How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster? – Detailed Guide

Using spray paints can be fun unless you realize that they take ages to get dry. All the DIY lovers like using spray paints in their projects as they have a very nice and smooth finish. They can be used anywhere and are easy to work with as compared to others. However, spray paints take a lot of time to get dry which gets frustrating at times.

I’ve been thinking about the solution recently and I found a few methods on how to make spray paint dry faster. These spray paint drying methods do work and I assure you because they have been used by me and my sister recently in one of our DIY projects. All these methods are discussed down below so you can try and experiment to know what will work the best for you.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster?

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster
Featured Image: How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster

Spray paints are everyone’s favorite but they take a lot of time to dry. All of your excitement fades away when you have to wait for hours to complete your projects or use the piece of wood again after spraying it.

After searching the internet and experimenting for a few days, I found the tips that can help you make the spray dry faster. All the methods are discussed down below so you can learn and find the best one for yourself.

Methods to Dry Spray Paint Faster

Methods to Dry Spray Paint Faster

Cure and Dry Time

Before I jump to the drying methods, I would like to explain the difference between the cure and dry time of the spray paints. This is very important to know when you like using spray paints more often. People often make the mistake and think that the drying and curing time of spray paint is the same. This is untrue and the main reason that you end up scratching your objects is that they are dry but not 100 percent cured.

The drying time is mentioned on the spray bottle and will vary for each material. For instance, if you spray a piece of wood or glass, both of these will have different drying times. There are certain factors that affect the drying time and rate. The object/material feels dry when all the spray paint particles evaporate and this is known as the drying time.

Whereas the curing time is the one in which the liquid is completely transformed into the solid state and is 100 percent dry. This feels dry and the object or the material is not damaged if used for completing the project. Hence the curing and drying times are completely different from one another. If you want a smooth spray paint finish, wait until the paint is 100 percent cured before use.


The spray paints dry at a very slow rate but this also varies from object to object. Some factors also have an effect on the drying time of the paint so we should consider them as well. A few methods are mentioned below that can help you make the spray paint dry faster. Read and try to experiment with any of these to speed up the drying process.

Water vs Oil-Based Spray Paints

As you all might have an idea that the consistency of the oil-based spray paints is thicker than the water-based spray paints. If you want to finish your work on time and want the paint to dry faster, you should always opt for water-based paints. These dry up way more quickly than the oil-based spray paints and save a lot of your time. Some paints also have quick drying formulas so you can use those when short on time.

Apply Spray Paint In Layers

The first and the most important method that can help you make the spray dry faster is using thin layers of spray paint. You should always spray/coat the paint in a thin layer so they dry up fast. This also helps in getting a smooth and even finish on most materials. Spraying the thick layers on your object will result in an uneven finish and feels tacky too. You will have to wait for days to let the spray paint dry.

The best and the easiest method is to hold the object in your hand and rotate it with the other hand. This helps in spreading the paint evenly on the entire surface and gives a smooth and clean finish. Wait for a couple of hours and then spray the second layer on the base coat. Two layers of any spray paint would be enough to cover and conceal the object but it depends on the texture too.

Use Wax-Based Furniture Polish

Wax-based furniture polish can be your savior when you cannot wait for the spray paint to dry. This can be hard to find but might be available in the stores that sell home cleaning products. You have to spray a thin layer of paint and then apply wax-based polish on top of it. You will be shocked to see the results as it seals the spray paint underneath and dries within a few minutes.

Re-apply the wax-based polish after the first layer dries up and wait for it to get dry too. When the polish gets dry, take a clean cloth and rub it all over the object/material so the excess can be wiped off. Please be careful and do not apply thick layers of wax-based polish, it can add to the texture of the material and might make the original color look different too.

Use Spray Paint In Outdoors

You can take advantage of a bright sunny day and work outside with spray paints. These can dry quickly when the temperature is high. Using spray paints outside will decrease the drying time. You can take the object you want to paint and place it in the sun. Apply thin coats of the paint evenly and let it dry in the bright sunlight. Check the paint and re-apply to get a bright color. Hence the bright sun can help you finish the project real quick.

