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Speeding up the Drying Process of Paint

Updated May 3, 2023 | Posted Dec 1, 2020 | Miscellaneous, Professional insight | 0 comments

Ooh!! A blog about drying paint, how exciting!!! However, if you’re decorating and having trouble with paint not drying fast enough, then this is going to be very useful. So, skip to the section you need and soak up the information I provide.


Heat and ventilation for Drying Emulsion.


Ventilation is something which is vital for the drying process of any paint. In the case of emulsion, evaporation of water takes place, causing the paint to dry. No ventilation means condensation may occur on your walls or ceiling and will completely stop paint from drying. You need to avoid humid conditions wherever possible. Funnily enough, a heater in one corner of a room may increase the amount of condensation in another.

Fan heaters are better than radiators or oil heaters because they move the air around as well as heating the room. Fans are great too. They don’t produce any heat, but they do the important thing which is to keep the air flowing. Opening a window will also help, again, it just gives the water vapor somewhere to escape. Better still, open windows on both sides of a room. This will ensure airflow through the whole room which removes water vapor even faster.


Ventilation for Oil-Based Paint and Varnish


Same sort of thing for oil-based paints. This time, it’s a different vapor which leaves the paint. If you use a large quantity of oil-based paint or varnish in a small room with no airflow, that vapor won’t escape, and your paint simply won’t dry. All you need to do is open a window, maybe pop a fan in the room, then let it dry naturally.


Water-Based Satinwood, Gloss and Eggshell


Water-based trim paint (gloss, satinwood or eggshell), like emulsion, dries as the water in the paint evaporates. However, there is also a curing process for the paint, which carries on after it is touch dry. While the paint is curing, it is also setting and tightening. You should never rush to apply a second coat of water-based trim paint. If the instructions say, “recoat in 5 hours”, wait at least 5 hours. Otherwise you can cause issues due to surface tension. All you can do is heat the room and make sure it has good ventilation if you want to speed up the drying process.


Liquid Dryers


Liquid dryers are a little cheat you can use when applying oil-based paints in adverse weather conditions. All you need to do is add a few drops to your paint before you apply it and mix well. Don’t mess around with your paint too much, just a few drops will be fine. If you add too much, your paint may actually take even longer to dry. Too much can also “dull” gloss paint. Click here to see current prices.


Final Thoughts


Speeding up the drying process of paint isn’t rocket science. No matter the product, the most important things are airflow and ventilation. I work with another decorator who carries industrial fans in his van, which are far more effective at drying paint than any heater.

If you have ventilation covered, try turning the heating on, or throwing a fan heater in the room. Warmer temperatures do help.

Speeding up the Drying Process of Paint – by Mike Gregory

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Updated May 3, 2023 | Posted Dec 1, 2020 | 0 comments

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