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How Long Should Paint Dry Before Putting Furniture Back?

Do you know how long should paint dry before putting the furniture back? Many people are asking this question. If you’re one of those, you’re on the right page. It can be exciting to give your walls or furniture fresh paint, but the waiting time for the paint to dry seems like torture.

It can be boring and tricky to wait, but it’s all worth it in the long run. The drying time depends on many factors. Thus, before starting your painting job, know first when should be the right time to put back the furniture after painting.

Completing the painting process is possible overnight. But know the waiting time for the paint to dry up completely before moving back the furniture inside.

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Types of Paint

One factor that affects the drying time is the type of paint you will use for the painting job. Water-based, oil-based, and latex are the three basic types.

Thinner paints or the water-based dry faster through better airflow. It means that thicker paint would take longer times for the application and drying process. If you will use matte paint, expect it will dry faster than glossy paint.

Time Frame for Paint Drying

According to a professional interior designer, paint drying has three-time frames, including:

  • First coat

The application and thickness of the paint affect the drying duration. Using a paint roller would cause a thinner coat that is ideal for semi-to-smooth walls.

The initial drying time for the first coat would take a maximum of 90 minutes. If you will use a paintbrush, the drying time will take longer. It is because the brush application is thicker. The application that would take the least time is using a paint sprayer.

  • Second coat

Applying the second coat is ideal after about six hours or if you’re sure that the first coat is completely dry. If you use oil-based paint, you must wait 24 hours for the paint to dry up. Check the label of the paint for the instructions on applications.

  • Curing time

The curing time is when the paint hardens completely. It would take a longer time, such as a few weeks, for the paint to cure. You might be disappointed waiting for weeks before you can bring back things to their original positions.

To speed up the curing process, you can use heat lamps. But avoid overheating to prevent damaging the paint. Keep in mind that the curing time of oil-based paints is seven days and the latex paints is almost 30 days.

Humidity and Temperature

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Another factor that affects the drying of paint is the temperature. Each type has a required ambient temperature for fast drying of the paint. Acrylic and latex paints require higher than 10°C temperatures. More than 7C for oil-based paints, and 2°C for other paints.

The paint thickens if the temperature is lower. It takes longer for the paint to oxidize and the solvent to evaporate.

Heavy coating and slow drying duration can cause paint issues, such as running, sagging, or wrinkling. It is not advisable to use water-based paint if the temperature is at a freezing point. Otherwise, the water freezes and eventually ruins the paint. 

Thus, if you want the paint to dry faster, make sure the ambient temperature is warmer between 60°F-80°F.

However, the excessive hot temperatures can also cause imperfections to the surface, like wrinkling and bumps. The paint may also bubble or blister if the temperature is more than 38°C.

Humidity also affects the drying of the paint. If the humidity is high, the water in the paint takes a long time to evaporate.

Make sure the humidity is not at a high level when painting a wood surface. Otherwise, the wood will absorb the moisture that may cause bubbling and peeling of paint

When painting outdoor, consider the humidity and temperature. High humidity and low temperatures can cause condensation. Thus, expect to mar of paint finish.   

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Read more:

How to Paint While Living in The House

How to Prepare Your House for Interior Painting


Another factor that influences the drying and curing of paints is ventilation. Poor airflow combined with extreme temperatures and high humidity can slow the drying times and may lead to a poor quality finish and uneven curing.

Thus, sufficient airflow is essential to speed up the drying of the paint. It is also crucial to have proper ventilation to avoid toxic fumes that have negative effects on our health.

To improve ventilation, you can open the windows while painting. You can also keep the fans running for at least 72 hours. It can help to eliminate the smell of the paint.

Further Watching:


As mentioned above, to ensure faster drying of paint, you can consider applying thinner coats. If the weather is humid, try using a dehumidifier, heater, or hairdryer.

It is not advisable to do a painting job during the winter. To sum it up, the temperature, humidity, and ventilation are huge factors that affect the drying process of paint.