Gloss Paint Dry Time (& Speed Up Tips)

To get a glossy finish, the gloss paint must dry. So, how long does gloss paint take to dry?

Gloss paint takes 1-2 hours to dry to touch. To re-coat, gloss paint must dry for at least 2 hours. However, you must wait 24 hours before the gloss paint is subjected to use, traffic, or weight.

To wash gloss paint, you must wait 48 hours. However, the gloss paint drying time depends on humidity, room temperature, and type of gloss. 

Gloss Paint Dry Time To Harden

How Long Does Gloss Paint Take To Harden?

It takes gloss paint 12-48 hours to harden if applied in the right conditions. However, the hardened (or cure) time of gloss paint depends on the type of gloss paint. 

For instance, semi-gloss paint takes less than 24 hours to harden, while high-gloss paint takes 48 hours to harden. This is because high-gloss paints have more resins and oils in their formula. As such, the extra resins and oils take longer to evaporate and dry.

The time it takes gloss paint to harden also depends on the material type, surface preparation, humidity, and temperature. You must apply gloss paint at a room temperature of 50-75 degrees F. 

However, it takes gloss paint longer to cure. That’s because of the binder in the paint. Gloss paint uses an acrylic resin that contains fluids like linseed oils, alcohol, and organic acid as its binder. The presence of these compounds makes the gloss paints have a thick consistency, and the thicker the consistency (flow), the longer it takes for gloss paint to dry. 

How To Dry Gloss Paint Faster?

There are several methods and tips to speed up gloss paint drying time. 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. You must mix gloss paint dryers with gloss paint before applying it. 

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’s how to use a gloss paint dryer to speed up gloss dry time:

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

Paint dryers are catalysts, so the paint dryer will start immediately to accelerate the drying of oils in the gloss paint. So, you must apply gloss paint as fast as possible to prevent the paint from curing in the paint bucket. This method isn’t the best for beginners. 

Method 2: Use a Hairdryer

Use a Hairdryer

Gloss paint dries through evaporation. Therefore, if you increase the evaporation rate, the gloss paint will dry faster. To increase the evaporation rate, use a hairdryer to increase the heat around the gloss paint coating.

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

1. Set The Hairdryer To Medium Heat 

You shouldn’t use the maximum temperature of the hairdryer around the paint coating. Hair dryers can produce heat as high as 300 degrees F, but this heat level might be too much for the gloss paint.

Usually, gloss paint is applied in temperatures below 90 degrees F. So, to accelerate the drying of the paint, use the hair dryer to blow air at a temperature of 120-180 degrees. At this rate, the gloss paint will dry twice as fast. 

2. Move The Hairdryer Around The Gloss Paint Coating 

You must move the hairdryer over the gloss paint coating all the time. Keeping the hair dryer focused on one spot can blister or fry the gloss paint.

Also, keep the hair dryer 3 inches away from the gloss paint coating. If the hair dryer is too close to the gloss paint, the paint will dry too fast and will crack and lose its sheen. 

3. Turn off The Hairdryer 

After 10-15 minutes, turn off the hair dryer. You shouldn’t fully dry the paint coating with a hair dryer. If you do, the paint will dry too fast, and the paint particles will harden artificially and not naturally. So, the bond between paint particles can easily break. 

So, instead of fully drying the paint. Use the hair dryer over gloss paint for 10-15 minutes, then let the gloss paint dry itself. 

As an alternative to a hairdryer, you can use a heat lamp, radiator, or heater to increase the temperature around the paint coating. 

Method 3: Increasing Airflow

Increasing Airflow

Gloss paint dries through evaporation, but the paint cures through oxidization. Oxidization 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, if you increase the air circulation around the gloss paint, the oxidization process completes faster, and the paint cures fast. You can increase airflow by:

  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 around the gloss paint coating.

However, 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.

Method 4: Apply Thin Coats

Apply Thin Coats

Gloss paint has a thick flow. The thicker the flow (or coating), the longer it takes paint to dry. Thicker coats will take longer due to a slow rate of oxidization and evaporation of paint oils. So, to make gloss paint dry faster, you must apply thinner gloss paint coats. 

Here are some other methods to decrease the dry time of gloss paint:

  1. Apply gloss paint at warm weather temperatures –  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.
  3. Sand Before Gloss – Since gloss is usually applied on paint, sanding the paint before gloss application will also help the gloss paint dry faster.
  4. Apply gloss early in the day.
  5. Don’t apply too many coats of gloss paint.
  6. Don’t seal gloss.

Indoor Gloss Dry Time

Gloss paint takes less than 2 hours to dry inside. For a re-coat, indoor gloss dries within 4 hours, and it takes gloss paint 1-7 days to cure inside. The gloss paint must dry for 2 days before using, cleaning, or washing the gloss finish. 

The difference between inside and outside dry time depends on the weather temperature. For instance, during warm weather, gloss paint dries faster outside than inside. This is because the temperature is higher outside than inside. The higher the temperature, the faster the paint dries.

However, gloss paint will dry and cure faster inside during cold or moist weather. This is because the atmosphere during moist weather is more most or wet outside than inside. Therefore, the evaporation rate is lower if the temperature is moist, and the paint takes longer to dry. Also, inside you can use a dehumidifier to decrease the humidity levels, but you can’t outside.

So, gloss paint takes about the same time to dry and cure inside or outside. But, gloss paint dries faster inside when the weather gets cold or it’s raining.

Quick-Dry Gloss Dry Time

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. You can use quick-dry gloss paint 24 hours after applying it. 

The reason quick-dry gloss paint dries faster is that the paint is water-based. For instance, Dulux Trade fast dry gloss is a 2-part water-based gloss coating.

However, due to the water-based nature of the quick-dry gloss paint, the paint doesn’t last 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

Gloss paint takes longer to dry due to its thick flow. Also, gloss paint has extra oils and resins in its formula that increase its drying time. 

However, gloss paints are durable, strong, and easy to apply. On average, gloss paint takes 1-2 hours to dry to touch,  2 hours to dry enough for a re-coat, and 24 hours before you can use it. 

However, 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.

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