Giving your house an updated and fresh look with the exterior can be exciting. However, ensuring the best coverage and determining the right painting techniques can pose a challenge to many. Are you one like these who is wondering whether to wait too long between coats of paint? This article is for you!

Before applying another coat, the average time taken is approximately two to four hours. You could even take a shorter time than that, especially with the modern convalescent paint technology.

At the end of this post, you should know how long to take between coats of paint and the implications of applying the second coat too soon. We trust that this article will help you apply the best painting practices to give your home that spectacular look and feel! Read on.

How Does Paint Work?

You might be quick to apply paint for decoration, protection, or identification purposes but understanding its properties is key. For instance, it is important to know that paint consists of resin, solvent, additives, and pigment.

When you understand these elements, you can know the right paint proportions to use and the time you will wait for it to dry. You will find that different paints have varied working mechanisms, and therefore, you should consult the manufacturer before using them.

Most paints form a film on the surface by evaporation of the solvent. Here is a brief illustration of this process:

  1. The water in the paint evaporates
  2. The pigment and resin particles get closer together until they touch each other
  3. They then stick together and fuse into a tough elastic solid (paint film)

Please note that two-component protective coating paints do not react independently but undergo a chemical reaction when mixed. The reaction does not take long, depending on the day’s temperature.

How Long Between Coats of Paint to Wait?

Various factors affect the time taken between one coat and the other. They will vary depending on whether you use latex paint or glossy paint. These are:

  • Type of paint: Oil-based paints will take longer to dry than water-based paints.
  • Temperature: Higher temperatures will fasten the drying process compared to lower temperatures. The optimal temperature is 72 degrees F.
  • Humidity: The best humidity level for paint drying is between 40 to 50%.

In ideal conditions, most paints will take at least 30 minutes. Remember that the paint cure time is different from the time taken between coats. The former, which is the time taken for the paint to harden fully, sometimes takes weeks, depending on the factors highlighted above.

What Happens if You Apply the Second Coat Of Paint Too Soon?

Applying the second coat too soon will vary from losing money, time, and effort. However, the more detrimental effects of doing this include:

  1. Streaks
  2. Peeling paint
  3. Uneven color

You will not be able to achieve even paint strokes when you apply the second coat too soon. Since there are tangible and proven ways of determining whether the first coat is dry or not, it is better to apply them than deal with the consequences after that.

Waiting for hours for the first coat to dry is better than spending more time and resources when you do it wrong. Waiting until the first coat dries completely enables you to end up with a better and more breathtaking product.

Furthermore, the second coat is always easier and quicker to apply than the first one and thus worth the wait. Even professional home painters only charge a nominal amount for this second coat of paint.

As you wait for the first coat to dry, you can take care of other unfinished projects or relax while watching an episode on Netflix. Whatever you do here, ensure that it doesn’t drain you of the energy to apply the second coat.

Final Remarks

Paint technology has made the process of drying faster. When you have the right weather conditions and proper painting techniques, you will not have to wait for too long. It is worth the effort to step back and wait for the first coat to dry before beginning the second one.

Read More About Paint:

  1. Kelly Moore vs Sherwin Williams (Which Paint is Better?)
  2. Can Primer Be Used as Paint? (No, Here’s Why…)
  3. How Long Can Paint Sit Before It Needs to Be Shaken? (Find Out!)