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

I’m guessing you want to stain material with gloss paint or you have done so and you are wondering how long it will take for the gloss paint to dry. Here is the answer to that thought.

It takes gloss paint between 1 hour and 2 hours to dry to touch. To re-coat, you should let the gloss paint dry for at least 2 hours.

On average, gloss paint takes 90 minutes to dry or leave its sticky form. You can apply the second coat of gloss paint 2 hours after the first coat was applied.

You should wait at least 24 hours before the gloss paint is subjected to use, traffic, and weight. Gloss paint will require about 48 hours before the surface can be washed or cleaned with solvents.

You should know that the drying time of gloss paint also depends on humidity, room temperature, and the type of gloss.

How Long Does Gloss Paint Take To Harden?

How Long Does Gloss Paint Take To Harden?

Gloss paint takes between 12 hours and 48 hours to harden provided the paint was applied in the right conditions. However, the main factor that determines how long it will take for gloss paint to harden or cure is the type of gloss paint applied.

On average, semi-gloss paint will harden in less than 24 hours after the paint was applied. High-gloss paint will require up to 48 hours to fully harden. This is because high-gloss paints have more resins and oils in the paint formula. As such, it will take longer for the oils to evaporate and the resins to bond.

The time it takes for the gloss paint to harden also depends on the material the gloss was used on, the surface preparation, humidity, and temperature. Gloss should be applied at room temperature (between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit is the best).

Though gloss paint dries within 1 – 2 hours, the paint coating takes longer to cure. This is due to the binder in the paint. Gloss paints use an acrylic resin that contains thick fluids like linseed oils, alcohol, and organic acid.

The presence of these compounds in the gloss paint coating makes the paint have a very thick consistency and painting 101 teaches that thicker paints will take longer to dry and cure.

Also, the reaction of these fluids in the gloss painting will take several hours to be completed resulting in a longer time frame for the gloss paint to harden. But is there a way to make gloss paint dry faster? Let’s find out.

How To Make Gloss Paint Dry Faster?

There are a few methods and tips to make gloss paint dry faster. The first method on the list is:

Method 1: Use a Gloss Paint Dryer

Use a Gloss Paint Dryer

Gloss paint dryers are paste-like substances made from a combination of metal carboxylates. Gloss paint dryers are usually mixed with the gloss paint before it is applied.

The paint dryer works by accelerating the oxidization of the gloss paint particles. This speeds up the cross-linking of paint molecules and alkyd resins making the gloss paint dry and harden faster.

Here is how to make gloss paint dry faster by using a gloss paint dryer:

  • Pour the gloss paint into a container
  • Open the paint dryer
  • Add the required amount of paint dryer to the gloss paint
  • Apply the gloss paint quickly and evenly across the surface
  • Leave the paint for at least an hour to dry.

You should know that paint dryers are catalysts. As such, the substance will begin to accelerate the drying of the oils in the gloss paint immediately after it is mixed with the paint. So you’ll need to apply the gloss as quickly as possible to prevent the paint from curing in the paint bucket.

So this method isn’t the best for beginners. Let’s check out another method that is suited to everyone regardless of painting experience.

Method 2: Use a Hairdryer

Use a Hairdryer

Another way to make gloss paint dry faster is to use a hairdryer. Hairdryers produce heat that dries your hair. This level of heat will accelerate the rate of evaporation in the gloss paint. Since the evaporation of oils is increased, the gloss paint will dry quicker.

Here is how to use a hairdryer to make gloss paint dry quicker.

1. Plug-in and Turn on The Hairdryer

Most hairdryers need electricity to work. However, the best hairdryer for this task is a battery-operated hair blower due to its improved mobility. You can cover areas better and quicker.

2. Set The Hairdryer To Medium Heat

Hairdryers can produce heat as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit but this level of heat might be too much for the gloss paint. Usually, gloss paint should be applied in temperatures below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. So to accelerate the drying of the paint, you can crank up the heat between 120 and 180 degrees. At this rate, the gloss paint will dry twice as fast.

3. Move The Hairdryer Around The Gloss Paint Coating

Ensure to keep the hairdryer moving. Don’t keep it focused on one spot as that can blister or fry the gloss paint on the spot. Also, keep the hairdryer about 3 inches from the gloss paint. If it’s too close, the gloss paint will dry too quickly and this will cause the paint to crack and lose its gloss or sheen. Keep this up for about 10-15 minutes.

