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How Long Does Bathroom Paint Take to Dry? (Quick Answers)

Due to the constant presence of water and moisture, a bathroom wall can get moist and dampen over time. To protect the bathroom walls, ceilings and floors, many use ceramic tiles, others rely on different types of paints.

Bathroom paints can beautify the space, also protect the walls from getting ruined over time. It is an easy, cheap and commonly used process. 

However, to protect a wall you must be careful in all steps. Especially how to dry the paints so that it lasts forever. If you are unaware of the duration, for that, let’s explore how long bathroom paint takes to dry.

How long does bathroom paint take to dry?

Usually, it takes 4 to 5 hours for bathroom paints to dry. But it is wise to wait, at least for a day before taking a shower after painting a bathroom. The longer it dries, the more it lasts. Oil based paints take much longer to dry than water based paints, which is usually more than a week.

As the activities in the bathroom are water-based, bathroom walls generally contain moisture. Hot and cold showers, steam baths, and sink use include water. So the evaporated water in the air gets absorbed by the bathroom wall. 

Besides, a splash of water from the shower and sink also falls on the wall. 

As a result, the bathroom wall becomes damp. Damp walls prevent paint from drying quickly. Water existing in the wall prohibits the evaporation process of paint from continuing. So, the paint remains sticky and tacky for a more extended period. 

Paints usually take 4 to 5 hours to dry. But it takes a longer time to get cured. As the bathroom wall remains damp, it takes more time to dry and cure. It is wise to wait at least 24 hours to let the paint dry well. 

Waiting 72 hours will bring better results as the paint will be cured enough to use for the shower. Water splash from the shower may ruin the paint texture if not dried well. So you must ensure that the paint on the bathroom wall is dry enough to use for the shower. 

However, you can keep the windows and doors open to dry the paint well. Besides, you can use a ceiling fan. The fan will help to accelerate the airflow and decrease the drying period. But, it would be best if you make sure that the fan is clean. 

Otherwise, the dust from the fan will ruin the paint texture, which you don’t want to happen.

Humidity and temperature are responsible for the extended period of paint drying. So you can use a dehumidifier to remove the moisture in the air. The dehumidifier will accelerate the evaporation rate from the paint and let the paint dry very soon. 

Bathroom ceilings are no different than walls. However it may come as a surprise that, compared to bathroom walls, bathroom ceilings need a way less time to dry. In fact, bathroom ceilings are less likely to dampen, and it takes around two to four hours for a ceiling paint to dry.

Bathroom paintDrying time
Dulux bathroom paint24 hours
Valspar bathroom paint7 Days
Crown bathroom paint6-8 hours
Homebase bathroom paint2 hours

How long do you have to wait for the paint to dry before showering?

The key purpose of applying paint is to protect the walls from moisture along with beautification. Now, if you use a bathroom before its paint has dried, you may spoil the quality of the paint for good. It would be best if you waited until it dried properly.

Usually, bathroom paints take 4 to 5 hours to dry properly. But the paint is not dried properly until a whole day. So you may not use or take a shower for a day after painting a bathroom.

Despite the surface of the paint looking drier, it should be wise to wait at least 24 hours before showering in the bathroom.

Why is my bathroom paint not drying?

A bathroom is a place where we use a lot of water. The bathroom wall absorbs the air containing water from the steam bath and shower. So the wall remains wet. Moreover, the wall collects a splash of water from the shower, bath or sink. 

While painting, you should consider the moisture content of the wall. There are some reasons for not drying bathroom paint. Some of them are moisture content, humidity, temperature and coats as described below-

The moisture content:

Activities in the bathroom involve the use of water. People take showers and use the sink in the bathroom. Water splash from these activities dampens the bathroom wall. Besides, damp air from steamy baths is absorbed by the wall. 

So, the wall contains humidity. Humid walls prevent the evaporation process of the paint and take a longer time to dry.

Humid environment:

If the environment outside weather contains a high range of humid air, the paint will not dry easily. As the humid air prevents the evaporation process, the painted wall cannot get dry. So, humid air is one of the reasons for not drying bathroom walls. 

Weather temperature:

Too hot or too cold temperature often doesn’t allow the paint to dry. Temperature ranging from 10-26°C is considered ideal for painting. 

The bathroom environment may often be cold due to a cold shower and hot due to a steam bath or hot shower. In that case, adjusting the temperature is a better solution.

Multiple coats of color:

Too many coats often prevent paint from drying. Too many coats of paint create a thick layer, which takes time to dry out. Moreover, painting a coat over a layer that has not dried well can also create problems in drying. It is called blocking. 

So, there are many reasons for not drying paint which results in stickiness on the wall and emits paint smell in the room.

4 tips to make bathroom paint dry faster

Painting is basically a work of art when done well. But it can be a reason for pain if not dried well. So, before painting, some considerations should be made, and some suggestions should be followed. 

There are four tips to follow before painting, such as following the instruction guide, proper cleaning, priming and avoiding unnecessary coats of paint. These tips are described as follows-

Read the instruction guide for your paint:

Different paints may have different guidelines. Reading the manual carefully, you can easily apply them while painting. In the instruction guide, you will find the humidity and temperature required for painting. 

Then you can easily apply them. Generally, 10-26° C is a considerable temperature for painting. And humidity over 70% prevents the evaporation process of painting. 

Clean your painting area:

You must clean your area well before painting. Cleaning is considered the most vital procedure before painting. Dusting the wall prevents unwanted grossness from being trapped under the paint. 

Besides, removing all cracked and flaking paint is necessary. Otherwise, the new paint will be peeled off the wall.

Prime your painting surface:

Sanding, drying and priming are other important stuff to do before painting. Using high-quality and matched primer enables the paint to look gorgeous. Otherwise, the painting would be tacky. 

In the bathroom wall, oil-based primer is suggested because bathroom walls contain moisture from the wash and become damp. Humidity is higher in the bathroom environment. 

Avoid applying coats on top of each other before drying well:

Applying multiple coats creates blocking in the paint, and doesn’t allow the paint to dry well. Due to blocking, the evaporation process of paint gets interrupted. 

So, avoid multiple coatings and apply coats after drying the previous paint very well to avoid this circumstance.

So, you can follow the tips mentioned earlier before starting your painting procedures and also during the painting.

Do you need to use special paint in a high moisture bathroom?

Bathroom paints are as essential as it gets. Unless you are using a bathroom protected with ceramic tiles, you may want to protect your structure from moisture and damps. If that is the case, then painting the bathroom is the minimum thing you can do to protect the thing.

Although bathrooms do not require any special treatment for painting, it may seem necessary for exceptional cases. The high moisture bathrooms are prone to dampness over time. If so, the structure will lose its strength to protect it from collapsing.

However, if you want to paint a high moisture bathroom, you should consider using latex paints. This will laminate the walls to protect them from damping.

Final thoughts

The longer it is allowed to dry, the longer a bathroom paint will last. Usually, drying for 24 hours before using or taking a shower reduces the chances of drastically dampening the paint and the wall. A well dried paint will protect the wall and the structure from moisturizer for a long time.