How to harden spray paint

I have come up with the solution to harden up the spray paint so it won’t come off early and dries completely. Newcomers are confused about this issue and its solution.

Here I have explained each and every step which I had in my mind. I have plenty of experience which can be helpful for newbies in this field.

harden the spray paints

When using spray paint, I often found myself asking how long I have to wait before jumping back into my project. Nervously I wonder when it will be ready as soon as possible.

Nothing stops you from diving deeper into your work than spraying the paint and then waiting for it to dry. So, follow this guide to know more about drying time and hardening the paint.

How much time does spray paint take to dry completely?

The paint will start to bubble, which means the paint is drying. This might happen several hours after spraying it. How long does spray paint take to dry? About 15 to 20 minutes.

But if you spray a thick layer, it might take half an hour to dry. If it’s cold outside (less than 10 C) then the time period in which spray paint dries up is increased.

It should be noted that the spray paint is at its best on the first day. So, you should not use the paint the next day.

Difference between drying time and cure time

The answer your friend will get is: Dry time is the time between spraying and drying, while cure time is the time between spraying the paint and it is dried enough to handle.

Since the paint begins to dry immediately after the sprayer is set down, the difference between the dry time and the cure time is just a few moments.

Three things determine the dry time: solvent evaporation, film thickness, and surface temperature. Also, check out the method to thin the spray paints according to your needs.

These are some stages that spray paint goes through while drying

  • Surface dry: Paint solvent starts to evaporate in the environment
  • Touch dry: In this stage, the paint stops sticking to the finger if touched
  • Hard dry: The paint layer becomes hard and does not come off easily
  • Thorough dry: It is the stage where paint is completely dried or fully cured. Each corner is dried entirely and the object is ready to use

Methods to make spray paint dry faster

Here are some methods to make the spray paint dry faster than before. These tips are from my career and some tips are taken from fellow painters.

Experts have also contributed to this guide. So, this guide is pretty informational for newbies. They should consider it while thinking about the solution.

Methods to dry faster spray paints

Painting thin layers

When you’re working with spray paint it’s important to know that thinner coats will result in a faster drying time, especially when done using the method that is typically used for the brush-on version.

Thicker coats will often lead to tackiness and result in a clogged nozzle if that happens.

One thing you can do to speed up the process of your drying time is by spreading your hand flat out over the piece so as not to leave any one spot too thickly covered.

Otherwise, you’ll then have some parts of your object too thick and won’t be able to do anything about it later without sanding or scraping them down afterward which I’m sure we’ll both agree isn’t worth the extra hassle.

Lower the temperature

If you want your spray paint to dry quickly, then it’s important to keep the humidity low. High humidity results in longer drying times and more damage to your painting job — things like paint drips and dust contamination. Humidity levels between 40 and 70% are ideal.

Make air circulation properly

To open windows before beginning a paint project is crucial! Why mess with a potentially dangerous situation without it?

For example, when working with spray paint to make fresh graffiti art, one needs to stay as away from toxic fumes, or else the project could turn out extremely harmful for everyone involved.

In fact, even if you’re using acrylic or water-based paints, it’s important not to forget about ventilation. If you’re working on an outdoor setting, simply put – a box fan is coming your way! (It really boosts the dry time.

You can use a heater also

Like a fan, a space heater can create decent circulation in an enclosed space. It’s an excellent way to cut down on time by drying walls faster than usual.

Have you ever noticed that when it’s hot out, your car takes longer to dry off? Well, the same principle applies here.

Paint on a sunny day and under direct sunlight

Painting outdoors in the summer is great for a lot of reasons! For one, it’s a nice change from the stuffy studio spaces.

While some painters may embrace the challenge of painting in hot or humid conditions, most would agree that conditions are generally easier to deal with on an 86-degree day rather than an 80-degree day!

One great thing about painting outside is that it allows you to save money on transportation and shelter.

Also, painters often enjoy the opportunity to paint items they normally would not be able to place inside their workshop including lamps and electronics.

If you’ve never painted outdoors before, start small with some easy projects like ceramics and furniture just to get used to working outside.

Drying time of different materials

I will also share the drying time for different types of surfaces so that you guys can know how much it takes to dry for the desired surface on which you want to spray paint.

Drying time of wood

Spray painting wood is a relatively easy process, but it does take some time for the wood to dry before use.

If you want to ensure that the paint dries correctly, you should allow it to dry for at least a day before using the piece of wood. Most paints that are used on wood dry within a few hours, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Metal drying time

Lately, I’ve been using Krylon’s Fusion for plastics and metals and my experience has been very good I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to buy new spray paint.

With it, you can paint onto a metal surface, and create a textured or a glossy look. I have experience with both methods, and both have positive and negative attributes.

Drying time of cardboard

Spray paint works best on hard, smooth surfaces. In order to ensure a good finish, you should prepare the surface by removing any loose material and applying a primer coat and a covering coat.

On a well-prepared surface, you can apply between 2 and 4 additional coats to achieve the desired finish. We recommend that you wait between 20 minutes and 2 hours between coats.

The cardboard should be dry before you paint it, but there are some exceptions. If you’re using acrylic paint, you can apply your first coat after 20 minutes.

However, if you’re using enamel paint, it’s best to wait for about 2 hours. Once you’ve finished painting your cardboard, you can leave it up for several days with no problems.


It all depends on the content of the spray paint, and the temperature of the surrounding. The colder it is, the slower it dries. The warmer it is, the faster it dries. It should take about 20 minutes to dry in a room that is 60 degrees F. If you spray it in a room that is 90 degrees F, it could dry in as little as 5 minutes. It also depends on the brand of spray paint, some take longer than others. Spray paints that are very thin take longer to dry than very thick paints. It is best to avoid spraying in high humidity areas, as this will result in more moisture, which will make drying longer. There are many sprays that dry faster than others. For example, Krylon, and Kilz spray paints are very fast drying. On the other hand, Rustoleum and Krylon Gold are very slow drying. Check the back of the can to see the drying time.

I’m not sure about the effectiveness of baking paint to harden it, but I have heard that cooking spray paint for a few seconds in the microwave will harden it.

Yes, you can speed up the drying process by using hair dryer. However, you should be careful when you use the hair dryer. If you turn the temperature too high, it might melt the paint and make it runny.

It is a little too early to know for sure, but so far it looks like 24 hours should be fine. I have a painting of my old computer that I took down 2 months after I painted it, and it still looks fine today. I wouldn’t try to recoat it less than 2 weeks though, and no sooner than 2 weeks even if you are in a hurry.

There is not a paint that would dry in a minute, but there are techniques for quick-drying the paint. These techniques are as follows: You can mix the paint with a drying agent so that the paint dries quickly. This will create a chemical reaction, which speeds up the drying process. However, this method can cause the paint to lose some of its qualities. You can also paint your wall in two coats, starting with the slow-drying layer and then adding the fast-drying layer. You can also paint your wall in two coats, starting with the slow-drying layer and then adding the fast-drying layer. You should also have a well ventilated room. Other than that, the only way to get the paint to dry quickly is to wait. Just give it time. In the meantime, keep the room ventilated.

Sure, you can dry paint with a heat gun. It only takes a few minutes to dry the paint but you need to be careful to not overheat. It should take around 5min. (of course, depends on the temperature) after all, paint will not save you the effort of sanding the surface. So if you want to avoid it, you should use primer.


Here is the complete guide to hardening the spray paint and drying it so that it won’t stick to your fingers. In this guide,

I have explained each and every step to make the paint dry faster. This guide will be helpful for newbies and if you find any issue in hardening the paint then let me know in the comment section I will solve your query at first glance.

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