How Long Does It Take for Paint to Dry Outside?

When painting your home, there are several factors to consider when it comes to how long it takes for paint to dry outside. The two most important variables are the type of paint and the climate in which you live.

Paint dries quickly when exposed to air, but it also needs time to cure properly. The curing process involves chemical reactions that take place over time.

This article will help you determine how long it will take for your specific paint to dry outside so that you can plan accordingly.

Type of Paint Determines How Long It Takes for Paint to Dry Outside

Some types of paint dry relatively fast, while some paints take a long time to dry. The type of paint you choose will affect dry time. There are two main types of paints: latex and oil-based. Oil-based paints take longer to dry because they contain more solvents.

Latex Paints

Latex paints are water-based and will dry faster than oil-based paints. It is made of acrylic resin. Latex paint is recommended when you paint large areas, not because it dries fast, but because it’s usually purchased in large quantities.

Latex paint usually dries within 1 to 4 hours, depending on conditions like temperature, humidity, and rain.

They are also more likely to drip when applied in high humidity or temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The curing process takes a minimum of 14 days, but this can be 30 days in poor conditions.

Oil-based Paints

Oil-based paints typically take 24 hours or more to cure fully and are touchable after only eight hours before the next coat should be required. Because of its long time, it isn’t easy to apply more than one coat per day.

Oil-based paints are a very popular option in the past for home painting, but their popularity drops over time due to their long dry time. But its cure time takes about 3 to 7 days, which is a much faster option compared to other paints.

If you’re painting a large surface, like a fence or a garage door, expect it to take longer than if you’re touching up a few nicks in your walls.

The Drying Rate Equation: How to Dry Paint Faster Outside

How Long Does It Take for Paint to Dry Outside

To determine how much time it will take for paint to dry, you’ll have to use an equation called the “Drying Rate Equation.” The drying rate equation calculates the time it takes for paint to dry fully. The equation looks like this:

Time = (A x B) / C

Where A is the area of the surface being painted, B is the thickness of the paint layer, and C is the speed at which the paint dries.

This equation tells us how fast paint dries based on the temperature and humidity of the air around it. If you were painting a large room with thick layers of paint, you would need to use a higher number for A than if you were painting a small space with thin layers of paint.

5 Factors That Can Impact Your Paint’s Dry Time

Paint dry time can be one of the most frustrating things about painting. While there are some factors, you may not have considered that can impact how long it takes your paint to dry.

Here are five of the biggest factors that impact paint drying time and how you can use them to your advantage when painting.


First, you need to know that paint dries at different rates depending on the temperature. It would be best to wait until the paint has completely dried before moving furniture back into the room.

This means waiting at least 24 hours for temperature matters. The paint will not dry well if the temperature outside is not within the right range.

If you are using latex paint, apply it at temperatures between 70- and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are working with oil-based paint, the ideal temperature range runs from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


High humidity levels (like 50% or greater) can cause paint to take longer to dry, as the moisture in the air prevents the paint from fully curing.

This can be a problem in bathrooms or kitchens, where humidity is often high. If you’re painting in humid conditions, it’s best to use a quick-drying paint or one specifically designed for humid environments.


The wind is another factor that affects the paint’s drying time. Wind can help dry paint faster on a calm day by blowing away excess moisture. However, on a windy day, paint can dry too quickly, leaving brushstrokes and an uneven finish.

Strong winds also frequently cause ripples in paint, and if you are in an area with dust, mown grass, or leaves, you might find yourself with some unexpected- and unwanted- sticking to your fresh paint.

If you choose a spray gun for painting, wind poses a whole new threat- you could paint everything except your project. To combat this problem, wait for the wind to die before painting.

If the winds are strong enough that you need to stop painting altogether, cover your work with a tarp, so it doesn’t get ruined from the wind.


One of the main factors that can impact your paint’s dry time is its thickness. If you’re using thick paint, it will take longer to dry than if you’re using thin paint.

Because thicker paints have more pigment and binders, they take longer to evaporate. The higher the concentration of these components, the longer it will take for your paint to dry.

You can use paint thickness gauges which are also known as paint meters or coating thickness gauges; this has become the commercially- efficient way of measuring paint thickness. Always be sure to consider how thick your paint is.

Application Method

The application method you use can impact your paint’s dry time. For example, if you use a roller to apply paint to a wall, the paint will dry more quickly than if you use a brush.

It is also an easy and quick way to paint large areas or outside. Be careful and apply each coat with an even hand, resulting in a consistent finish without unpleasant edges or runny and uneven streaks.

Ways to Speed Up Your Paint’s Drying Time: Painting Tips

  • To speed up the drying process, you can use a hair dryer to blow hot air onto the paint’s surface. However, if you leave the paint outside overnight, it will dry naturally.
  • You should check the paint daily to see if it has dried completely. If it hasn’t, you can apply a coat of clear sealant to protect it from rain and other weather conditions.
  • If you want to speed up the drying process, always try to use thinner coats rather than thick coats. In addition, you should avoid exposing the painting to direct sunlight.
  • Try to use one paintbrush at a time, paint one wall, Keep the Air Moving, and maintain proper ventilation.
  • It’s always best to check the weather forecast before starting any painting project. If rain is in the forecast, you’ll need to factor in additional drying time.
  • Remember that no matter what kind of paint you use, as soon as you finish applying the last coat, cover with plastic or tarp until dry. It would be best if you never waited until the next day because a single rainstorm can make all of your hard work go down the drain.
  • Monitor humidity levels by checking out sites like Accuweather or use an indoor/outdoor thermometer in your kitchen oven to determine whether the air inside is warmer than 50 degrees F.


Once you know all these pieces of information, you can calculate how long it will take to dry paint on any surface. Paint is complex, and the chemistry within makes dry time depend on some products too, by design, literally never for others.

To get an accurate estimate of how long it will take your particular project, be sure to ask your local hardware store or painting contractor. I hope this informative guide will help you in making an informed decision about your house painting project.


Can I use a hairdryer to speed up paint drying?

While it may work for small areas, it’s not recommended for larger surfaces as it can cause uneven drying and may not be safe for certain paint types.

Is there a way to speed up oil-based paint drying?

Adding a drying agent or paint thinner to the oil-based paint can help accelerate the drying process, but follow manufacturer guidelines for safety and effectiveness.

Does paint dry faster in hot weather?

Paint tends to dry faster in hot weather because higher temperatures lead to increased evaporation of the paint’s solvent or water content. This rapid evaporation effectively removes the liquid component from the paint, leaving behind the solid pigments and binders to create the painted surface.

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