How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster – Practical Tips and Tricks

pexels rodnae production How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster - Practical Tips and Tricks

Spray painting is quite an exciting DIY which can quickly transform the appearance of various surfaces and objects. However, handling our spray painting objects would mean we need to wait for it to dry and can be a long wait, not to mention the wait between two or more coats. Luckily, there are ways to make spray paint dry faster, so you can enjoy your finished projects earlier than the recommended time.

Using a fast-drying spray paint for your project will reduce the drying time to just 20 minutes. Also lowering humidity, increasing room temperature, and improving ventilation can significantly reduce the drying time of your spray painted projects. Wax-based furniture polishes have also proven quite effective in drying paint faster to apply the next coat.  

The drying time of spray paints varies with the surface it’s applied to. You can know more about spray paint drying time and read the details. Similarly, a method that speeds up paint drying time on one surface might not work on the other. Therefore, I will explain how you can dry spray paint quickly on different surfaces.

Best Ways To Dry and Cure Spray Paint Faster

When you start a spray painting project, waiting time is inevitable. However, it is possible to reduce it so you can flaunt your finished work to your loved ones. 

Well, first you must know what are different stages of drying while spray painting so have a look as it is very important to know that before you proceed here

Let’s go over some easy and practical tips in detail.

 1.   Spray Thin Coats

If you keep layering on the spray paint, it will take longer to dry completely. Instead, apply the paint in thin layers, making sure to avoid overlapping, so the coat dries down quicker. 

Don’t spray too close, or you may end up saturating the surface. Start by standing 10 inches away, then decide if you need to move in closer. 

Also, use your entire hand to move the spray can and not just your wrist as you paint the surface.

2.   Increase Airflow

Whenever you’re working with spray paints, it’s better to choose a well-ventilated area. This serves two purposes: good ventilation ensures that you don’t breathe the VOCs in spray paint, and it allows your spray paint project to dry quickly. Therefore, work in an area with plenty of fresh air circulation.

If you want your spray paint to dry faster, you can increase the airflow by opening windows or using a fan to circulate air. Don’t get too excited with the fan, though and place it at a safe distance from the painted object so that the entire surface gets equal air pressure.

Caution: Don’t use the fan if you’re working in a dirty room, or else dirt and debris will stick to your paint.

3.   Increase the Temperature

A warm temperatures between 65 and 85 ℉ is ideal for a spray painting project. You can plan according to the weather forecast and pick days when it’s not too hot or humid. Painting outside on a warm and sunny day can help your paint dry faster.

However, Mother Nature doesn’t always stick to plans, and you may not find the ideal weather to work on your project. So, if you’re working indoors but want to speed up the paint’s drying process, you can increase the room’s temperature with a heater. Not only will it raise a few degrees, but also improve air circulation to cut the drying period by a few hours. 

You can even try drying spray paint with a hairdryer for smaller surfaces, as it works the same way as a heater. Just avoid getting it too close to the wet painted surface. 

4.   Decrease Humidity

Moisture is paint’s biggest enemy– especially when wet, too much moisture in the air can significantly increase drying time. High humidity levels also increase the chances of paint drips and dust contamination. Therefore, always pick days with low humidity, between 40% – 70%, to paint.

If you want your spray paint coat to harden quickly, decrease the humidity in the room by opening windows and doors. You can also use a dehumidifier or portable heater to reduce the moisture content in the air.

5.   Add Paint Thinner to the Paint Mix

You can add a paint thinner to your spray paint to make it dry faster. The solvents in the thinner dissolve paint and reduce its thickness to allow nice and smooth application of paint. A thinner paint means even thin paint layers that dry more quickly than thick ones.

Make sure not to add too much thinner to the paint as it can cause the color shade to be lighter than desired, just appropriate enough to get the desired consistency.

6.   Use Furniture Polish

Another effective way to dry spray paint faster is to apply wax-based furniture polish on the surface. While the product is not an easy-find, the polish can make spray paint dry instantly. 

Simply spray the wax-based polish over wet paint and allow it to dry for 5 minutes before adding a second layer. Wipe off the extra polish with a soft dry cloth.

Depending on the surface, you may need multiple thin layers to make the paint dry completely.

7.   Cure Spray Paint in the Oven

You can make spray paint dry faster on smaller objects by placing them in the oven. Since it delivers a combination of high temperature and airflow, curing spray paint in the oven is a trick that works all the time. 

However, you should not use a traditional oven as the paint releases harmful chemicals and VOCs as it dries, which can get absorbed by the food cooked in the oven later on. Instead, use an oven toaster that’s only used for paint-drying purposes.

