I know how frustrating the painting process can be, and that you’d do anything to speed it up. But, before you decide to rush with adding another layer and ruin everything you’ve done so far, take a break. I’ll help you with figuring out how long to wait between coats and give you a couple of tips for quicker drying.

It Depends on the Type of Paint

If you’re not sure how long you should wait before you apply the second coat, the first thing you’ll need to do is check the type of paint. In case you’re using an oil-based paint, you’ll probably have to wait at least six hours before you do anything to the wall. However, I recommend that you wait a whole day before you start applying the second coat. That way, you’ll make sure that everything is completely dry.

On the other hand, latex paints need significantly less time to dry out. In most cases, you’ll just have to wait for an hour. But, in order to be sure that the paint is completely dry and ready for another coat, give it about four hours.

Don’t Mix Oil-Based and Latex Paints

You’ve just moved in, and you want to refresh the space by adding some color? Before you do anything, you’ll have to check the type of paint that’s already on the walls. Adding latex paint over the oil-based one will make the process of drying excruciatingly long. To make matters worse, there’s a chance that the paint won’t stick at all.

How to Check If the Paint Is Dry

The easiest way to check if the paint is dry is by examining the wall. In case the color is even, and you don’t see any darker, wet-looking parts, the wall is ready for another coat. On the other hand, the shiny parts on the surface are clear indicators that you’ll need to wait a bit longer.

Another method that you can use to check if the paint is completely dry is to touch it. Before gently going over the surface, you should wait for six or eight hours for the oil-based paint, and two to four for latex one. In case there isn’t any residue on your fingers, it is safe to assume that your paint is ready for the next coat. But, just to be sure, you can tap the wall a couple of times to check if the surface is tacky.

How to Speed up the Drying Process

Nobody wants to spend days painting their home. So, I will provide you with a couple of easy tips for speeding up the paint drying process.

Keep Coats as Thin as Possible

Not only will thick layers of paint look uneven, but they will also need much more time to dry out. Thus, you should always make sure that the coats are as thin as possible. Don’t worry, you’ll improve the richness of the color with additional coats.

Use a Roller

While we’re on the subject of thin coats, I have a little tip that will help you achieve the perfect, thin layer. You’ll just have to ditch the brush and go with a roller. That way, you’ll definitely avoid streaks and thickness, especially if you’re a beginner.

Keep the Level of Humidity in Check

In case the level of dampness in your home is high, the excess moisture will prevent walls from drying out. Therefore, you need to do everything in your power to keep the level of humidity at the normal level. If you don’t know anything about the recommended amount of dampness in a home, I have an article about the ideal humidity level that you can check out.

So, what can you do to keep the humidity in check? Well, you can always use a dehumidifier. They are one of the most efficient ways to ensure that your walls dry out quickly. What’s more, I have another article that you can read. It’s about removing dampness from a room without this device.

You can speed up the drying process by simply turning on your air conditioner. If you don’t have one, you can always use regular fans.  Furthermore, even though opening your windows sounds like a good idea, I would advise against it. Why? In case the outside air is filled with moisture, it will slow down the drying process.

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