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How Long Does Exterior Paint Take to Dry? (Answered)

Painting exterior walls and floors can be an excellent way to make the exterior look good. Moreover, paint is essential to protect your exterior walls and floors.

Now that you want to know about painting the exterior, you might think about rain. If it rains before drying the exterior paint, the paint will get dissolved in water.

So, you might be confused about how long exterior paint takes to dry. Well, you should know the drying time to complete the painting within a specific time. Moreover, learning about drying time is essential to applying multiple coats of paints.

How long does exterior paint take to dry?

Generally, most exterior paints dry within four to eight hours. Some exterior paints can take up to 24 hours to dry. The drying time depends on the type of paint and temperature. If the temperature is low, it will take more time to dry. Moreover, the cure of the paint needs more time.

However, exterior painting might be done in different weather and condition. So, different weather and situation might take different times to dry the exterior paint. Let’s see how long exterior paint takes to dry.

Exterior paint to dry before rain:

When you paint the exterior, you might want to end the painting process to dry before the rain. If you know the weather forecast, you have to plan according to the forecast. For example, you take at least one day time before it rains.

Because most paints dry within 4 to 8 hours. But the paint needs to cure to set on the surface. It can take up to 24 hours. If you don’t allow this much time before the rain, rain might dissolve the paint and wash away.

Exterior paint to dry in cold weather:

Exterior paint dries well if the temperature is more than 50 degrees. If the temperature is low, it takes more time to dry. For example, if the paint dries within 8 hours on the exterior wall, it will take 10 hours to dry at a low temperature.

Moreover, the curing time will also be more. So, if you paint the exterior in cold weather, the paint might need 12 to 18 hours to dry. Moreover, curing might need two days instead of one. So, try to paint your exterior in warm weather.

Exterior paint to dry before second coat:

When you paint your exterior, you might apply multiple coats. Multiple coats protect the surface better and make the paint durable. But when applying a coating over another, you must allow the first coat to dry well.

So, you must allow at least 4 hours to dry the first coat. Then you can apply the second coat. After another 4 hours, you can apply the third coat. So, you have to allow enough time to dry the paint between multiple coats.

How long do these exterior paints take to dry?

Exterior paints can be of different types. For example, some exterior paints include latex paint, oil-based paint, water-based paint, etc. So, let’s see how long these exterior paints take to dry.

Latex exterior paint:

Latex exterior paint dries very fast. This paint is famous for fast drying. Generally, it takes 1 to 3 hours to dry the exterior latex paint. If you want to apply a second coat of latex exterior paint, you must allow at least 3 hours to dry.

Moreover, if you want to use the exterior, you have to allow more time to cure the surface. But this paint dries faster than other types of paint.

Oil-based exterior paint:

Oil-based exterior paint takes 6 to 8 hours to dry. But if the weather is cold, it will take more time to dry. After 8 hours, the paint will be ready for another coat of paint.

Water-based exterior paint:

Water-based exterior paint dries very fast. It can dry within 45 minutes to one hour. After one hour, you can apply another coating of this paint. Generally, the drying time is faster than many other exterior paints.

But if the weather is cold, water-based exterior paint will take more than one hour to dry. Moreover, curing this paint will require more time.

Acrylic exterior paint:

Acrylic exterior paint takes from 1 to 2 hours to dry. Generally, after two hours, you have to test the paint by touching it. 

If you feel that the paint is dried, you can apply another coating. After applying acrylic exterior paint finally, you can leave it for drying and curing for one day.

But in cold weather, acrylic paint will take time to dry. So, if you paint the exterior with acrylic paint, you should wait at least 2 hours to dry the painted surface and one day cure the paint.

Exterior gloss paint:

Exterior gloss paint takes a longer time to dry. Generally, exterior gloss paint takes 16 to 20 hours to dry. If the weather is cold, it can take a day to dry. But when you want to apply multiple coats of gloss paint, you must wait at least 20 hours between coats.

Exterior paintDrying time
Behr exterior paint60 minutes
Valspar exterior paint2-4 hours
Sherwin Williams exterior paint8 hours
Benjamin Moore exterior paint4 hours
Dulux exterior paint6 hours
Behr marquee exterior paint60 minutes
Glidden exterior paint6-8 hours
Aura exterior paint4 hours
Sandtex exterior paint4-6 hours
Taubmans exterior paint2 hours

How long does exterior paint take to dry on concrete?

Paint takes a little longer to dry on concrete. Similarly, exterior paint will also take time to dry on concrete. Generally, exterior paint over concrete will take 1 to 2 days to dry. That means the paint will not dry within a couple of hours.

The texture of concrete is responsible for this longer drying time. So, you should wait at least one day to dry the exterior paint well.

Will exterior paint dry overnight?

You can’t tell surely that exterior paint will dry overnight. Because the temperature drops at night. Moreover, many paints take more than 12 hours to dry.

When the temperature is low at night, the exterior paint takes longer than usual. So, the paint might not dry completely. Moreover, if the paint is not fast-drying, you have to wait until the next morning.

So, it will be better if you paint exterior walls in the morning and keep the paint all day to dry completely.

Does paint dry faster outside?

Yes, the paint dries faster outside. The main reason is the humidity. Generally, the outside humidity is lower than the inside. The lower the humidity is, the faster the paint will dry. So, outside paint dries faster than inside.

But if outside humidity is higher than inside, it will hamper the drying process. Sometimes, rain affects the outside humidity and delays the drying process.

How to make exterior paint dry faster?

Now that you know exterior paint takes time to dry, you might want to make the process faster. So, let’s see how you can make exterior paint dry faster.

Paint at daytime:

If you want to make the paint dry fast, you can paint it during the daytime. Because at daytime, the temperature is more than the night.

So, high temperatures help the paint to dry fast. On the other hand, low temperature at night hampers the drying process. So, you can try to paint in the daytime.

Use fan:

You can use a fan to dry the paint faster. You can keep some fans outside where you are painting. These fans will accelerate the drying process.

Use humidifier:

You can also use a humidifier where you are painting and then turn on the fans. This will help pass dry air to the paint and speedy the drying process.

Use fast-drying paint:

You can use fast-drying paint for the exterior. This will make the drying process faster on its own. You can use oil-based or water-based paints on the exterior. This will help to dry the paint within a couple of hours. So, you can choose the paint carefully.

Final Thoughts

How long the exterior paint takes to dry depends on the type of paint. It takes 4 to 8 hours to dry primarily. But some paints might take an entire day to dry. But low temperature and humidity can slow down the drying process. You have to choose the time and paint carefully.