The short answer is that latex paint is usually dry to the touch in about an hour. However, you should remove all exterior painting projects four to six hours before the rain rolls in.
Whether the project is a small one in the garden or the entire outside of the house, painting outside leaves you and your color, exposed to the elements. Depending on the time of year and the climate, you may be fighting downward rain as part of your project challenges. Obviously, you can not paint while it is raining, unless you want to try abstract painting on the side of your home or fence. But how long your paint project still risks being ruined by the effects of rain after you paint depends on several factors.
When you read the instructions on a paint can, you will find recommendations for the ideal temperature range to paint. When it is too hot, paint can be difficult to adhere to the surface because it dries too quickly. It can also result in bubbling and flaky paint, which is a big mess to repair.
At the other end of the spectrum, cool temperatures result in paint taking a long time to dry. The perfect range for most colors is between 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit, but read your product label for accuracy and avoid painting when the temperature is outside this range.
To estimate if your paint will dry before the rain rolls in, expect the paint to be good within an hour if the temperature is near the top of the range. If at the lower end, be careful unless the rain is not expected to hit for another four hours or more.
While temperature is an important factor in how your paint will work, humidity is an even bigger piece of the puzzle. Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air.
When the humidity levels are high, the water content of the paint does not transfer or flow to the air as easily. Therefore, each type of paint takes longer to dry in high humidity. The moisture can also affect the finished look of the paint job with dripping or shredding that requires sanding before applying more paint.
Although you may be in a hurry to squeeze in the painting task before the weather hits, it may cost you more time in the long run if moisture destroys your coat. Do not plan to paint if the humidity measures over 50% and if you see fog on the horizon you can say that the humidity is in the air.
Another natural part to consider is wind. The good news is that your paint dries faster if the humidity is low, but there is a breeze. However, high winds can cause dangerous situations on a ladder. There is also the reality that wind can cause ripples in thick paint and will increase the amount of spray on the way down the street, especially when using a spray gun.
If we talk about the thickness of the paint, thicker paint gives longer dry times. The type of use can affect the thickness. Spray guns, for example, offer several spray settings. Sponges, rolls, rags and using a brush all vary the thickness of the paint. Consider the thickness when deciding whether to have sufficient dry time before the rain is poured down.
If your project requires a founder, you have two timelines to consider. Primer is slightly less forgiving than paint when it comes to applying the next coat without curing. Primer is crucial for certain projects to succeed, so do not rush. Although it can dry within 30-60 minutes, allow at least three hours of reliable dry time under ideal conditions before applying another branch coating or your first coat of latex paint.
6. Oil-based products
Unlike latex paints and paints, oil-based products take longer to dry – much longer. If the latex may be dry to the touch and possibly ready to accept another coating in one hour, allow six to eight hours of oil-based paint.