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How Long to Wait Between Applying Additional Coats of Interior Paint

As you start a DIY painting project for your home, it’s important to make sure that you wait long enough for the paint to dry between the first layer of paint and the next coat. Giving each coat enough paint drying time will ensure the second coat of paint can adhere to the wall and minimizes the chances that you will smear the first coat of paint.

Applying additional coats of paint before the first coat is fully dried can lead to peeling and other problems. In this blog post, we will talk about how long you need to wait between applying each coat of paint so that your interior paint job looks great and lasts a long time!

Why You Need To Wait Between Coats Of Interior Paint

It is essential to wait for the paint to dry before adding another coat, especially with latex paint. If you attempt to paint over a still-wet coat of paint, the new layer will often peel off.

Luckily, paint technology has advanced, so interior paint tends to dry faster and more consistently than it has in the past so you won’t have to wait as long for your interior paint to dry before applying a second coat.

Be careful that you don’t apply a second coat of paint too soon because this will cause unsightly streaks in the paint that you may need to touch up before finishing the DIY project.

While the exact amount of time needed between each coat of paint will vary, it usually takes about 30 minutes for a base coat of paint to dry enough so that you can add a second coat. If you are using fast-drying paint, it may only take 15 minutes for the first coat to dry. You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions on the label before beginning your project.

There are three distinct phases that you need to know about when it comes to interior paint dry time to ensure you know the signs of when your interior paint is ready for a second coat.

Paint Dry Time

Paint dry time is the period of time that it takes for wet paint to become tack-free and hard. Sometimes, manufacturers will refer to this as “dry enough” or “dry to the touch.”

For our purposes though – which include recoating work after completion by painters who want their surfaces ready quicker than usual because they were rushed during production deadlines (or maybe even just had too much happening at once).

If you are using high-quality paint then you should expect it to take at least 5-10 minutes before the paint coat can be touched by a paintbrush since it is likely still tacky to the touch. It’s important to make sure the paint has enough time to dry before applying a second coat so the paint adhesion takes place during the wait time between coats.

Paint Recoat Time

Some paints take as little time to prep and repaint, while others require more depending on the application method used. In addition, glossy paint tends to take longer to set due to the amount of sheen used, so these types of paint will require a longer wait time to avoid streaks.

The average is about 20-30 minutes for flat latex paint but can be anywhere from 30-90 minutes if you’re using glossier materials like lacquer or shellacked surfaces that need to dry first before applying another coat of finish!

Paint Cure Time

Paint cure time is the amount of time it takes for a single coat of interior paint to harden enough that you are able to wash it and touch it without worrying about the paint streaking when touched.

The longest part about recoating interior wall paint depends largely on the temperature and humidity in the room and the type of paint that you are using to paint the interior of the room.

For example, flat or matte paint typically requires 30-60 minutes to fully cure, while semi-gloss paint may require up to 90 minutes to cure due to the differences in sheen.

To be on the safe side, always check the paint can label for how long you should wait before adding a second coat of paint to your interior walls!

How Do You Know When The First Coat Is Dry Enough For A Second Coat?

You’ll know it’s time to add a second coat of paint when the first coat is no longer tacky to the touch. If you wait too long and the paint starts to develop a glossy sheen, that means the paint has already cured, and you will need to sand down the surface before adding another layer of paint to some trim work and detailed wood designs.

It’s difficult to know exactly when a coat of interior paint is ready for a second coat, but you can use a few of these tips to help determine when you can apply a second coat to your room or interior space:

  • Try to keep the temperature of your interior space to around 72 degrees F. This will ensure your paint dries as quickly as possible because hotter weather will require more time for the paint to dry. In addition, hot weather can cause uneven patterns of drying as the paint adheres to the surface.
  • If you are using an oil-based paint, be sure the temperature remains between 50-90 degrees F. This will allow the oils to dry evenly so you can apply a second coat as soon as possible.
  • Cold weather can disrupt the paint drying process. If you are painting an interior space in low temperatures, be aware that you may need to give the paint longer to dry since cold air traps humidity.
  • Try to turn on a fan to keep the air circulating in the interior space. This will help move humidity and moisture away from the paint, and this can help the paint dry faster and reduce streaks during the paint drying process.
  • Try to open windows in the interior space unless it is too cold, hot, or humid outside. Opening windows helps move areas around the room and improves the quality of the paint drying process.

Once you’ve determined that the first coat of paint is dry enough, you can start painting the second coat!

Make sure to follow all of the same steps as you did for the first coat, including priming any bare spots and using painter’s tape along edges where you don’t want the paint to get on surfaces like trim or windows.

Interior painting is hard work, but you can cut down the amount of time and paint needed if you use the right amount of paint with each coat of paint that you apply. Be sure that you don’t apply too much or too little paint since thin coats will require several coats of paint to cover dark paint colors.

Apply A Second Coat Of Interior Paint At The Right Time To Let Your Home Shine!

So, how long do you need to wait between coats of paint? The answer may surprise you.

Depending on the type of paint and surface being painted, most professionals recommend waiting anywhere from four hours to four days before applying a second coat. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your home’s interior looks great for years to come!


Hi, I'm Chris. I'm a professional painter with over 10 years of experience. I want to show homeowners tips, guides, and advice to save them time and money when painting their own home. I know it can be daunting to take on a painting project yourself, but it doesn't have to be. With the right information and some guidance, you can easily paint your home and save money in the process.


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