The number of latex paint coats matters as it determine the quality, durability, and color shade of the finish.
You need to apply one or three (1-2) latex paint coats based on the surface type. For instance, you need one (1) latex paint coat for non-porous surfaces, such as glass, and two (2) for porous surfaces, such as wood.
To know if you need another latex paint coat inspect the finish coverage and the color shade.
Why Does The Number of Latex Paint Coats Matter?
The number of latex paint coats matters as it determine the quality, durability, color shade, and coverage of the finish.
The finish won’t be durable and will get washed off immediately if exposed to water if you don’t apply enough coats of latex paint.
Fewer latex paint coats will produce a lighter color shade as there are fewer paint pigments on the surface.
The finish will remain wet and sticky for several days if you apply too many coats of latex paint. Too many coats will increase the solvent amount on the coating and reduce the evaporation rate, leading to a longer dry time.
Too many latex paint coats will lead to a cracked finish as the paint won’t be able to penetrate the surface. If the wood pores are full, the remaining part will be over the top layer and dry. The dried paint on the top layer will have weak adhesion to the surface and will crack, peel off, or break with minimal contact.
How To Know If You Need Another Latex Paint Coat?
To know if you need another latex paint coat, inspect the finish coverage and color shade. For instance, you need another coat if the finish color shade is lighter than expected.
You need another coat if the finish has patches, unpainted spots, poor coverage, or is uneven. Paint finish patches, unpainted spots, and poor coverage will be fixed by applying more coats.
The surface type will also determine the number of coats. Apply 3 latex paint coats for high-traffic surfaces because they need better coverage and protection. Apply 2 latex paint coats for low-traffic surfaces as they don’t need much protection.
Apply fewer latex paint coats (1-2) for non-porous materials, such as metal, as paint can’t penetrate these materials and will peel off if you apply too many of it. For porous materials, such as fresh wood, apply more latex paint coats as the paint penetrates the material deep.
How Long Does Latex Paint Take to Dry Between Coats?
Latex paint takes around 3 hours to dry between coats. The exact dry time depends on the number of coats, humidity levels, room temperature, and surface type.
Latex paint takes longer to dry if there are more paint coats on the surface, the temperature is low, and the humidity levels are high.
The finish will turn sticky and might peel off if you re-coat too soon. That’s because the solvent of the existing coat will trap under the new coat and won’t evaporate. Since the solvent can’t evaporate, the finish will remain wet and sticky for several days.
You must wait until one latex paint coat dries before applying the next one — you can’t apply all the coats at the same time as it will ruin the finish.
How Many Latex Paint Coats for Different Surfaces?
The number of latex paint coats for different surfaces is listed below.
- Wood. You need two (2) latex paint coats on wooden surfaces. For decorative wood surfaces, you need one (1) latex paint coat. Ensure to seal the finish if the surface is exposed to high foot traffic or constant water.
- Furniture. You need two (2) latex paint coats on furniture. This will produce a vibrant finish and offer proper wood protection.
- Cabinets. You need two (2) latex paint coats on kitchen cabinets, but you must seal the finish with waterproof sealer so it doesn’t get removed by water.
- Tabletop. You need two (2) latex paint coats for tabletop surfaces. Seal the finish to protect it from scratches, pencil marks, and water spills. If you don’t seal the finish it will get dirty and you must clean it more often, which leads to paint getting washed off.
- Non-porous Surfaces. You need two (2) latex paint coats on non-porous surfaces without a primer, and one (1) latex paint coat on primed non-porous surfaces. Non-porous surfaces don’t allow penetration, so if you apply too many coats the finish will peel off.
How Many Coats For Different Types of Latex Paint?
The number of coats for different types of latex paint is listed below.
- Exterior Latex Paint. You need three (3) exterior latex paint coats. This paint is designed for outdoor surfaces and it needs enough coats to withstand weather elements.
- Enamel Latex. You need two (2) coats of enamel latex paint as it’s thicker than most paints.
- Behr Latex. You need two (2) coats of Behr Latex paint. However, Behr is a paint brand, so always read and follow its instructions to know how much paint you need.
- Sherwin Williams Latex. You need 1-2 (one or two) coats of Sherwin Williams Latex paint.
- Semi-Gloss Latex. You need two (2) coats of semi-gloss latex paint as it contains a higher volume of sheen. The high volume of sheen makes the finish thicker.