How Long Does Eggshell Paint Take to Dry? (& Speed Up Tips)

Eggshell paint is known to have a dry and colorful finish but before you can enjoy that finish, the eggshell paint has to dry. So how long does it take for eggshell paint to dry?

It takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours for eggshell paint to dry. On average, eggshell paint will dry to touch in 30 minutes. The paint can be recoated in about 1 hour and it will cure in a day.

Water-based eggshell paints dry faster than oil-based eggshell paint because oil-based eggshell paint has more sheen or gloss. You should also know that the ambient temperature, humidity levels, and weather all determine how long it will take for eggshell paint to dry.

How Long Does It Take For Eggshell Paint To Dry Between Coats?

How Long Does It Take For Eggshell Paint To Dry Between Coats?

It takes between 30 minutes and an hour for eggshell paint to dry between coats. On average, water-based eggshell paints will dry enough for recoat in about 45 minutes while oil-based eggshell paints will need at least 90 minutes to dry enough for a recoat.

The dry time between coats refers to how long to wait before applying the next coat. You should know that the thickness of the existing coat, the room temperature, and humidity affect how quickly eggshell paints will dry enough for another coat.

You need to sand between coats of eggshell paint. This is because each coat that you apply will dry to have a glossy sheen. This sheen will prevent the next coat from sticking properly so you’ll need to sand the sheen off first to allow the second coat to stick properly.

However, if the existing coat isn’t dry enough, you won’t be able to sand the sheen off because it will be sticky. If you recoat eggshell paint too soon, the new coat will not adhere to the existing coat properly. Also, the existing coat can stain or bleed through the new coat since it hasn’t dried enough.

How Long Does It Take For Eggshell Paint To Cure?

How Long Does It Take For Eggshell Paint To Cure?

It takes eggshell paint between 4 hours and 24 hours to cure. On average, eggshell paint will cure completely 6 hours after the paint was applied.

The type of eggshell paint either water-based or oil-based eggshell doesn’t matter when it comes to the paint’s cure time. This is because eggshell paint cures by oxidization.

For eggshell paint to dry, the solvent in the paint has to be completely evaporated. So the paint dries by evaporation. Since evaporation is a quick process, the eggshell paint will dry quicker.

Curing however has to do with oxidization. This is when the paint particles are bonded together through dry air or oxygen. Oxidization occurs slower than evaporation so the eggshell paint will take longer to cure.

How To Make Eggshell Paint Dry Faster?

Here are three effective methods to make eggshell paint dry faster:

1. Use a Hairdryer

Use a Hairdryer

The most common way to make eggshell paint dry faster is to increase the heat around the paint coating with a hairdryer.

Since the eggshell paint dries based on evaporation, increasing the heat will evaporate the solvent faster making the paint dry quicker. Hairdryers produce heat as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This is enough heat to make the eggshell paint dry quickly.

Here is a guide:

  1. Plug-in the hairdryer
  2. Turn on the hairdryer
  3. Set the heat to medium or around 80 degrees Fahrenheit
  4. Move the hairdryer around the eggshell paint coating
  5. Increase the heat of the hairdryer
  6. Turn off the hairdryer after 5 minutes of using it.

You shouldn’t dry the eggshell paint completely with a hairdryer. Doing this will make the paint dry too quickly and this can cause the paint to crack and fall off.

2. Thin The Eggshell Paint

Thin The Eggshell Paint

Another method to try out is to thin the eggshell paint. This method helps to make the eggshell paint thinner or lighter so the paint can dry quicker.

This method can speed up the eggshell paint dry time by up to 50%. Water-based eggshell paints should be thinned with water while oil-based eggshell paints can be thinned with mineral spirits. Here is a guide:

  1. Pour the eggshell paint into a paint bucket
  2. Measure the needed amount of paint thinner
  3. Add the paint thinner to the eggshell paint
  4. Stir the mixture with a paint mixer
  5. Test the mixture.

You shouldn’t over-thin the eggshell paint or the paint will lose its viscosity and color. A general rule of thumb is to mix the paint thinner and eggshell paint in the ratio of 1:2 (one-part paint thinner to two parts eggshell paint.

3. Use a Dehumidifier

Use a Dehumidifier

The final method to try out is to use a dehumidifier. This method works best when the weather is cold. During the cold weather, the level of humidity (or moisture in the atmosphere) is increased and this makes it very difficult for the eggshell paint to stick. The dehumidifier will replace the moisture in the air with dry air so the paint can dry faster. Here is a guide:

  1. Open all windows and vents
  2. Turn on the dehumidifier
  3. Set the dehumidifier at 45%
  4. Leave the dehumidifier to work

Here are tips to remember while applying eggshell paint. These tips will also make the eggshell paint dry faster:

  • Apply Light Coats
  • Allow proper air circulation by opening all windows and doors
  • Turn on the fans
  • Use water-based eggshell paint as it dries quicker than oil-based eggshell paints.

