Satin Paint Dry Time (& Speed Up Tips)

| Updated on
Reviewed by
Eral Kadrija

Tony Adams

Satin contains a low amount of sheen in its formula and offers a semi-gloss finish. So, how long does satin take to dry?

Satin needs 90 minutes to dry to touch, 2 hours for a re-coat, and 24 hours to fully dry (cure). Because of its low amount of sheen, this paint sheen doesn’t take much to dry. Its dry time is determined by room temperature, humidity, and coat thickness.

However, oil-based satin takes longer to dry than water-based types because of the higher level of oils in the formula.

Between Coats

How Long Does It Take Satin Paint To Dry Between Coats?

It takes satin paint 2 hours to dry enough for a re-coat. After 2 hours, the coating will be strong and durable enough to support another coating.

Satin dries through solvent evaporation (water or oil). Once the solvent evaporates, the coating is no longer wet (it has no solvent) and becomes strong and compact enough to support a new coating.

The solvent’s time to evaporate depends on the type (water or oil) and humidity levels. For instance, water-based paints dry faster because they use water as their solvent. In comparison, oil-based paints take longer to dry before oils evaporate slower. Also, during humid conditions, the evaporation rate is slow, and paint takes longer to dry.

If you re-coat too soon, the satin finish will turn sticky. That’s because the new coating will prevent the existing coating from drying, and the finish will turn wet, sticky, and tacky. So, it’s important to wait until the coating is fully dry before re-coating.

To know if the satin paint is dry enough for a re-coat, use fine-grit sandpaper over the coating. If the sandpaper moves freely, the coating is dry enough. The coating isn’t dry enough for a re-coat if the sandpaper gets clogged by the wet paint.

You can also feel the texture of satin paint; if the texture feels dry and glossy, the coating is dry. However, if the texture of the coating feels wet, the coating isn’t dry yet.

Satin Paint Cure Time

How Long Does It Take Satin Paint To Cure?

It takes satin paint (or sheen) 24 hours to dry fully (cure). A paint cures once the solvent evaporates and the particles oxidize (harden and compact). Once satin paint cures, its finish becomes water-resistant and will have a semi-gloss appearance.

Oxidization is a process where the resins in the satin paint particles react chemically with oxygen in the atmosphere and become solidified. This process can take up to 24 hours and, in some cases, less than that. The time it takes depends on the airflow around the coating.

Before sealing it, you must wait until satin paint cures (24 hours). This is because once you seal a paint, the solvent or oils can’t evaporate anymore. So, the paint coating must fully dry and become hard and rigid enough to support a topcoat.

However, before sealing a satin paint, you must sand the finish. That’s because satin paint has a semi-gloss finish that repels liquid. So, you must sand the glossy layer to help the sealant stick better.

How To Make Satin Paint Dry Faster?

1. Using Paint Dryer

Using Paint Dryer

You can speed up the satin paint drying time using a paint dryer agent. A paint dryer is a powdered substance you add to the paint before applying it. The powder is a drying agent from iron and copper irons. These irons help the paint dry faster by accelerating the evaporation rate and hardening the paint’s resins.

You must use only one type of paint dryer for paint and add it 5 minutes before applying the paint.

Here is a guide:

  1. Pour satin paint into a clean bucket.
  2. Add the paint-drying powder to the bucket.
  3. Stir the mixture for 5 minutes.
  4. Use the paint.

Paint dryers speed up paint drying time by over 50%.

2. Using A Hairdryer

Using A Hairdryer

Since paint dries through evaporation, increasing the evaporation process will speed up the drying time of the paint. To increase the evaporation rate, use a hairdryer. Hairdryers produce heat that helps the solvent to evaporate faster. So, if you expose the paint coating to a hairdryer, the paint will dry faster.

Here is a guide:

  1. Plug in and turn on the hairdryer.
  2. Point the nozzle of the hairdryer toward the paint coating.
  3. Move the hairdryer around the paint coating for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the hairdryer and allow the paint to dry.

You shouldn’t dry the paint completely using a hairdryer. That’s because the paint would dry too fast and the particles won’t have enough time to harden naturally. This means the paint particles’ bond will weaken, and the finish will start to crack.

3. Thin The Satin Paint

Thin The Satin Paint

You can make satin paint dry faster by thinning it before applying it. A thinner coat of paint will evaporate and dry faster. To thin water-based satin, use water. To thin oil-based satin, use mineral spirits. You can use a ratio of 4:1 or 3:1 (3 parts paint, 1 part paint thinner) for the best results.

Here is a guide:

  1. Pour satin paint into a clean paint bucket.
  2. Add the required paint thinner over the paint.
  3. Stir the mixture with a paint mixer or turning stick.
  4. Test the mixture before applying it.

Indoor vs Outdoor Dry Time


Under normal drying conditions, it takes satin paint about 2 hours to dry enough for a re-coat indoors. Paint dries slower indoors because it isn’t exposed to proper airflow.

However, you can alter the drying conditions inside. For instance, if it’s raining outdoors, you can use a dehumidifier to decrease the humidity and help paint dry faster.


During hot and non-rainy days, it takes satin paint 1 hour to dry outdoors. This is because the coating is exposed to proper airflow and heat. The increased airflow increases the evaporation and oxidization rate, and the paint dries faster. So, during non-rainy days, satin paint dries faster outdoors than indoors.

However, during cold (moist) or rainy days, satin can take up to 3-4 hours to dry. That’s because the high humidity levels and rain will prevent the paint’s solvent from evaporating.

Troubleshooting Tips For Non-drying Coats

Troubleshooting tips on why the paint isn’t drying:

  1. Re-coated Too Soon – If you apply another coat before the existing coat dries, the finish won’t dry and will turn sticky. This is because the solvent will be trapped between the coats of paint and unable to evaporate. This causes the finish to remain wet for longer.
  2. Wet Surface – If you apply satin paint over a wet surface, the paint won’t dry because the moisture will bleed-through the coating, making it wet.
  3. High Humidity – If the humidity levels are high, the paint will take longer to dry and turn sticky for a few hours. You must apply paint when the humidity levels are low and the temperature is between 50-90 degrees (F).
  4. No Sanding – Satin paint has a semi-gloss finish that repels liquid, including paint. So, if you apply another coat over the existing coat without sanding, the new coat won’t bond properly. To increase the bonding between coats, you must sand the existing coat with fine-grit sandpaper.

Final Words

Satin paint takes 2 hours to dry enough for a re-coat and 24 hours to dry fully (cure). However, the satin paint drying time depends on the type of paint (water or oil-based), humidity levels, and coat thickness.

To speed up the drying time of satin paint, use a paint drying agent (before applying it), a hairdryer (to increase the evaporation rate), or thin the paint before applying it. Optionally, you can use a dehumidifier to decrease the humidity levels.

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.

Leave a Comment