How Long Does Spray Paint Take to Dry?

Have you ever been assigned a school project that required spray paint? However, how long does spray paint take to dry? More so, how often does someone use spray paint? Once a year? Maybe twice a year? I know I have used it perhaps twice or three times. Individuals often leave it out overnight, assuming it takes a while to dry. Yet, below we will see how long it takes to dry based on the surface used, such as wood or metal. Additionally, we will notice that spray paint dries within a specific time in different environments. 

In general, spray paint takes 24 hours to completely dry. However, the timing can differ due to the different items that spray paint uses. Additionally, the best option for all substances would be if the spray paint is sprayed lightly rather than heavily. 


As known, metal is considered a more fine substance considering others. However, like humans, metal can have different temperatures at different times. Spray painting when the metal is cold can cause quick drying, but unfortunately, it may damage the metal too. On the other hand, when spraying metal when it is hot, it can take longer to dry. It takes about 2 to 3 hours for metal to dry at an average temperature. Yet, for the maximum effect, waiting 24 hours is vital. 


When using wood, one needs many coats of spray paint for full coverage. Depending on the thickness of the spray paint depends on the drying time. It can take between an hour to 24 hours for the spray paint to entirely dry on the wood surface. Additionally, when using wood, an excellent idea would be to sand down the wood allowing the spray paint to be applied better.   


Plastic usually has a shorter time to wait for one to touch the object. The reason being is that plastic has a less amount of grip for liquids to grab onto. Therefore, when using spray paint on a plastic surface, one should wait an extra thirty minutes from the original thirty minutes. After waiting, if the person’s finger comes out clean, the spray paint has dried. Yet, the best result is if one remains the complete 24 hours.


At times, spray painting glass is done. Glass is considered any item one can see through when only applying one coat. For example, when spray painting the mirror, do one coat, wait about 20 minutes, and add another for full coverage. However, there is a possibility that glass can take more than 24 hours for the surface to completely dry. After about an hour, the top suggestion is to touch the surface if it is completely dry. If a fingerprint has been made, 24 hours is the way to go. 

As mentioned above, spray paint is affected based on the environment the item is placed in. In addition, individuals may use Spray paint indoors and outdoors, which both ways can affect the drying period. 

How Long Does Spray Paint take to dry in different locations


When applying spray paint in an indoor environment, it is likely for the drying process to take longer. The reason is that there is less amount of circulation within the indoor surroundings. As one may think, by only waiting an hour in an indoor place for the item to dry, the spray paint will probably get ruined from the person’s touch. If ever using spray paint indoors, waiting a minimum of 24 hours would be the best option. Additionally, it is usually in a secluded area while using spray paint indoors. The fumes will likely stay within the closed space for a long time, causing one to have difficulty breathing. Opening a window can help the small area receive some ventilation at the start of using the spray paint.   


Using spray paint outdoors can be the most excellent option in the right weather conditions. Spray painting in the sun’s heat can cause the project to dry quickly yet, may cause cracks within. Whereas in the cold weather, the spray-painted object has a more extended amount of time for the drying process. Also, if the actual piece of the project is cold, there is a chance for the spray paint to run, which causes ruin to the project. The best weather for one to spray paint is between March and April. These months, the weather is not too cold yet not too hot to affect any problems within the project.   

How Long Does Spray Paint Take to Dry: Conclusion

We can see spray paint takes a different amount of time to dry on each surface. At times it takes shorter, yet the best option is the longer, the better. Weather conditions can also affect the drying time of spray paint. So, next time when you decide to use spray paint, follow these ideas, and it is likely for your perfect project to occur.  

By: Cirel Fishman

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.