How Long To Wait Between Coats Of Paint

Are you thinking about repainting your home? Calculating how much paint you’ll need to complete the project is one of the initial steps. When repainting a space, though, it’s not only about the amount of paint that needs to be considered.

Paint that hasn’t been allowed to dry before applying a second coat, and you have wet paint, you’ll find it likely to peel, smear, or flake.

For optimal results, experts recommend general dry times of two to four hours between letting each coat dry and applying the second coat.

coats of paint

However, there is much more to it than that, and it can be something as simple as painting the exterior or interior walls. Also, it can change if you have oil-based paints and non-oil-based paint such as latex. All this makes a difference between the re-coat time of fresh paint coats.

In our guide, you can learn much more about your painting project, how long to let coats dry between coats, and the overall cure time before moving furniture back into your room after the paint has fully cured. (Learn How To Paint Laminate Cabinets)

By the end, you’ll be armed with more information on how long to let paint dry between coats, so you get the best results from the paint drying process.

How Soon Can You Apply a Second Coat of Paint?

How long to let paint dry before second coat depends on a few things.

The thickness and application of your paint directly impact how long it takes to dry as much as if you are using oil-based paints or latex paints.

Depending on how you choose to paint your wall, the time it takes to dry will also vary substantially.

A paint roller is best for smooth to semi-smooth walls because it applies paint in a thinner coat. It usually takes 30 to 90 minutes for the initial coat of paint to dry here it is dry enough to touch.

The time it takes for paint to dry is determined by the type of paint, sheen, application thickness, and application method, as well as if you are in a spell of dry weather.

When you use a brush, you get a lot more paint. While holding a paintbrush and dipping it straight into the paint feels more comfortable. The application is thicker and takes longer to dry.

When you use a paint sprayer, the paint you apply isn’t nearly as thick as when you use a brush or a roller, so it takes less drying time. It’s safe to re-coat four to six hours after your first coat of paint has dried. If your paint or primer is water-based, wait at least three hours before re-coating it.

For oil-based paints and primer, it’s best to wait 24 hours. If you’re unclear, the instructions on the paint’s label are the best source of information.

Now you see how long it takes paint to dry, you can see how long between primer and paint coats. (Find the Best Paint For Bathroom Walls)

Primer or Undercoat: Primer is a paint and glue mixture, which you use to prepare a surface for paint adhesion. It also hides defects that paint can’t. Don’t skip your primer unless you’re using a paint-and-primer blend.

  • Use latex primer under latex paint: It dries in 30 minutes dry time in the fresh air, but wait 3 hours before adding your next coat.
  • Use oil-based primer under oil-based paint: To be safe, let the oil-based paint dry for 24 hours.

Using a primer is also great for covering dark colors if you are changing to a lighter color.

latex paint

Latex Paint

The base coat is the initial paint layer over primer, while the topcoat is the second layer. Professional painters and paint manufacturers recommend two coats at least to offer a durable finish.

Two thin coats of light over a darker color may not be enough, requiring more coats. Re-coat time is 4 hours dry time for latex paint coats regardless of whether you are painting the exterior or interior painting.

Oil Based Paint

Oil paint takes longer to completely dry than latex paint and water-based paint, so you need some patience. Re-coat time for an oil-based paint is 24 hours as the drying time isn’t dictated by moisture evaporation.

If you need to use oil-based paint quickly, you can use paint hardeners that contain manganese, zirconium, or other compounds to speed up the dry time and shorten the re-coat time.

Application Methods

Thin coats of paint dry faster than thick coats. Use a paint roller instead of a brush for the best fast-drying effects. Apply each coat with a steady hand to take a consistent finish free of gloppy edges or runny streaks. Brush painting results in thicker coats, which can take longer to dry for oil-based paints than for water-based paints.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and cure time, but treat them as a starting point for paint drying time, and add time as needed before applying the second coat of paint.

Painting too quickly can leave your paint with visible smudges and could leave you needing to sand the first layer to get your smooth surface back.

What Happens If You Re-coat Paint Too Soon?

Time, money, and effort will be wasted if the second coat is applied too soon when house painting.

If your second coat is applied too early, streaks, peeling paint, and uneven colors are often the result. Not only would this harm the project, but it will also cost additional money sometimes to purchase more paint.

It’s best to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the second. When the initial layer is dry, it is much easier to see than when it is wet. This will aid in creating even paint strokes.

The second coat is usually the last, so you’re probably exhausted and eager to finish the project.

Allowing the first coat to dry is another option. You’ll be able to see precisely where you need to apply more paint this way. This method will lead to even paint coats.

Water-based paint doesn’t suffer from half as many issues between your re-coat time since it dries much faster. However, you need to ensure it bonds to the surface, or you could face issues with your paint project.

multiple coat paint

Do You Always Need 2 Coats of Paint?

Besides the question of how long between coats of paint, there is another common question you see. “How many coats of paint do I need when painting the interior or exterior of my house?”

Two coats of paint are typically recommended. It will, however, vary based on color, paint quality, if you use a primer, and the type of surface you’re painting.

Applying two or more coats of paint to a surface will cost more, which is hard work, yet the fully dry coats last 3-5 times longer. (Learn How To Get Spray Paint Off Glasses)

You often see high-quality paints only require one coat after applying a primer in some circumstances.

For conventional paints, most instances require two coats of paint. Here are a few scenarios where this could differ.

Number Of Coats Of Paint On A Wall?

If you’re painting a new wall, follow the rule and apply two coats of paint following the primer. Follow the same rules to painting drywall.

If you’re repainting a wall, you’ll only need one coat if you use the same color and high-quality paint.

Number Of Coats Of Paint For Ceiling?

Painting ceilings isn’t easy, so we recommend using the best paint for your ceiling. As it will be high-quality paint and only requires one coat of paint, you can save many hours as a general rule using ceiling paint.

Not only is the workload reduced with this type of paint, but you also don’t have to wait for the first coat to go through its curing time. All it takes is to apply your primer and then apply one coat of paint.

Paint of the Same Color

If you’re painting over the same color, one coat of paint should be enough to be sure you are using the same color.

If the previous coats were thin coats of paint, they could have faded from the sun on the exterior. Two coats of paint may be the best recommendation. When you see the paint dry, you might notice thin spots in your paint job. Dry times need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

It would help if you also were wary of matte paint on gloss paint, or vice versa, as these may not be compatible. Oil-based paint can often cover matte yet using latex paint on oil-based paint may not be wise.

Covering Light & Dark With Opposite Colors

If you’re painting dark over light or vice versa, you’ll usually need two coats of paint. Check a small area to see if three coats of primer and two coats of paint are required or if one coat of primer and two coats of paint will suffice.

There can be times when you apply multiple coats of paint and still feel like the old color is contaminating the fresh coat. A thin coat of light paint on dark can leave the color showing through, and it will need the next coat. (Read Acrylic Vs Latex Paint)

If you apply paint that is darker on light, you can see what appear to be faded patches where the latex paints dry thinner.

How Long To Wait Between Coats Of Paint (1)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *