safer and easier to clean than oil-based paints. It also dries faster, so choose latex paint if drying speed is a concern.

8. Use a Space Heater

While you don’t want to paint on a hot day because it’s likely to be more humid, adding a heater to the room with wet paint can help increase the temperature enough to help dry the paint faster. The space heater can also help reduce the air’s moisture, helping to speed drying time even more.

9. Paint Outside

If you are painting an object instead of a room and can move it outside, the sunlight and airflow can significantly increase the drying time. When painting outside, you will want to ensure that the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and that there is low humidity.

divider 4 Other Tips and Tricks

Tips & Tricks:

  • Primer doesn’t change the drying time of your paint, but it can reduce the number of coats that you need to apply, reducing the overall time that you spend on your project.
  • Lightly sanding the surface can help your paint stick better. If the surface that you are painting is too smooth, the paint might chip or peel, causing you to need to repaint it frequently.
  • Higher-quality paints will usually dry faster and will coat the surface better, requiring fewer coats so you can finish your work more quickly. Better paint also tends to last longer than inexpensive paints, so you won’t need to repeat the process as often.

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If you want to make your paint dry faster, choose high-quality paint, preferably one that states that it dries quickly. Check the weather, and choose a day to paint when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is low. Ensure that there is plenty of ventilation in the room, and use fans or even a dehumidifier, especially when painting enclosed areas. A hairdryer and a space heater can also help speed up the drying time.

Featured Image Credit: pittaya, Shutterstock


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