How Long Does Gloss Paint Take To Dry? UK Guide (Explained)

Gloss paint is popularly used indoors in high traffic areas or for woodwork. Its overall appearance gives a fresh and clean look. When using this paint, you may wonder how long it takes to dry.

It takes gloss paint two eight hours to dry, depending on the base paint mixture. Oil-based paints take longer to dry than others. The type of material it’s painted on, application thickness, and environmental conditions can also affect the drying time. 

How Long Does Gloss Paint Take To Dry Completely?

Most gloss paints that are oil-based take up to eight hours to dry. Water-based will dry in less than an hour, and latex-based will dry in one to four hours.

Once the paint has dried, you can add a second coat if desired. Make sure the paint no longer feels tacky before adding a second coat. The paint label may recommend that you wait a full 24 hours before doing a second coat.

Generally, you will need to wait a minimum of 24 hours before laying carpet or placing objects onto the painted surface.  

Another 24 hours will need to pass before you can clean the gloss painted surfaces with any cleaners. This is to ensure that it has fully adhered to the surface.

Refer to your paint’s instructional label for use and ventilation requirements when using gloss paints indoors, especially if they are solvent-based.

If you are using gloss paint outdoors, check the weather conditions to avoid precipitation. 

Why Is My Gloss Paint Still Tacky?

Many factors such as the composition of the paint and environmental conditions can affect the overall drying time in a room, leaving the gloss paint tacky 

Read the label on your paint can to see what it says for your particular paint mixture. For example, Behr gloss paints dry in one to six hours at 25°C, depending on the actual product. However, some high-gloss products from the brand have a recoat time of 24 hours.

Gloss Mixtures

Even though gloss paints can dry to the touch in a few hours, the coating will take longer to harden and cure. The components in gloss paint, such as acrylic resin, are thicker liquids that need time to set and fully dry. 

  • Semi-Gloss: Semi-gloss paint is slightly glossy and not as reflective. This paint is commonly used in bathrooms and hallways for its stain resistance and cleaning ease. It will take about two to eight hours for this paint to dry inside, depending on the base. 
  • High/Full Gloss: High or full gloss paint is very shiny and reflective, and takes longer to dry. This speciality finish is commonly used on trim and interior doors but can be used anywhere. It is smooth and abrasion-resistant. It will typically dry in four to eight hours depending on the base.
  • Base Paint: The base paint is the foundation of your paint. It will contain the gloss and colour dye of your choice. Base paints can be oil, water, or latex. The base can affect the drying times.
    • Oil-based paints will dry in six to eight hours, with a second coat application after at least 24 hours.
    • Latex-based paints will dry in about one hour, with a second coat in two to four hours. However, the gloss part of the mixture will likely increase the drying time.
    • Quick-drying, water-based paints can dry in 30 to 45 minutes, with a second coat in one hour. Again, the gloss part of the mixture will increase the amount of time it needs to dry.
    • Flat or matt paint without gloss additives will dry quickly in less than an hour. 
  • All-In-One: This paint has primer, gloss, and the base all in one for those that are looking to do one application. This paint is much thicker, meaning it will take longer to dry. This paint will be dry to touch in a few hours, but it is best to wait up to 48 hours until using the surface and putting stuff on it.

Type of Material That Is Painted

Gloss paints used on wood trims or wall surfaces may take more or less time to dry. In optimal conditions, most paints dry in two to four hours on wood or walls. 

However, unclean surfaces could result in an uneven application of paint, causing thicker spots to dry more slowly. However, other factors affect drying as well.

Environmental Conditions

The room and paint temperature can affect drying times. Ideally, you should paint in temperatures between 10°C to 25°C. 

The paint takes longer to dry in cold weather.

In extremely hot temperatures, the paint may crack or blister.

Gloss paint used outside generally requires the same amount of time to dry as paint used indoors, whilst also considering factors that affect drying overall.

How To Get Gloss Paint To Dry Quickly

Use these methods to dry your gloss-painted surfaces faster. Several of these suggestions can be used in conjunction with each other.

Mix In A Gloss Paint Dryer

A gloss paint dryer is an additive containing metal carboxylates. Mix it with the paint before use. 

The substance oxidises the gloss paint particles, bonding the mixture at a molecular level. This results in a change in the composition for faster drying in as little as one hour.

Follow the instructions on the label when using this product.

Apply the paint quickly and evenly to the desired surface, since it will dry much faster. 

The downside is that the mixture will dry out in the can as well. If you don’t use all of the paint in one go, the leftovers may become unusable. 

Use Hairdryer Heat

You can use a hairdryer to heat the painted surfaces. The heat will cause moisture to evaporate faster. 

Use the hairdryer on medium heat of (48.9 to 80°C) to dry water-based paints in less than half the time. Apply the heat in circular movements at least eight to ten centimetres from the surface. Do this for about 15 minutes.

The downside is that a hairdryer with a cord may limit how far and high you can reach. A cordless hairdryer will be easier to manoeuvre. 

Avoid focusing the heat in one spot or applying too high heat, or the paint could blister or crack.

Ventilate The Room

Solvent-based paint should be applied in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhaling fumes

Gloss paints with oil-based components will harden with exposure to light. If the room doesn’t have windows, leave a light on.

Water-based products need airflow to dry faster. Open the windows and doors and use fans to increase airflow.

Paint Thin Coats On A Clean Surface

Clean the surface you wish to paint and make sure it is fully dry. You can also sand it beforehand to help paint adhere and soak into it. 

However, all dust should be cleaned and removed before painting. 

Gloss paint is thicker overall, so paint with thin applications using a roller or paintbrush. 

The thinner the application, the faster it will dry. You may even be able to apply a second coat sooner if you need better coverage.

Weather and Timing

Choose a warmer day to paint, since gloss paints will dry better with some heat. However, make sure you are still painting in the range of 10°C to 25°C. 

Painting earlier in the day will give you the time and option to apply a second coat on the same day. 

You can then let the paint cure overnight. 

High humidity levels can slow down the drying time. You can use a dehumidifier to reduce indoor air moisture levels. 

Final Thoughts

Painting a room with a fresh coat can make the space feel inviting. Generally, gloss paints take longer to dry because they have a thicker consistency. 

Variables such as paint composition, environmental conditions, and application method also affect drying times. 

You can dry gloss paints faster by increasing airflow, working at optimal temperature, and applying thinner coats.

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