Sherwin Williams Paint Drying Times (+ Tips To Speed It Up)

You’re ready to tackle that painting project, you’ve watched the professionals do it, and it looks easy. But one answer remains a secret.  

How do you calculate Sherwin Williams wet paint drying time into the project equation?

We’ve tested their paints drying time and answered your questions.  

On average, Sherwin Williams paint takes about 4-hour dry time. 

You need to consider freshly painted walls paint drying time in your project completion time. Here is a quick overview so you can estimate the time factor. 

It produces professional-grade paint film; they’ve already done the research.

Other key questions we cover below include.

  • How long is Sherwin Williams exterior paint drying time before rain?  
  • What is Sherwin Williams Emerald's completely dry time between first coat, second coat and third coat?

If you sherwin williams paints a second coat too soon without giving the first coat adequate time to dry paint, you'll experience streaks and an uneven finish from the paint pulling up.

Sherwin Williams Emerald Trim Urethane 

Emerald Trim Urethane is versatile, hard-wearing urethane paint and ideal for cabinets, doors, trim, casings, and furniture projects. Emerald Trim Urethane paint has less paint drag and is a yellowing-resistant enamel product (tintable). 

Speaking from experience, use a quality brush  without adding brush strokes or paint rollers and always prepare the painted surface 

Emerald covers primed surfaces quickly using fewer coats than other paint. This water based paint product dries in 2-hours to the touch.  

However, allow the enamel to dry for three to four hours to cure sufficiently. 

This super-fast drying time cuts the work project's completion time in half. However, always follow the product guidelines and prep allowances for optimum results. 

 For example, high humidity environments will influence drying time. 

A bonus feature is that the water based paint product produces fewer offensive odors—ideal for exterior and interior paint trim or interior walls. 

Exterior Paint 

The paint is not a one-kind-fits-all solution. 

Sherwin Williams understands the exterior painting complexities of the environment, material, finish, and durability.

Therefore, they’ve engineered most of their paint products to adapt to rain and will handle moisture after a 4-hour dry time.  

Sherwin Williams Exterior Paint

When used with suitable primer, any Sherwin Williams paint product can be used on many surfaces like wood, metal, siding, or you can use their Loxon paints for concrete and masonry. 

Although this paint is versatile, it's important to note that exterior paint shouldn't be used inside

Sherwin Williams Offers Several Exterior Paints: 

  1. 1
    SuperPaint is an affordable acrylic paint that protects the exterior against the elements, is fade-resistant, and has built-in adhesion technology, dirt, and mildew-resistant features.

    Follow label instructions given on paint cans. Allow SuperPaint exterior dry time of at least 4-hours in a minimum ambient air temperature of 35F.
  2. 2
    Emerald Paint is a multi-purpose paint & primer acrylic product. The primer and as much paint combo reduce application time, and Emerald Exterior's formulation includes paint peeling and fade resistant technology and dirt and mildew protection in the moderate price category.

    For Emerald dry time between first coat and second coat, allow yourself a minimum of 4-hours for drying. High dew points and surface temperature below 35F are not ideal for exterior paint projects.
  3. 3
    Resilience paint utilizes improved resistance technology for dirt and mildew, includes moisture-guard ™, and is ideal for multi-surface applications, including vinyl.

    This product includes tested warp-tech and dries quickly in 4-hours. Follow label directions for best performance results.

    Moisture-guard ™ allows for more versatility in painting options (early morning/ evening).
  4. 4
    Duration paint is another self-priming, mildew-resistant paint product. Duration paint covers exterior walls quickly with one coat (prepainted) and second coat of paint on raw surfaces and is formulated with Permalast ® technology.

    Fade and wrap resistant, its duration dry time first coat and second coat of paint is 4-hours.

    Applicable at 35F.
  5. 5
    Its Weathershield exterior satin white (tintable) and Rain-Ready™ paint is a versatile multi-surface paint product with dirt and stain guard and prevents runs and staining.

    Its Weathershield dry time is about an hour.

Primer & Oil Based Primer 

Sherwin Williams Primer & Oil Based Primer

Primers are the foundation of a quality existing paint job or painted previously surfaces.

Skipping over this critical step doesn’t save money. In most cases, priming helps the painter.  

Oil based primers typically take longer to dry and should allow a minimum of 4-hours to set.

Sherwin Williams primer dry times depend on the formulation.

Fast dry primers can dry in an hour, while oil based primer products take up to 4-hours. 

Sherwin Williams primer collection comes in many formulations and performs specific duties. Different formulations work with latex, bond, shellac, oil, acrylic, drywall, etc.  

Always read and follow label directions and consider surface application requirements for best results. 

