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How Long Does Furniture Paint Take to Dry? (Explained)

There are so many options for furniture painting and you may find it difficult to choose one. In fact, choosing the paint is a great factor as it formerly relies on the finishing. 

However, if you want your furniture to dry fast, choose a paint that has thinner texture and less presence of binders.

Furniture paint drying time

The drying time varies from paint to paint. Water-based or latex usually requires 2 to 3 hours while oil paint takes above 6 hours to dry. However, it also depends on the location and environment as not too much wind or hot or cold  is good for furniture painting to get the best finish.

There are many types of paint, and the drying time varies depending on the texture of the paint. Water-based furniture paints, such as chalk paints, take less time to dry than oil-based paints. 

Because the polymerization reaction of the solutes on the surface of the furniture takes only two to three hours in water-based or latex  paints. 

Whereas oil-based paints take six hours due to the presence of binders that extend the polymerization of oil-based solutes on the surface of the furniture, which takes longer to dry.

Valspar furniture paint:

Valspar furniture paint takes three to four hours to dry properly because it is a water-based paint. In most cases, two coats are required when painting furniture, so allow seven to eight hours for the second coat to dry.

Ronseal paints:

Ronseal furniture paint does not require a long drying time; it only takes three to four minutes to dry.

Chalk paints:

These paints take less time to apply and are simple to work with. It usually takes forty to fifty minutes for the paint to dry. If the chalk paint is applied in thick layers on the furniture, it may take an additional half hour to dry.

Oil furniture paints:

Oil furniture paints are thicker in consistency, but they produce a wonderful matte finish, so they take longer to dry, about six to seven hours. 

Oil furniture paints contain additives such as primers and binders, which take longer to dry on the furniture’s surface.

Spray paints for furniture:

Spray paints take two to three hours to cure. It takes less than two hours for the epoxy spray paint to dry.

How long should you wait between the coats of paint on furniture? 

The time between the coats of paint on furniture varies based on the type of paint. Coating time is necessary for the paint to last as long as possible and to prevent flaking after it has dried. 

However, the time it takes to coat paint on furniture will vary depending on the weather, as any less humid place with a higher temperature will cut down on the time it takes to coat paint on furniture.

To recoat the surface of the furniture with thin layers of water-based paints, wait four to five hours; with oil-based paints, wait one day, as oil paints take a long time to dry because they contain primers and binders. 

While doing spray painting furniture, the coating time is longer since the first layer must be cured first, which takes time, and then the second layer must be coated with paint, which takes two days. It will take twenty to twenty-four hours to coat with chalk paint a second time.

3 factors that affect the furniture paint dry time:

There are many significant factors that affect the dry time on furniture. It’s important to check the forecast and select the right day for painting. Choosing the right type of paint is also necessary. Here are the factors briefly discussing:

The type of paint:

Based on the structure and formula, different paint has different dry time and not all paints can be applied on furniture. For house furniture it’s better to choose latex or oil based paint. 

However, latex paint takes less time than oil paint, so it’s normally preferred by the homeowners but for interiors, oil paint is highly used for its formula. 


If it’s excessively hot, more than 45°C, it will dry really quick but the surface will have cracks, bumps and many imperfections. 

On the other hand, if the temperature is less than 7°C, it thickens the coating and so, it may take days for drying. 

It means lower and higher temperatures both highly affect the dry time so it’s really important to know the optimal temperature. 

For oil based paint, the optimal temperature is above 45° and for latex paint, it’s 50° or more and for two days the temperature should not be changed. 


If the humidity is high, it means there’s a lot of moisture in the environment; it’ll take more time to dry and the result won’t be satisfying for any type of paint. 

On the other hand, low humidity can have a positive effect but it requires 40-45% humidity to get a good result. But don’t paint if the humidity is more than 80%. 

What happens if you paint the second coat too soon on furnitures?

Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat to achieve a good, even, smooth color. If the paint is not allowed to dry completely, it will begin to clump together with the subsequent layer of paint, resulting in a dingy appearance

The sticky nature of the wet paint will not connect with the second coat, causing the covering to peel off quickly.

 It is usually recommended to wait one day for chalk paint to dry or two days, in some situations, for spray paint to finish the coating for the second time. 

When the surface of the furniture is not completely dry before applying the second coat, the color will peel off quickly, requiring further paint purchases or the need to re-seal the paint using sealers. Aside from that, the pigment may oxidize quickly, dulling the painting’s surface. 

There will be cracking in various spots where the furniture has not been thoroughly dried before applying the second coat, which will quickly grow mold and cause further damage to the furniture. 

Oil-based paints require time for the polymerization reaction to occur with the furniture because they contain binders, and the coating will not hold if the second coat is applied too quickly.

How can I make the painted furniture dry faster? 

It’s not only about drying the paint faster; rather having a great finish with lower drying time. For that, choosing the right paint and right day is really necessary or you’ll not get the best finishing. 

If the weather is good, give it proper ventilation so it can dry faster with no imperfections. Follow these steps to make the painted furniture dry faster: 

Check the forecast before starting:  

It’s better to check the forecast before selecting the day for painting. Choose such two days, when the temperature will be above 45°C and humidity is 40-45% or close enough for having a good finish and drying faster. 

It’s better not to select the day if it has any possibility of rain.

Use the house heater or hair dryer:

On colder days, heaters can work really great to provide the optimal environment for painting. It helps to dry larger surfaces in a small time. However, a hair dryer can also be used if you don’t have a heater. Move it in slow motion to dry the wet surface faster. 

Give proper ventilation:

After painting, provide proper ventilation to the furniture as it’ll speed the drying time. The more air passes in the room, the better. Let the windows open and use fans so the air circulates well. 

Choose the right paint:

Try to use water based or latex paint as they take less time to dry. Both will be ready for second coating within 3 hours while oil paint will take above 6 hours.

Avoid thick coats:

It’s better to use several thin coats; rather than a thick coat because the thicker it is, the more time it will take. 

Final Thoughts

The drying time immensely relies on temperature, humidity and so it’s better to check the forecast before selecting the day. In fact, choosing the right paint is also necessary as the drying time varies like oil paint takes above 6 hours while water-based or latex typically take 3 hours.