How Long Does Eggshell Paint Dry Indoors?

Eggshell paint dries within 2 hours indoors. Eggshell paints are known to dry enough for recoat within 90 minutes after the paint was applied. However, it takes very long for eggshell paint to cure indoors especially if the paint was used in a room with poor ventilation.

The weather outside doesn’t play much impact on the dry time of the eggshell paint indoors. This is because the eggshell paint is shielded from the extreme outdoor weather.

You can alter the room temperature to make it suitable for the eggshell paint even if the weather is generally not ideal. For instance, if the weather is too cold, you can increase the temperature indoors using a thermostat or fireplace.

Since the weather doesn’t matter much indoors, the biggest factors that determine how long eggshell paint will dry indoors are air circulation, humidity, and room temperature.

How Long Does Eggshell Paint Dry Outside?

Eggshell paints dry within an hour when used outdoors. On average, eggshell paint will dry 30 minutes after the paint was applied outdoors. This is because the paint will be exposed to a higher level of heat and wind (or dry air).

However, you should know the weather outside plays a huge role in the eggshell paint outside. If the weather is cold or moist, the paint will dry slowly.

If the weather is warm or dry, the paint will dry quickly. Since you can’t alter the weather temperature outdoors, you have to apply the eggshell paint when the weather is naturally favorable.

You should also know that eggshell paints are not commonly used outdoors. This is because the paint is not strong enough to cope with the intense heat, dust, and weather outdoors. If you are to use eggshell paint outdoors, ensure to top coat it with a sealant.

How To Know If Eggshell Paint Is Dry Enough?

Here are a few signs that indicate when the eggshell paint is dry enough:

You’ll Be Able to Sand Freely

When the eggshell paint is completely dry, you’ll be able to sand the paint freely as sandpaper will glide easily across the surface. But if the eggshell paint is still wet, then the sandpaper will get stuck when you try to sand the eggshell finish. Also, the sandpaper will clog up quickly with gloss or eggshell paint.

The Eggshell Paint Will No Longer Smell

When eggshell paint is still wet, the paint will continue to smell. The smell is because the solvent and the paint particles are not dry yet. But when the paint is dry, the solvent will have been evaporated so the eggshell paint will not smell as much.

The Eggshell Paint Will Become Hard

When the eggshell paint is dry enough, the paint will become very hard and dry. This is because the paint particles have completely bonded. If the paint is still wet, you’ll be able to dent it with your finger but when the eggshell paint is dry enough, you won’t be able to dent it regardless of how hard you try.

The Paint Color Will Become Permanent

The eggshell paint will also become permanent when the paint is dry enough. If the paint is wet, the color can be easily wiped off but when dry, the paint will not come off even with a cleaning solvent. This is because the paint color has become permanent.

How Long Should Eggshell Paint Dry Before Sealant?

Eggshell paint can be sealed easily 6 hours after the paint was applied. However, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for this.

This is because once the eggshell paint is sealed, moisture or oils can’t leave the eggshell coating again. So if you don’t leave enough dry time before sealing, there will be poor adhesion between the existing eggshell coat and the sealant. Also, the existing coat will bleed through and stain the sealant.

On average, water-based eggshell paints can be sealed in about 4 hours after paint application. Oil-based eggshell paints will take about 6 hours before the paint can be sealed.

This is because oil-based eggshell paints contain more solvent and gloss than water-based eggshell paints. However, many DIYers often complain that the eggshell paint is not drying. Why does this happen? Let’s find out.

Why Is My Eggshell Paint Not Drying?

Here are a few reasons your eggshell paint is not drying:

The Surface is Filthy

If the surface is dirty, the filth on the surface will not let the eggshell paint stick or dry well. So before applying eggshell paint, always ensure the surface is clean and grease-free.

You Applied Too Many Coats

If you apply too many coats of eggshell paint, the paint will not dry quickly because the rate of evaporation and oxidization will be very slow.

The Surface is Wet

If the surface is wet or water-logged, then the eggshell paint will not dry as it should because the moisture on the surface will make the paint remain wet.

The Eggshell Paint is Bad

Eggshell paint generally dries between 1 and 2 hours. So if the eggshell paint is not drying as it should, chances are the paint has expired or gone bad. In this case, the only solution is to strip off the paint.

Final Words

In summary, it takes eggshell paint about 2 hours to dry and the paint can be recoated in that time too. You should remember that water-based eggshell paints dry quicker than oil-based eggshell paints.

You can speed up the dry time of the paint using any of the methods above but always ensure to allow the paint to dry completely by itself.

Finally, let the eggshell paint dry enough before you clean, handle, or seal the paint. This ensures the proper durability and performance of the eggshell paint.

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