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

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Reviewed by
Eral Kadrija

Tony Adams

High-gloss paint is a type of paint formulated with extra sheen and has a shiny, reflective, and mirror-like finish.

High-gloss paint takes between 12-24 hours to dry for a re-coat and 36-48 hours to cure (fully dry).

Quick-dry gloss paint takes less than 1 hour to dry to touch, 90 minutes to dry between coats, and 24 hours to cure.

How Long Does High-Gloss Paint Take To Dry Between Coats?

How Long Does Gloss Paint Take To Harden?

High-gloss paint takes between 12-24 hours to dry between coats if applied in the right conditions. The exact dry time depends on the room humidity and temperature levels, and the number and viscosity of coats.

High-gloss paint is formulated with extra sheen, resins, and oils which take longer to evaporate and increase the paint drying time.

If you re-coat too soon, the high-gloss paint finish will turn sticky or peel off as the new coating won’t adhere or dry over a wet existing coating.

How Long Does High-Gloss Paint Take to Cure?

High-gloss paint takes between 36-48 hours to cure (fully dry). High-gloss paint uses acrylic resins that contain linseed oils, alcohol, and binders that make the paint’s viscosity thicker and the curing time slower.

Once high-gloss paint cures it reaches its maximum glossiness, durability, adhesion, and strength.

How To Make High-Gloss Paint Dry Faster?

To make high-gloss paint dry faster, do the following things.

  1. Use a Paint Dryer.
  2. Increase the Solvent Evaporation Rate.
  3. Increase the Airflow.
  4. Apply thin Coats.

1. Use a Paint Dryer

Use a Gloss Paint Dryer

Paint dryers are paste-like substances made from metal carboxylates that are added to paint to accelerate the drying or curing time. They make the paint dry faster by speeding up the solvent evaporation rate.

To use a paint dryer, do the following things.

  1. Pour the paint into a container.
  2. Add the required paint dryer amount to the paint (based on the manufacturer’s instructions).
  3. Mix both.
  4. Apply the paint.

Paint dryers are catalysts and will immediately start to accelerate the solvent evaporation rate. So, apply paint as fast as possible after mixing it with the paint dryer to prevent it from drying in the container.

2. Increase the Solvent Evaporation Rate

Use a Hairdryer

High-gloss paints dry through solvent evaporation — the solvent (oil) must evaporate from the surface for the coating to dry. The paint will dry faster if you increase the solvent evaporation rate.

To increase the solvent evaporation rate, do the following things.

  1. Use a hairdryer at medium temperature.
  2. Move the hairdryer over the paint coating for 5 minutes.
  3. Pause for 30 minutes.
  4. Use the hairdryer over the paint coating for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn off the hairdryer.

You shouldn’t fully dry the paint with a hairdryer as it causes the paint particles to dry too fast, creating a weak paint finish that cracks from minimal contact. Use the hairdryer for 5 minutes (2 times) to speed up the solvent evaporation and leave the paint to dry naturally.

3. Increase the Airflow

Increasing Airflow

High-gloss paint cures through oxidation cross-linking, where oxygen reacts with the paint-drying oils. To accelerate the paint curing time, increase the room airflow.

To increase the room airflow, do the following.

  1. Turning on the fans in the room.
  2. Opening the air vents in the house.
  3. Turning on the blowers and fans in the air conditioner.
  4. Opening all the doors and windows near the coating.

Don’t increase the airflow before the paint dries as a wet coating will accumulate dust and dirt. The paint curing process starts after the drying process, so increase the airflow once the paint coating becomes hard (rigid).

4. Apply Thin Coats

Apply Thin Coats

Thin high-gloss paint coatings dry faster as there’s less solvent and additives to evaporate. On the other hand, thick paint coating dries faster as there are more solvents and additives on the surface, so the evaporation rate is slower.

Thin high-gloss paint with mineral spirits to make it dry faster.

How Long Does Quick-Dry Gloss Paint Take to Dry?

Quick-dry gloss paint takes less than 1 hour to dry to touch, around 90 minutes to dry enough for a re-coat, and 24 hours to cure.

Quick-dry gloss paint dries faster as it’s water-based and is formulated with extra drying agents. For instance, Dulux Trade fast dry gloss is a 2-part water-based coating.

However, quick-dry gloss paint doesn’t produce a durable or protective layer due to its water-based formula. The paint won’t last long if applied outdoors or exposed to constant water.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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