interior painter for Oak City Coatings

How to Make Paint Dry Faster For Interior Projects

Are you eager to get back to normal daily life after painting your interior? Waiting for paint to dry can be time-consuming and a little frustrating. Ready to speed things up? Check out these tips and tricks for how to make paint dry faster so you can start enjoying your freshly painted space without compromising the quality of your paint job. 


The Importance of a Fast Paint Dry Time 


A fast dry time for interior painting projects is crucial not only for homeowners itching to get back in their space, but for the professionals tackling the job, too. Achieving a fast dry time increases efficiency, as it allows for multiple coats of paint to be applied in a shorter time frame. This is also helpful because it reduces the risk of paint getting smudged (especially if you have kids or pets in the home) or having dust or debris settle into the coating. The faster the paint dries, the more timely the professionals can complete the project, thus, saving you time and money as well!


Common Factors Affecting Paint Drying Time

The most common factors affecting paint drying time are: 

  • The type of paint used – different products have different drying times. 
  • Temperature – the colder the temperature, the longer it takes paint to dry.  
  • Humidity – the lower the humidity, the faster the dry time. 
  • Airflow – the better the airflow, the faster the dry time. 
  • Thickness of paint layers – thicker paint layers will take longer to dry. 
  • Surface preparation – surfaces that have not been prepared properly may take longer to dry. 

Understanding these factors and ensuring you’re painting in optimal conditions with high-quality paint products can significantly speed up the drying process. 


Ways to Speed Up Paint Dry Time for Interior Projects

Ready to speed up the drying process and get back to fully living in your space? Check out these tips and tricks for making paint dry faster. 


#1: Choose the Right Paint

Selecting the right paint is key in speeding up the drying time for interior projects. Opt for fast-drying or quick-drying paints, as they are specially formulated to set and dry faster than traditional paints. 

Some of our favorite paints that are known to dry quickly are Ben Moore Regal Select (1-2 Hour Recoat) and the Ben Moore Aura (1 Hour Recoat). 


#2: Consider Water-Based Paints

Water-based paints are a great option for interior painting projects as they are known for their faster drying times compared to other oil-based paints. Water-based paints use water as their solvent, which evaporates faster than oil, making paint dry faster. 

Benjamin Moore Aura, Sherwin-Williams Emerald, and Sherwin-Williams Duration Home are excellent paints that can be used for various applications. 


#3: Optimal Temperature and Humidity

The air temperature and humidity also plays a huge role in the paint drying process. Colder temperatures and more humid conditions lead to longer dry times. Paint dries the fastest in moderate temperatures and low humidity. 

Aim to paint in temperatures ranging between 50-80 degrees fahrenheit and in low humidity levels. The spring and early summer months are ideal for painting. 

If needed, you can use fans to maintain proper temperatures. Set up a dehumidifier to dry out the air and increase evaporation speeds, leading to a faster paint drying time.  


#4: Adequate Ventilation

Painting with adequate ventilation is not only important for your health and well-being, but also for the drying time of the paint. Open the windows and doors during and after painting to allow fresh air to circulate. If needed, use fans to increase air movement, which helps remove paint fumes and speed up the drying time. 


#5: Apply Thin Coats of Paint

As mentioned earlier, thick layers of paint take longer to dry. Therefore, aim to apply thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry properly before adding on. This is an effective technique for accelerating drying. Paint will also dry more evenly and look better in the end if applied in thin coats. To ensure even coverage with thin coats, use a high quality paint brush or roller to avoid loading them with too much paint. 


#6: Use a Paint Accelerator, Additive, or Extender

In some cases, you may wish to use a paint accelerator or drying agent to help expedite the drying time of paint. You can use products like Sherwin-Williams Fast Dry Paint Accelerator by adding it to your paint to enhance its drying speed. 

Similarly, you can use a few types of additives to speed up drying time, while maintaining paint quality, such as Japan Drier. 

Extenders can improve flow without compromising the drying process, such as M-1 or the Fusion Mineral Paint Extender. 


#7: Choose the Right Primer

Primers play a key role in the overall quality of your paint job, as well as the drying time, as it properly preps the surface for paint to adhere. Opt for quick-dry primers that are tailored to different surfaces. This will ensure the paint adheres properly and the drying process is quick. 


Sherwin-Williams Fast-Drying Primer is great if you are using oil-based paints. 


#8: Proper Surface Preparation

We cannot stress enough how important it is to have a well-prepared surface. This allows paint to adhere more effectively and increases the speed at which paint dries. Aim for a clean, smooth surface before going in with primer or paint. Make sure any imperfections, scuffs, or knicks in the wall are repaired beforehand so the paint can go on smooth and dry quickly. 


#9: Utilize Infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters, hair dryers, and heat guns can be an effective way to speed up the drying process. Adding warmth to the surface can help paint dry faster. It also allows you to target smaller areas, such as baseboards. 


In fact, production companies often put painted pieces into large ovens and bake them to increase drying speeds. 


If you choose to go this route, make sure you use caution and follow safety precautions. Set the hair dryer to medium heat and move it back and forth in a steady motion for a few minutes, ensuring you keep a safe distance of about a foot so the air doesn’t disturb the paint. 


Don’t apply direct heat for longer than 5 minutes. If you dry the paint too quickly, the paint particles won’t have time to naturally harden and cure, which could lead to cracks. 


As you can see, there are many tips and tricks you can try to make paint dry faster. Just remember, if you do speed up the drying process, the paint will have less time to level and smooth itself out.


A lot of fine finishing companies who do high-end cabinets and furniture with high-gloss finishes try to actually slow down the drying process a little bit to help the paint flow and level more before it dries.


Most paints are designed to dry in enough time to level and flow properly to give you a smooth enough finish without taking too long. 


Don’t want to stress over paint application and drying times? Hire our team of professional painters to come in and get the job done right in a timely manner. Visit our contact page to book a free estimate with our team today!


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