Latex Paint Drying Time Vs Curing Time

Most interior paint is latex based, in fact it is very hard to come by an oil based paint nowadays. Latex paint dries extremely fast especially in a well ventilated low humidity environment. After you apply a coat of latex paint it will dry to the touch within minutes. When the paint is dry to the touch it does not necessarily mean the paint is completely dry. The paint still needs to go through the process of curing. As latex paint dries, its solid components contact and adhere to each other, a process called curing. Drying time and curing time have totally different timetables. Drying time can take an hour or less. The paint will be dry to the touch and you may think it’s OK to clean or wipe down the wall, doing so can result in a mess. Until the paint cures. It is still fragile and any rigorous wiping or touching of the paint can cause huge problems. The curing process takes a little bit longer than the drying process, in fact the curing process can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks for it to be completely cured. Once the paint is completely cured it is able to withstand rigorous wear. Humidity, ventilation and temperature all affect drying and curing time. The more ventilated the environment is the faster the paint will both dry and cure. Also the less humid the environment is the faster the paint will dry and cure. Temperature also plays a large roll in drying time, as long as the environment is not below 50 degrees the paint will not have any problem drying and curing. Anything below 50 degrees will extend the drying and curing time by a significant amount of time.


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