How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster (Pro Tips For Results)

If you’re wondering how to make spray paint dry faster, this guide can help you get all your answers. Spray paint comes in a convenient spray bottle that can be easily applied evenly to all kinds of different surfaces.  

Many people doing DIY projects choose it because it’s easy to use and doesn’t require as much work as getting paintbrushes.  

If you are in a crunch to finish a project, you might be wondering what can make spray paint dry faster. The first tip is to use only thin coats. Thick coats can take longer to dry, and they also make the paint have a tacky look and feel. Try using your entire hand and wrist to coat the surface evenly with a thin coat.  

You might also want to postpone your painting for a day with less humidity. Make sure the humidity outside is 40 to 70% for optimal drying times. Try turning on a fan in the room you are working in so that there is more ventilation.  

If you don’t have a fan, you can also run a fan near the surface you are working on. You can also try running a hairdryer lightly over the surface to make it dry quickly.  

If you want to paint outside, you can wait until there is a nice sunny day to complete your project. Using spray outdoors is also safer because of the fumes and toxins 

variety of paint spray bottles

How Long Does It Take For Spray Paint To Dry? (Popular Materials) 

Spray paint takes at least a few hours to dry completely. Some paints might even take 24 hours to dry, so you need to give yourself a few days to complete a project made with spray paint. Some materials will take longer to dry than others, though, so keep this in mind when you are choosing the surface you want to paint.  

Most wooden surfaces will take about an hour or two to dry. Metal is one of the fastest drying surfaces, and you can make have a fully dried coat of paint in as little as 10 minutes if it's sunny outside.  

Glass can be painted with spray paint, but you need to make sure you are allowing plenty of drying time between coats, or it will become watery and run. Paint on glass can take up to 24 hours to dry.  

Rubber takes much longer to dry than the other surfaces. Sometimes it will take 24 hours or longer.  

Factors That Affect Spray Paint Drying Time 


The temperature of the room you are painting in will affect the drying time. Spray paint dries quickly in 65 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Sun does not make spray paint dry faster, and it can actually damage the properties of the paint.

It can dry faster in colder temperatures, but using spray paint in too cold of temperatures can make the paint freeze 


Metal surfaces dry the fastest. Cardboard, though, can take several hours to dry because the paint will absorb into the surface.

Spray painting on glass can be difficult because the paint will run, but it doesn’t take too long to dry as the paint can dry in 15 to 30 minutes. Wood can take an hour or two to dry. Rubber also takes a long time to dry at 2 hours or more.  

Wind Speed 

The wind might make the paint dry faster, but it can damage your work. Try to only work in light wind conditions, or you might see that the paint runs much easier when there are heavy wind conditions. The wind can also decrease drying time by bringing down the outside temperature.  


If you're painting in high humidity it will take longer for the paint to dry. This is because the extra moisture in the air makes the water stay inside the paint. On the other hand, low humidity can help speed up the drying time since there is less water in the air.  

Paint Thickness  

Thick paint will always dry slower than thin paint. The extra pigment in the paint makes the drying time much longer. Thin paint can dry in as little as a few minutes since there is less pigment that needs to dry.  

Type of Spray Paint  

Water-based paint will also dry faster than oil-based paint. If you are looking for ways to speed up the paint drying time, you might want to choose water-based paint to make sure your project is completed when you need it.  

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster

Spray Paint Drying Stages (Dry Time Vs. Cure Time Explained) 

Spray paint goes through several different drying stages that are important to know about.  

Surface Dry  

This is when the solvent of the paint completely evaporates. It does not mean it's completely dry, though, and it will still be sticky if you touch it. You also don't want to apply a second coat yet in this stage.  

Touch Dry  

This is when the paint is dry to touch. You should be able to touch it without sticking it to your finger. It might still be hard to apply second coats at this time, though.  

Hard Dry  

At this stage, the spray paint’s top layer will be hard and will not come off or peel. You might still want to give it another day or so before sitting on it or using it if it’s a piece of furniture.  

Thorough Dry (Fully Cured) 

The entire surface will be dry at this time, and the object can be used. The paint will be completely cured when the solvents have left the film and go into the air. This is what makes the paint’s exterior tough.  

black and silver can

Making Spray Paint Dry Faster FAQs

How fast does Rustoleum spray paint dry? 

This paint will usually fully dry in 24 hours. It will dry tack-free in as little as 2 to 4 hours, though. You can always follow the drying tips above if you need it to be ready to use before a full 24 hours.  

What should you do when spray paint stays tacky? 

If your spray paint is staying tacky it means it has not thoroughly dried. One way to fix it is to sprinkle a light coating of dusting powder over the surface you painted.

Rub the powder with your hand gently. You can also use a primer before painting the surface to ensure it does not get as tacky.  

Is it faster to spray or roll paint? 

Paint rolling is always slower than spraying. Rolling does have some advantages of its own, though, such as allowing you to lay down a thicker coat. Rolling paint is also better for some surfaces, such as the walls of your home.  

What is the best fast-drying spray paint? 

One of the best brands known for fast-drying spray paint is Krylon 1602. It’s a type of enamel spray paint that you can get in a gloss or matte finish. It’s also best to use it on metal or wood surfaces.  

Can you dry spray paint with a heat gun? 

You can dry spray paint with a heat gun, but you need to make sure you are using it correctly. Don't set the temperature too high. Most heat guns always have a low setting, so you can make sure you keep it on this setting when using it.  


Spray paint is a great way to add your own touch to a DIY project. It’s easier to use and requires fewer materials than regular paint with brushes and tools.