How Long Does It Take Paint To Dry In A Closet

How Long Does It Take Paint To Dry In A Closet?

Whenever you’re restoring your closet’s lost glory, it’s absolutely crucial to know when the first coat of paint has dried so you don’t add the second coat prematurely.

Applying a second layer too soon will cause the paint to pull up as you roll, which results in streaks, peeling, and uneven color. And this has been the leading cause why most DIY homeowners fail to lay down a professional finish.

So the core question is: how long does it take paint to dry in a closet? Just a rough figure, it takes about 1-8 hours before the initial layer can be safely recoated.

Fortunately, we’ll be discussing some of the factors that will help you accelerate the dry time as well. So you want to stay tuned for that!

How Long Does It Take Paint To Dry In A Closet?

I hate to break it up to you, but there is no precise time paint is supposed to dry in a closet. This is because not all are formulated the same way. Besides that, various factors can meddle in the drying process – either positively or negatively.

For instance, if Mr. A were to paint his closet on a blistering summer day, whereas Mr. B on a rainy day, whose substrate do you think is more likely to dry quickly?

You’d readily agree with me it would be Mr. A’s.

But supposed Mr. A was to use oil-based paint, there are higher chances that Mr. B will finish his project on time.

Hopefully, this little tale illustrates the reason why we said the drying time is very inconsistent as it’s susceptible to certain factors like the temperature and humidity level at that particular workspace.

The nature of the paint and style of application (think or thin layers) matters as well.

Succinctly, putting all of these into perspective as well as when to avoid or use them to your favor can drag you towards your ideal dry time.

So without further ado, let’s look at some of the factors that determine how long you should keep your hands off the new paint piece:

Factors That Determine Closet Paint Drying Time

Factors That Determine Closet Paint Drying Time

1. Paint types and their dry times

Generally speaking, the type of paint you’ve chosen also has a said on the dry time.

If you chose an oil-based paint, you’re looking at six to eight hours of dry time before getting ready to recoat in 24 hours. And a ballpark figure of 3 to 7 days of cure time.

If it’s latex paint, however, the dry time in the closet is a bit fair as it tends to dry more quickly than oil-based paint. A coat of latex usually takes about an hour to dry to touch and can be safely recoated in 4 hours’ time.

As for the cure time, Sheesh! Is ridiculous! You need to wait up to 21-30 days.

Besides what’s said, the labels on every paint cans CLEARLY specify the dry and recoat times for that particular paint, so endeavor to read through the manufacturer’s directives.

2. Paint Application methods

Are you applying a thicker or thinner coat of paint? What application tools are you using? Is it a roller, a paintbrush, or a sprayer?

Well, if the paint is applied too thickly or is recoated before the underneath layer is fully dry, the drying time will be crawling at a snail’s pace. Besides that, the paint may dry gloppy and uneven.

It’s preferable to apply two thin coats of paint than to cover your work with one thick coat.

Despite thinner layers that tend to dry more rapidly, you’ve to apply it with the ideal instrument.

For fast-drying results, a paint roller might be the best bet – well, that’s if you’re painting a wall as it lays down more of a quality coat than a sprayer does.

But for the sake that we’re painting a “closet,” cutting in would be a pain in the ass – that’s why you should kick the paint roller to the curb.

Also, using a paintbrush is not an option as it leads to thicker coats of paint, which then adds up hours of drying time.

The unsung hero is employing a sprayer. Not only can you apply a thin, roller-like finish, but also dodge the risk of having gloppy edges or runny streaks on your closet.

Read Also: How to Harden Acrylic Paint

3. Humidity and temperature levels

The temperature and humidity level present at that working space also calls the shots as to how long it takes the paint to dry in the closet.

And I promise you if you know the ideal temperature (which I’m about to show you in a sec), you have earned the remote control over the drying and curing time of any paint.

What is the Ideal Temperature Level?       

If you’re applying an oil-based paint, the suitable temperature that toasts the paint pretty quickly without blistering would be around 40 to 90°F. Meanwhile, if it’s latex paint, 50-85°F should do.

But first things first, if you’re doing the project indoors, it should be with an air conditioner that allows you to maintain a consistent temperature.

On the other hand, if you prefer taking the project outside for some reason, avoid painting in adverse weather conditions at all costs.

It’s because working in temperatures or humidity outside the recommended zone will always result in lousy results or cause the paint to dry reluctantly.

The appropriate Humidity Levels

If there is too much moisture in the air, it will take a long time for your paint to dry. It is because paints contain water and won’t evaporate quickly in high humidity. Instead, it will only extend the period of wetness.

High humidity equates to longer dry time. Hence, always keep the humidity level at a lower percentage to speed up the drying time.

The ideal percentage for proper drying time will occur between 40-50% humidity.

Aside from that, hundreds of serious DIY enthusiast, handyman, and the remodeling contractor has seen case after case reduce air moisture with a dehumidifier or turn on the air conditioner to speed up dry time.

Aside from the humidity and temperature levels, considering a sufficient amount of ventilation in the room is essential. Wet paint in a stuffy room will result in a slower dry time than a room with sufficient airflow.

Read Also: How Much Does a Painter Make?

How long should paint cure before putting items on it?

At least 72 hours. A full week is even better. The longer you wait before setting items on a freshly painted surface, the better the chance the paint has to fully dry. Depending on the type of stain or paint I would wait at least 24 to 48 hours.

Should I paint inside of closet?

Most designers prefer to paint the interior of closets either a white or a light neutral color. This is because a white or neutral paint color will provide a certain amount of reflective light, which can be particularly beneficial in a closet.

What kind of paint do you use in a closet?

You can use a flat or semi-gloss to match the room’s walls, but in a closet, satin paint is often a better option. Satin doesn’t show scuffs, streaks and other marks as easily as semi-gloss, so it’s ideal for a closet where you regularly pull items out and put them back.

How long does paint need to dry on shelves?

Generally, paint requires a minimum of two weeks to completely cure.

How do you paint closet shelves?

Paint the shelves with either a brush or a roller. If you must paint stationary shelves inside the linen closet, work from the top shelf down. For removable shelves, prop the shelves against a wall or other support so that you can paint one side and the edges of the shelf.

How can you make paint dry faster?

Easy Ways to Make Interior Paint Dry Faster

  • Apply Light Coats. While it might be tempting to try to get as much paint as you can on the wall at once, using thinner coats will help your paint dry faster.
  • Paint One Wall at a Time.
  • Use a Hair Dryer or Heater.
  • Keep the Air Moving.

What is better eggshell or satin?

Often confused with other finishes, the difference between eggshell and satin paint is that satin delivers a higher gloss, while offering better stain resistance and durability than lower sheens, including eggshell.

Should closet be painted same color as walls?

Your best bet with a closet or storage space that’s open to the rest of the room is to paint it the same color as the room or a slightly lighter shade. That way it’s more integrated and less likely to draw attention to what’s inside. Your primary closet. White or a light color are good choices.

How long does it take to paint a closet?

Painters spend two to four days painting an average-sized room. That’s how long it takes to prep, prime, and paint correctly. It’s more work, but when you stand back to admire the results, you’ll agree it’s time well spent.

How much paint do I need for a closet?

Two gallon cans of paint cover up to 800 square feet, which is enough to cover an average size room. This is the most common amount needed, especially when considering second coat coverage. Three gallon cans of paint cover up to 1200 square feet.


So, those are the factors that affect how long it takes paint to dry in a closet.

Whether you’re working in a walk-in-closet or a smaller closet space, it’s critical to leverage these factors as well as the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid the unflattering finish that comes when applying the second coat of paint when it’s not yet time.

Happy painting!