You can also use a heat lamp, radiator, or heater for this task. It’s best to stay away from heat guns as heat guns can produce heat as high as 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. This level of heat will certainly fry the gloss paint.

4. Turn Off The Hairdryer

After 10 to 15 minutes, turn off the hairdryer and unplug it. It’s best not to dry gloss paint fully with a hairdryer as that will dry the gloss too soon and can cause the paint to blister off.

Method 3: Increasing Airflow

Increasing Airflow

Gloss paint dries based on evaporation but the paint will cure over the next few days based on oxidization. This is the process where the paint particles react with oxygen to become hard.

For gloss paint to cure, the process of oxidization must be completed. But you can speed up this process to make the gloss paint harden faster. How? By increasing air circulation around the gloss paint coating. So how do you do that? You can increase airflow by:

  • Turning on the fans in the room
  • Opening the air vents in the house
  • Turning on the blowers and fans in the air conditioner
  • Opening all the doors and windows around the gloss paint coating.

You should know that while gloss paint is still wet or fresh, the coating is a dust magnet. So if you increase airflow in a dusty environment, the gloss paint coating when dry will be riddled with dust nibs and grain. Here are a few other tips to make gloss paint dry faster:

Method 4: Apply Thin Coats

Apply Thin Coats

Gloss paint as explained earlier has a very thick flow. If the paint is applied in thin coats, then it will take a shorter time for the gloss to dry. Thicker coats will take longer due to a slow rate of oxidization and evaporation of paint oils.

1. Apply The Gloss Paint When The Weather Feels Warm

This helps you to take advantage of the warm weather as warmer temperatures will reduce the drying time of gloss paint.

2. Clean The Surface Before Applying Gloss

If you apply gloss on filth, it will remain tacky for several hours because the paint will remain wet inside or underneath. This is caused by debris and filth interfering with the paint’s curing process.

Since gloss is usually applied on paint, sanding the paint before gloss application will also help the gloss paint dry faster.

  • Apply gloss early in the day
  • Don’t apply too many coats of gloss paint
  • Don’t seal gloss.

How Long Does Gloss Paint Take To Dry Inside?

Gloss paint takes less than 2 hours to dry inside. You can re-coat gloss paint applied indoors in about 4 hours while it will take at least 24 hours for the gloss paint to cure inside.

Before you can use, clean, or wash the gloss finish, you should let it cure for a minimum of 2 days. The recommended cure time for indoor gloss is 7 days (or a week).

Most DIYers that deal with gloss paint feel that the paint will dry and cure faster outside than inside. This is not entirely true. Either gloss paint will dry faster inside or outside depends mainly on the weather temperature. For instance, during warm weather, you can expect gloss to dry faster outside than inside.

This is because the atmosphere will feel hotter outside than inside. Since gloss paint dries quicker in warmer temperatures due to the increased rate of evaporation, the gloss will dry slower indoors than outdoors.

However, during cold or moist weather, gloss paint will dry and cure faster inside. This is because the atmosphere will feel more moist or wet outside than inside. Also, you can use a dehumidifier inside to make the gloss paint dry faster while this can’t be done outside.

So in a nutshell, gloss paint takes about the same time to dry and cure inside or outside. But you can expect gloss to dry faster inside when the weather gets cold or when it’s raining.

How Long Does Quick Dry Gloss Take To Dry?

Quick-dry gloss takes less than 1 hour to dry to touch, about 90 minutes to re-coat, and 12 hours to dry enough for light use.

In 24 hours after application, quick-dry gloss paint can be subjected to regular use. The reason quick-dry gloss paint dries faster is that the paint is usually water-based. For instance, Dulux Trade fast dry gloss is a 2-part water-based gloss coating.

Due to the water-based nature of the quick-dry gloss paint, quick-dry gloss is rumored to not last very long.

Though water-based or quick-dry gloss paint dries faster, the paint is usually not as strong as oil-based gloss especially on building exterior or outdoor furniture. So it’s a case of sacrificing paint durability for a faster drying time.

Final Words

Overall, gloss paints take a while to dry due to the thick flow of the finish. Also, the oils in the paint make it dry slower since oil evaporates slowly from the paint coating.

However, gloss paints are very durable, strong, and easy to apply. On average, gloss paint can be used and even cleaned with mild solvents after a week (or 7 days).

So the slow-drying time of the gloss is worth it when you think of the strength and durability you get from the finish on your material.

Leave a Comment