In painting today, spray paint is definitely one of the most commonly used painting mediums. Because of its fast-drying features, it is popular with beginners and professionals alike. The benefit of spray paint is that it dries quickly and provides a very even coat requiring little to no effort on your part. But How Long Does It Take for Spray Paint to Dry?

Spray paint dries to the touch anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours after application, depending on the type of paint and ambient conditions. There are many factors that affect how long it takes for spray paint to dry such as: the weather, the type of spray primer used and if there has been an over-spray of paint.

Finding out how long it takes spray paint to dry can be useful and save you time in the future. Having a goal time to finish your project is important so you know if you need to speed things up or if you have time to spare. You will find out more on this page as you read further.

How Long Does It Take for Spray Paint to Dry?

The drying time for spray paint depends upon the type of paint, the temperature and humidity in the air, as well as how thickly the paint was applied. Spray paint can take from two to four hours to dry completely on most metal surfaces.

When you spray paint, the liquid particles disperse into the air and land on the surface you are painting. Properly applied spray paint will dry to the touch within 10 minutes to 2 hours. Spray paint dries in two stages. The first phase is evaporation, which happens within minutes. The second is called curing and can take as long as a month.

Also, it is important you know the medium you are painting also contributes to the time it takes the spray paint to dry. So, below are some mediums you need to know.

Spray Paint Dry Time On Plastic

When it comes to painting with spray paint on plastic, you can dry your masterpiece right away by curing the paint. Curing follows the rule of 3. i.e.  3 minutes of heating at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius) or 3 minutes of baking at 170 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius).

Also, spray paint dry time on plastic depends on various factors such as the type of paint, temperature, and humidity. Most manufacturers recommend a dry time of approximately 15 minutes. However, low temperatures and high humidity may cause it to take longer.

If you are in a hurry, you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process which lowers the surface tension of the paint so that it will dry quickly.

Spray Paint Dry Time On Wood

The average dry time of spray paint, or aerosols, is 15 minutes to an hour on wood. This applies to oil-based and water-based paints on wood. Drying times vary depending on how thick the paint is applied, and how many times the object has been painted.

Spray Paint Dry Time On Metal

Spray paint dry times are the same for any type of paint. However, if you add an extender additive found at your local hardware store, you can speed up the spray paint dry time on metal. Spray paint dry time on metal depends on many factors.

As a general rule, you can expect the paint to dry within 8 to 12 hours. The best temperature is between 68 and 77 degrees. The higher the temperature, the faster it goes. Also, keep in mind that a higher humidity level will slow the drying process.

How Can You Make Spray Paint Dry Faster?

Spray paint is used on a wide range of projects to give them a professional, finished look. Spray paint dries faster when sprayed in light coats. The spray should be applied from a distance of 6 to 8 inches away from the surface to avoid runs and drips.

Also, spray paints last longer when dry. You can speed up drying time by lowering the temperature, adding an additive to make the paint dry more quickly, increasing the surface area of the item being painted, or decreasing humidity in your working area.

Use A Fan To Speed Up The Dry Process

To make spray paint dry faster, one of the ways is through the use of a working fan. You can use a fan to help the spray paint dry faster. This will also help prevent runs and drips.

To speed up the dry process, use a fan to blow over your spray-painted items and this will decrease the drying time. Spray paint dries faster when you use a fan to blow air onto the freshly painted object.

Use a fan and set it up so that it blows across the surface of the paint. The faster it dries, the better the coverage will be, and you are not likely to get drip marks or any other unsightly imperfections.

Turn Up Heat On The Painted Area

Turning up the heat on your painted area will help it dry faster. This is because the heat evaporates more of the solvents in the paint, which makes it dry faster. You can heat the spray-painted area with a hair dryer or an electric heating fan. The heat will help to bond the paint molecules and will make it dry much faster.

Reduce Humidity

Humidity prevents spray paint from drying. If your garage is humid, place a dehumidifier in the garage, or open a window to reduce humidity while spraying.

Apply Thin Paint Coats

Thin coats of spray paint dry more quickly than thick coats. If you want to achieve a more color-saturated look on your finished project, but you want to make sure the paint doesn’t drip, apply many thin coats instead of a few thick coats.

Factors That Affect Spray Paint Dry Time

The drying process is necessary for a spray paint to settle in and become permanent on the desired surface. It can take a few minutes to a couple of hours depending on the type of paint and its spreading technique. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and ventilation can affect the dry time of a spray paint.


Humidity is the most important factor when it comes to outdoor spray paint projects. If the painting area is humid, then the paint will take a lot longer to dry than if it is bright and sunny. Dry air can also be an issue if you are painting indoors as cool air tends to have low humidity too.


Temperature can greatly affect the spray paint dry time since heat makes paint cure faster. Expect the drying time to increase during humid or colder weather.


Ventilation helps spray paint dry. If you don’t have fresh air currents circulating, then the fumes from the chemicals used in the paint can build up and cover the surface area, stopping it from drying properly or quickly. The more ventilation you have around your spray-painted area, the faster it will dry.


This page on How Long Does It Take for Spray Paint to Dry covers in detail all that you need to know about spray painting. You will also get to know the factors that can affect paint dry time, how you can increase the dry time and many more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here