How Long Does Rustoleum Take To Dry? (+ Speeding Up Tips)

You’ve decided to use a Rustoleum paint product, and you're eager to get started. But planning is just as important as any product, especially for a paint that fights corrosion from rust.  

Luckily, I have plenty of experience with Rustoleum. Let’s find out the answer to the question: how long does Rustoleum take to dry?  

Rust-Oleum was originally designed by a Scottish sea captain who noticed that oil stops the spread of rust on metal. He began a line of primer that is rust-resistant, which today has spread out into many types of paint and coatings. 

Corrosion-resistant paint has many industrial uses, but it’s also useful in the home. They’re perfect in garages, especially if you have a workstation, and can help keep kitchens and bathrooms mold-free. They also can help keep garden furniture safe, even in the rain.

How long does it take Rustoleum to dry? The exact time it takes for your Rustoleum paint to dry may depend on the specific formula you choose. Fortunately, the surface you choose to paint (such as wood, metal, or even concrete) won’t impact the drying time much.  

However, the humidity level will. Moist climates will take longer to dry than arid environments. Additionally, the colder the weather, the longer the dry time. 

Rustoleum Enamel Paint 

Oil-based Rustoleum Enamel Paint helps protect against corrosion and rust on various materials indoors and outdoors, including wood, metal, concrete, and masonry.  

How long does Rustoleum Enamel take to dry?

Enamel paint will usually be dry and tack-free within two to four hours, ready to touch within five to nine hours, and completely dry after 24 hours.

You can put on a second coat after 1-48 hours. 

Rustoleum Enamel Paint

Rustoleum Epoxy Paint 

Rustoleum Epoxy Paint is an excellent choice to add shine and as a sealant. It is available for various specific uses, such as appliances or floors. This paint works on metals, masonry, and cement.  

How long does Rustoleum Epoxy take to dry? Appliance epoxy paint will dry enough to touch in two to four hours, enough to handle in five to nine hours, and will be fully dry in 24 hours. 

If you're using epoxy paint for floors, it should be dry enough for light foot traffic in 12-16 hours, be ready for normal foot traffic and placing heavy objects in 24-48 hours, and be fully cured for vehicle traffic in three days.  

Rustoleum Clear Coat Paint 

Rustoleum Clear Coat is a clear topcoat that provides additional protection from rust, corrosion, and chipping. You can use it as a protective surface coating with or without paint underneath.

The universal version works on any surface, while most others are rated for wood, metal, plastic, masonry, and unglazed ceramics. 

How long does Rustoleum Clear Coat take to dry? It will usually be dry to the touch in 20 minutes and fully dry in 24 hours. You may add a second coat at any time unless it’s a new finish, in which case you should wait 30 minutes to 48 hours for the second coat.  

If you have a problem with Rustoleum clear coat not drying, it’s usually because you’re painting a plastic surface, which requires 5-7 days for full adhesion and durability.  

Rustoleum Primer Paint 

Rustoleum Primer Paint helps prepare surfaces for painting while providing rust and corrosion protection. You can use it on metal, wood, and other surfaces.  

How long does it take for Rustoleum primer to dry? Primer takes 15-30 minutes to dry to the touch, one to two hours to dry enough to handle, and is fully dry within 48 hours. You can add a second coat any time after 1-48 hours.  

Rustoleum Latex Paint 

Rustoleum Latex Paint is a long-lasting, highly-durable indoor/outdoor paint that goes on smoothly and provides excellent coverage. It’s versatile enough to work on numerous surfaces, including wood, metal, brick, and cement. 

The Rustoleum latex paint dry time makes it dry to the touch within one hour and fully dry in two to four hours, which is when it’s ready for its second coat.  

Rustoleum 2x 

If you’re looking for spray paint that provides twice the coverage as a coat of regular spray paint, you’ll want to try Rustoleum 2x. It’s ideal for various surfaces, including wood, wicker, metal, and plastic. 

How long does Rustoleum 2x take to dry? Expect it to dry to the touch in 20 minutes and be ready to handle in one hour. The Rustoleum 2x spray paint cure time to be completely dry is 24 hours. You can add a second coat in 1-48 hours.  

Rustoleum Spray Paint 

Rustoleum Spray Paint has various formulations to cover a variety of indoor or outdoor surface materials, including wood, wicker, galvanized metal, concrete, masonry, and plastic. 