Deck and Dock 

Sherwin Williams Deck And Dock

Anyone investing time and cost in refinishing their deck or dock needs to make the necessary preparations to keep traffic off the treated surface.

Deck and dock coating products require 24-48 hours of dry time before walking and moving furniture. 

For second coat of paint applications for decks and docks, use a standard Deck stain and allow a dry time of 4-hours. 

It SuperDeck protects, resurfaces, and repels water. 

It works on wood and concrete surfaces. Surfaces with old exterior paint or stained deck easily take to SuperDeck with a roller. 

Resurfacing decks and docks are closely related to weather conditions. Check the forecast for ideal prep and paint times. Excess moisture from rain and high humidity will impact drying time. 

Sherwin Williams Ceiling Paint 

The ceiling paint dry time depends on whether you’re using alkyd or latex. 

Sherwin Williams Eminence High-Performance ceiling paint is a self-priming one-coat of paint that dries quickly to the touch in an hour. (Product is currently not available.)  

Using a commercial alkyd product, like ProMar, a budget-friendly product, allows for drying overnight. (Requires solvent for cleaning).  Then apply second coat with less paint.

Sherwin Williams Ceiling Paint

How Long To Let Sherwin Williams Dry Between Coats 

It produces professional-grade paint. Use a primer and follow manufacturer label directions as a rule of thumb. Also see our guide on drying time between coats of other paints.


  • Prepare surfaces for smoother finish 
  • Promote paint adhesion to unknown surface materials 
  • Prevent delayed paint mutilation like crackling, peeling paint, scratching 
  • Masks stains and odors 
  • Produce absolutely fine color accuracy 


  • Darker colors require more coats & longer dry time 
  • Depending on the paint finish, it may show imperfections or hide imperfections 
  • Application result depends on roller & application method 


  • Use second coat or more than two coats of paint (product label) 
  • Overpainting dark with light (vise versa) requires more paint 
  • Application method (roll, brush without brush strokes, spray) affects paint amount  

Wait Time & Why It’s Important: Drying vs. Curing 

  • Water based paint may take 4-hours before reapplication 
  • Oil based paint may take 24-48 hours before reapply paint
  • Not adhering to proper guidelines may negate color & finish performance 
  • Oil based paints may crackle, run, blister, ruin paint effect, prevent adhesion 
  • Dry to the touch is not the same as dry enough to repaint  
  • Curing time, typically takes 21 days for latex; 30 days for oil based paint coats

Additional Tips:

  • Prep surface by sanding, washing, taping, draping with protective material 
  • Mix paint thoroughly  
  • Spraying may be faster for professionals but loses about 33%  
  • Always read label directions, consult their water based paint or oil based paint experts 
Sherwin Williams Interior Acrylic Latex Paint

How To Make This Paint Dry Faster? (Speeding Up Tips) 

No one wants to sit around and watch paint dry. You can speed up the paint drying process by ventilating the area, opening windows and doors, and using fans to circulate the air. 

Other great tips from professionals are to apply the paint thinly and evenly on properly dried surfaces. SW manufactures paint with a moisture guard to help the drying and curing process.  

Tried Methods That Make This Paint Dry Faster: 

  • Use a dehumidifier and avoid painting on high-humidity days 
  • Turn on the heat 
  • Paint one wall, one layer at a time 
  • Use the proper paint for the proper material 
  • If you're desperate, use a hairdryer but use caution (may cause blistering) 
Using Latex Paint on Window Frame

Frequently Asked Sherwin Williams Drying Time Questions 

Since oil based paint takes longer to dry, is it better than water based paint? 

Oil based paint adheres well to surfaces, but may crackle and fade over time. Latex paint is ideal for quicker dry time, lasting color, flexibility, and durability. At Sherwin Williams, both latex and oil based paints are manufactured with the latest technology and components.

Which Sherwin-Williams paint is 1-coat? 

Sherwin Williams recommends two coats for their product line-up and following suggested guidelines on the label for best surface results and their lifetime limited warranty. 

Do I need a primer? 

Always use a primer unless you’re using a self-priming Sherwin Williams products like Emerald Exterior, Duration Exterior, or Eminence High-Performance Ceiling paint. 

What is the difference between Sherwin Williams Emerald and Duration? 

The difference between Sherwin Williams Emerald and Durationis that the Duration paint repels stains with a soft finish, while Emerald paint is best-in-class overall for coverage and performance. Both are professional-grade paints with cleanable flats and less chalking and scuffing. 


Sherwin Williams produces quality water based paint and oil based paints that pass the test of time. In operation since 1884, they continue to evolve with technology and understand the paint industry. 

For paint drying performance, adhesion and effect, allow a standard 4-hour window as per manufacturer guidelines for water based paints. It’s our go-to oil and water based paints brand for a repeat performance.