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

Zinsser paint is widely popular as a primer-sealer and a stain remover. It works great for priming, ceiling and wall, door, cabinet painting and even for mold repair and control. However, you may ask how long does zinsser paint take to dry?

Let’s find out the answer!

Zinsser paint drying time

Zinsser paint is really a quick drying paint. It’s a water-based paint and its epoxy alkyd based formula makes it real fast. Depending on the surface, it typically takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to dry completely. However, depending on the weather and location, the drying time may vary.

Zinsser is a water-based paint that dries faster than comparable brands. At a suitable low humidity and room temperature, it takes thirty to forty-five minutes to dry. However, some factors may affect the drying time. 

For example, if there is insufficient ventilation, it may take an additional ten to twenty minutes to dry compared to usual. It’s also known as a fast-drying paint since it contains water-based primers and sealers that allow it to dry in half an hour. 

However, if the surface contains cracks or pores, a thick coat of zinsser paint will be required, which will take 50 minutes to an hour to dry. 

Mold formation on the surface will result in a low bond to the zinsser paint, which will take a long time to dry and will necessitate another coat of zinsser paint. 

When greasy, oily elements or dust build up on the painting surface, the zinsser paint solvent is unable to adequately connect to the surface, causing the drying time to be extended to more than an hour. 

As a result, a clear painting surface affects drying time and the strength of the bond between the zinsser paint and the substrate.

Coating the painting surface a second time may require an hour of drying time if stored in high humidity. Some advise waiting at least two hours for the finest finishing. The drying time varies depending on the temperature. 

Because it is a water-based product, the water evaporates quickly, leaving the zinsser paint solute on the painting surface. 

In addition to being rapid-drying, they have an anti-mold formation characteristic that inhibits mold from forming on the surface, as well as a sealing property that prevents dust or water from entrapping in the small pores of the painting surface.

Above all the provided features typically zinsser paint dries in thirty to forty minutes. 

Is zinsser quick dry? 

Zinsser paints have a fast dry time due to their alkyd formula, which takes 30 to 40 minutes to dry when well ventilated. As it’s a water based paint, the formula and the sealers makes it real fast. 

Normally, for one coat 40 minutes to 1 hour is sufficient to let it dry. However, If you want to add another coat of zinsser paint to the painting surface, you’ll simply have to wait one to two hours.

In addition, the temperature and the humidity has to be optimal for the paint else, the drying time will be delayed. In temperatures above 45-50°C and lower than 5-0°C , the drying time will be higher. 

So, the environment plays a great role in drying the paint and having a good finish. However, zinsser is really a fast drying paint in comparison with others because of its formulation. That’s why it’s best for furniture cabinets that need to be completed quickly. 

How long does zinsser primer need to dry before painting?

Before painting over the zinsser primer, wait thirty to forty minutes for it to dry. If a second coat is applied, the zinsser primer may need to be allowed to dry for 60 to 90 minutes. The paint will peel and flake in spots if the primer isn’t entirely dry before painting over it. 

Zinsser primer contains latex particles that must form a strong bond with the paint over it in order to achieve a smooth, glossy finish. It dries quickly and requires less drying time before you paint over it. 

Some recommend waiting one hour before painting if the primer is thickly applied on the painting surface. 

However, some factors can lengthen this time interval, such as the presence of dust or a porous surface that may require double coating, which will lengthen the drying time. In this case, you’ll have to wait two to three hours. 

The weather also plays a role, as primer dries faster in hot weather.

How long does 3 coats of zinsser paint take to dry? 

After three coats, Zinsser paint dries in four to five hours, leaving a smooth and dry finish on the painting surface. Some people recommend waiting five to six hours for the paint to dry fully and avoid flaking. 

Because Zinsser paint contains alkyd and the water-based formula with enough ventilation dries quickly by evaporating the water remaining in the paint solutes after the first coat, it usually only takes thirty to forty minutes after the first coat. 

The second coating takes one to two hours to fully dry, and the third coating takes another two hours to dry, so the drying process will be completed in one day. However, if the surface needs to be painted with a thick coating, it may take longer to dry. 

There is no set time for drying, but in general, if proper humidity and temperature are present after three coats, drying will take only five hours.

3 factors that affect the zinsser paint dry time:

The drying time differs from location to location and closely relies on environmental changes. In fact, environmental factors like temperature, humidity, rain, air etc. have close association with the drying time as well as the finishing result. 

So, it’s wise to check the forecast before doing painting. Same goes for zinsser paint. Though the drying time is normally 30 to 60 minutes, it can vary due to these factors. Here are the factors discussing below: 


Zinsser paint works well in room temperature and also dry comparatively fast. The optimal temperature of zinsser paint is between 10°C to 25° as it won’t take more than 1 hour. 

In excessive hot weather above 40°C, it can have cracks, complications and some imperfections though it’ll dry really fast.

 However, it’s a great paint that can work equally well in cold temperature areas because of its epoxy water based formula. Even in 5°C, it doesn’t take more than two hours. But if the temperature is below 0°C, it can take much longer to dry. 


Humidity shows the moisture level of the environment and it has a great effect. Zinsser paint is good for low humid areas, (humidity less than 50%) as it’ll take a minimum time to dry. 

On the other hand, humidity above 80% increases its drying time as well as the outcome will not be that satisfying.


It’s not a good idea to paint on rainy days as zinsser paint doesn’t work well if the moisture level exceeds 12%. Rain prolongs the drying time and also leaves pores, cracks in the surface. 

How to make zinsser paint dry faster? 

Zinsser paint dries fast naturally. It requires a maximum of 1 hour to dry. However, the drying time has a great effect on temperature, humidity, air circulation and many other environmental elements. 

Before selecting the day for painting, it’s wise to check the nature forecast as it’ll give ideas for choosing the right day. 

Ensure proper air circulation:

The more air circulates in the room, the better as it will faster the drying time. Keep the windows open for at least 2 days so the air can regulate well and provide the optimal environment for painting. 

You can also add additional fans in the room to dry the wet surface faster. 

Avoid warm temperatures:

As we know, in excessive hot weather, zinsser paint takes a longer time. The more warmth it is, the more thickens the coats become and the drying time increases. So, it’s better to paint in less than 45°C for quicker drying.

Avoid rainy days:

On rainy days, the moisture level rises higher than 12% and the humidity rises up to 80% which causes slow drying to the paint. If rain occurs suddenly, make sure all the windows are closed as soon as possible and turn on the room AC. 

It may help to some extent not to increase the humid level of that room. 

Ensure thin coatings:

The thickness of wet coating should not be above 80-110 micrometer as it may delay the drying time. Ensure applying thin coats while painting as thin coats take a really short time to dry than the thick coats.

Final Thoughts 

As the zinsser paint is water-based paint and has an alkyd based formula, it dries really fast. It does not take more than 1 hour to dry depending on the environmental factors like temperature, humidity, air flow etc. It normally dries fast in house temperature but can even work great in 5°C.