How long does Rustoleum spray paint take to dry? Rustoleum spray paint dry time will depend on your specific spray paint. But, how long does it take Rustoleum spray paint to dry in general?

Most are dry to the touch in 30 minutes, ready to handle in one hour, and completely dry in 24 hours. You can add a second coat in 1-48 hours.  

Rustoleum High Performance 

Rustoleum High-Performance paint provides higher coverage and cover-up level than traditional paint. You can use it for superior coverage on metal, wood, concrete, and masonry. 

Expect it to be dry to the touch within two to four hours, ready to handle in five to nine hours, and completely dry in 24 hours. 


How Long Should You Wait Between Coats Of Rustoleum?  

Your painting project will look better if you understand how long to wait and what to do between coats of Rustoleum. 

  • Number of Coats 
    It’s usually best to add two coats of paint for most painting projects. Two coats ensure that you have seamless, full coverage on all surfaces. 
  • However, some Rustoleum paint types for which two coats are optional, including some floor paints. And you can add up to three light coats of Rustoleum 2x. 
  • Waiting for Paint to Dry 
    It’s always best to wait for the paint to dry before adding a second coat. When you add a second coat on top of a wet coat of paint, the moisture can cause surface issues like peeling, flakes, and streaks. 
  • Time Between Coats 
    The number of hours between coats depends on the paint type and how quickly it dries, so read the directions. Most allow you to add a second coat within 1-48 hours. However, you will want to wait two to four hours to add a second coat of latex paint.  
  • Sanding Between Coats 
    While it’s not necessary to sand between coats of Rustoleum, it will provide a better finish if you notice any grain raise on a wooden surface after the first coat. Wait until the first coat is completely dry and use 220 or 240 grit sandpaper or extra-fine steel wool to sand. 
Rustoleum White Paint

Factors That Affect The Drying Time of Rustoleum Paint 

Several factors tend to impact how long it takes Rustoleum paint to dry; however, temperature and humidity are the most important to consider.  

Temperature

The warmer the space’s temperature, the more quickly Rustoleum paint is likely to dry. As discussed earlier, it generally dries at its average rate when the temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Humidity

Try to avoid too much humidity if you want your Rustoleum to dry quickly. The best humidity level for painting won’t exceed 40 or 50 percent. You shouldn’t attempt painting with a Rustoleum product if you’re doing so in extremely humid (humidity exceeding 85 percent) environments.  


Tips To Speed Up The Dry Time Of Rustoleum Paints

Are you wondering how to make Rustoleum dry faster? Here are a couple of things you can do to make Rustoleum, as well as other paint types dry faster: 

1. Use an Electronic Heater

One method you can try is using an electronic heater in the space. Be careful, however. Follow all the instructions that came with your heater, and make sure you know all relevant fire risks.  

2. Use a Dehumidifier

You’ll remember we learned that overly humid air makes it difficult for Rustoleum to dry. A dehumidifier will help remove moisture from the air.  

Depending on the weather outdoors, you could also use an open window for faster drying times. Of course, there should always be some kind of ventilation in any space where you apply paint. Keep this and the weather in mind when planning your painting.  

Dehumidifier

Common Rustoleum Paint Drying Questions 

Do I need to add a hardener to rustoleum paint?

If you’re using enamel Rustoleum paint, harden the paint in the form of RockSolid Wet Look Lacquer High Gloss. RockSolid is a Rustoleum-made brand.  

 

Do you have some leftover latex-based Rustoleum paint that you want to throw out in the garbage? You’ll have to harden it first with Krud Kutter hardener.

  1. 1
    Add the Krud Kutter crystals.
  2. 2
    Stir with a thick stir stick. 
  3. 3
    Throw out the paint in the garbage. 

How long does rustoleum need to dry before there is rain?  

How long before Rustoleum can get wet? Check the instructions on your specific Rustoleum paint product. In general, the Rustoleum cure time is 24 hours, which is how long you should wait before any water gets on it.  


Does rustoleum hold up in the sun?  

By itself, Rustoleum paint isn’t recommended for surfaces that will be exposed to the sun (such as a car). However, you can add a top coat of Rustoleum Rock Guard - UV Resistant. This is a clear spray that will add UV resistance.  


Conclusion

How long does it take for Rustoleum to dry? Rustoleum dry time depends on the specific paint you’re using. They can range from hours to days. To be safe, set aside 24 hours for your Rustoleum paint to completely dry. Certain types of paint from this brand may take longer.