Decrease The Humidity

The humidity level can also have an impact on the drying time of the spray paint. Both low and high humidity levels are not good if you want to make the spray paint dry faster. The experts recommend using spray paint when the humidity level is between 40% to 75% outside. This is the ideal range if you want the paint to dry up quickly to speed up the process. It means that you should finish most of your tasks that need spray painting in the summers or use a humidifier.

Allow Air Circulation

Spray paints can be dangerous to use so you should always use them in open areas. Avoid using them in a closed space or room where there is no airflow or circulation. It is recommended to use spray paints outdoors but you can use them in a room having windows or a fan.

The amount of air coming in will help you breathe and also speeds up the process of drying. You can leave the objects that are spray painted in a room with windows and a fan. This allows the air to circulate in the room so the paint will dry faster as compared to when left without a fan.

Use A Heater

As mentioned above, air circulation plays an important role in the drying and curing time of the spray paint. You can use a heater to create airflow near the material/objects that you spray paint. It can be set to a higher temperature so it throws hot air on the spray paint to make it dry faster. Similarly, you can also use the new air conditioners that have a heating system too. They will throw hot air and as a result, the spray paint will dry quicker than expected.

Use An Oven

Now, this was something I never thought would help in making the spray paint dry quicker. If you paint a small object that can fit into an oven, you can make it dry quickly. Set the oven at high temperatures to get the results. Using an oven does not only help in drying the sprayed object but it will also help in curing it.

This technique makes sure you do not damage the object just because it feels dry. Please take care of the temperature and time when you place something in an oven. Both of these will vary according to the object placed in the oven as the drying time is different for glass and wooden pieces.

Drying Spray Paint On Different Materials

You can use spray paints on a variety of materials and each one of them will have a different finish and drying time. Let me discuss the five commonly used materials in the DIY projects that are spray painted.

Spray Paint On Different Materials

1. Glass

The glass is smooth and has a non-porous surface so it will take less drying time but is difficult to manage. It is very crucial to spray paint a glass surface evenly as the paint drips and runs on the glass. The only method to use spray paint on glass is to apply thin coats/layers of the paint. You can re-apply after the first coat dries up but do not make haste in the process.

2. Rubber

Anything made of rubber has a porous surface so it will take a lot more time to dry when compared with a glass surface. You can spray a thin layer of paint and let it dry for at least a day before applying the second layer on rubber. Observe the timing and manage the process according to your observations. Keep one thing in mind, the more coats you apply, the longer it will take to complete your task.

3. Metal

Metal is the easiest to deal with when dealing with spray paints. As it is a non-porous surface, you can apply one or two layers at the most and let it dry for a few minutes only. You can use a hairdryer or a heater to speed up the drying process on the metal. The finish is smooth and the paint spreads evenly onto the entire surface.

4. Cardboard

Cardboard is porous but smooth so it will take less time to dry as compared with wood. You can apply water-based spray paints in thin coats and wait for them to dry out completely. The maximum time a cardboard sheet will take to dry up is between two to four hours only. You can speed up the process by using a small hand fan or placing it near the heater.

5. Wood

Wood is the most difficult material to deal with when it comes to using spray paints. It is porous and you have to apply multiple layers of paint to get that smooth and even end result.

To speed up the drying process in between layering, you can place the wooden piece in the oven or in direct sunlight. This will help the paint dry up faster so you can apply another layer. Hence it will consume a lot of your spray paint but anything for the love of DIYs.

FAQs about Spray Paint Drying

How can you speed up spray paint drying?

A list of methods is included in the article that can be used to make the spray paint dry faster. You can also purchase quick dry or water-based spray paints as they have a thin consistency.

How long does it take to dry spray paint?

The drying time is different and depends upon the material you are using for spray painting. A glass object might take a few minutes whereas a wooden piece takes a day or two to dry up.

Can I use a hairdryer to dry paint?

Yes, you can use a hairdryer to dry spray paint as it blows dry air onto the surface which helps in converting the liquid into a solid form.

Concluding Spray Paint Drying Methods

A detailed article with methods on how to make spray paint dry faster is discussed above. You can use any of these to make your spray-painted objects dry faster. The drying and curing time is different for different materials having porous and non-porous surfaces. I hope this article does some good by helping you make your paints dry faster than usual.

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