You can place the object in a toaster oven when the spray paint is dry to the touch. Set the heat to 250 ℉ and leave it inside for around 2 hours. Before using this technique, make sure the paint is safe to cure in an oven by checking the label, as some may crack or bubble at high temperatures.

8.   Use a Heat Gun

You can use a heat gun to reduce spray paint drying time, but you must be careful and follow safety precautions. 

Hold the gun 2 inches away from the surface and move around the surface so the entire area is covered evenly. 

Caution: Always use the heat gun on a low setting because if you set it too high, you might remove the paint instead of drying it.

Does sunlight make spray paint dry faster?

There’s a common assumption that when we place a freshly painted object outside, the sun makes the paint dry faster, but the wind actually works its magic.

While painting outside has benefits, doing so directly under the sun is not advised. This is because the sun can cause the paint to dry too quickly, increasing the chances of paint cracks. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you will have to remove the top layer and start over again.

Temperatures above 50 degrees are ideal for painting, but excessive heat can make your paint peel and leave marks even though it will dry faster.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster On Different Surfaces

As discussed earlier, different surfaces have different drying times depending on how porous it is. Let’s look at how you can make spray paint dry faster on various surfaces.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster On Metal

Metal is a smooth and fast-drying material. If you’re spray painting metal in ideal weather conditions, it can become touch dry within 5 to 10 minutes. However, you can also lower the humidity and rise the temperature to make the paint dry faster. Try placing a heater and fan together near the surface to get the desired result.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster On Plastic

Spray paint on plastic takes around 30 minutes to an hour to become touch dry. But if you want to hurry up the drying process, you can take your project outdoors in the sun and let Mother Nature work its magic. 

For indoor projects, you can increase the air circulation in the room and use a heater to raise the temperature. 

Caution: Don’t give a plastic surface too much heat, though or it may warp and lose shape. This means no curing in the oven or drying it with a heat gun.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster On Wood

Wood is a porous surface that usually needs multiple paint coats to achieve the final result. Spray paint takes one to two hours to become touch dry on most wooden surfaces. 

If you’re working with water-based paints, you can expect them to dry faster than oil-based counterparts. 

By now, you know that heat is your best friend for speeding up paint’s drying time. So, paint on a sunny day when the temperature is between 65 and 85 ℉ or use a heater or heat gun to make your wooden surfaces dry faster.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster On Cardboard

Cardboard, like wood, is another porous surface that needs to be dealt with care. If you spray on a thick layer of paint at once, you could ruin the surface; therefore, thin layers of paint are ideal for cardboard projects.

If you want the paint to dry soon, increase the ventilation by opening windows or placing a fan near it for quick results. Like plastic, cardboard cannot withstand high heat, so keep it away from heat guns, but you can use a hair dryer instead.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster On Fabric

Spray painting on fabric requires a different technique– from pre-washing the material to the actual paint application. When you spray paint on the cloth, you have to do so in a continuous motion, or else you will produce splatters that will ruin the final look.

If you want the painting design to last on the fabric, you should leave it for 72 hours before washing. You can speed up the drying process by placing your project outdoors but not under direct sunlight. You can speed up the process by using a hair dryer set to at medium heat, keeping it at a distance of at least 10 to 12 inches from the surface.

Ironing the reverse fabric on low heat can also add an extra layer of protection to the design once the paint has dried up.

Plus, it is so much fun to spray paint your old pair of jeans. Here is a sneak peak into how to do that!


How long does spray paint stay tacky?

Epoxy and polyurethane spray paints remain tacky for 5 minutes, but lacquer spray paints need a few more minutes to become dry to the touch. Latex and enamel paints take the longest time to dry and stay sticky for 60- 90 minutes.

How many coats of spray paint is too much?

You should apply 2-3 light coats of paint to achieve good coverage. Some surfaces may need more layers for a deeper color though. A primer will help achieve better finish with less coats of paint. 

Why is my spray paint not drying?

There can be two main reasons for spray paint not drying: you applied a thick layer of paint or didn’t give the first coat enough time to dry before applying the second one. 

Why is my spray paint soft?

If your spray paint is soft, it could be because you applied a thick layer of primer or sealer. Sometimes, not giving sufficient drying time between undercoat and topcoat can also cause this problem.

Long Story Short

You can speed-up the drying time and handle your DIY spray painting projects by improving ventilation and temperature and reducing humidity of the surrounding. If you want to know what are the exact drying times of different spray paints then you can read it here

If you want to know more about anything else regarding this topic, please leave a comment below and we will be happy to give you a response. 

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