How Long To Wait For Primer To Dry Before Painting (Complete Guide)

Whatever, this is the easiest way to bring your painting expertise into your home. What else will be well more than beautify your house. Painting your home involves many steps, and adding primer is one of them. 

Now, are you worried about how long to wait for the primer to dry before painting? Most primers take 30 minutes to 1 hour to dry. But experts suggest waiting around 3 hours to achieve a great finish on painting. If you work under high humidity or cool temperatures, the drying time will change accordingly. 

So, before buying any primer, take a look at our guide. You will find every ins and outs of how long you should let your primer sit before painting. 

How Long Can Primer Sit Before Painting

Well, it depends on the types and quality of the primer. So, the time between primer and paint wouldn’t be going too long. 

  1. It takes almost 30 days for latex paint to sit properly before painting. Oil-based primers don’t last longer than 14 days. If you cross the time, you have to re-apply the primer again. 
  2. There may be a few extended primers in the market. Look at the primer can or manual you will find the maximum time period. 
  3. Heat and humidity prolong the drying time.
  4. If the area is full of dust and debris, they interrupt the primer to sit properly. So clean the surface before applying primer.
  5. Thick coats can affect drying time. If you accidentally put too much primer on some areas, sanding those areas with sandpaper or sand block. 

What Type of Primer Are You Using?

There are two different types of primers. So, how long it will take your primer to dry depends on which one you choose. 

Water-based primers are much easier to apply and dry within 3 hours. Besides, oil-based primers take 24 hours to completely dry and are tougher to work than water-based. 

If you don’t want much hassle, then use latex primer and latex paint. 

What Are The Environmental Conditions?

Temperature and humidity in your home affect the overall drying time of the primer. 

DIY experts recommended keeping the room temperature and humidity in balance (around 70 degrees F and 50% humidity) for primer application. If you go over it, the drying time for primer and paint will be changed accordingly. 

Don’t apply primer when there is more atmospheric humidity because it increases the water molecules in the air and extends the drying time. Here, humidity is more crucial than temperature. 

Cold environments are more convenient for drying primer and paint color fast. 

What Happens If You Wait Too Long To Paint Over Primer?

Waiting too long means you will need to re-prime the surface again. 

Why do you need to do that?

If you wait longer to adhere primer, the surface will be textured with dust and grime in the meantime. Sometimes you can experience primer decay in some parts of the surface. This is a huge disadvantage during painting.  

Along with those problems, you can also face paint slippage issues. Does it sound horrible to you? If you want to avoid slippage issues, don’t wait too long to dry the primer. 

How Long Should Primer Dry Before Sanding?

Sanding would be necessary if you apply thick primer coats on the wall. But primer needs to dry fully before sanding, or the whole process will ruin. 

Wait at least 24 hours to dry and start sanding from a small area to know primer dry completely or not.

How To Know When The Primer Is Dry

The best way to know if the primer is 100% dry or not is to check by hand. So lightly touch the priming area with your finger, and if you feel it isn’t sticky or doesn’t come off on your finger, you can be sure the area is ready to paint. But we suggest waiting another 30 minutes for full confirmation. 

When you are completely sure the primer is dried, sand the surface and add another layer. Though it’s not compulsory, it helps to perfect the paint job. 

Many surfaces don’t need an extra layer of primer coats. If you saw the first coat is dried, start applying the paint over it. 

Do All Projects Require Painting Primer?

Using primers on the surface is a good idea to adhere paint colors perfectly. This is because many surfaces don’t hold the paint properly without a primer. Again a few of them don’t need to apply primer. So, where you need to apply primer and where you don’t, keep reading-

  1. A high gloss surface can’t hold the paint well. It’s necessary to apply primer on glossy surfaces before painting. 
  2. Go with the same color as a primer. If you apply dark color over light color won’t be good. 
  3. If the wall surface isn’t in good condition (scratch, debris, dust, or old stain), apply one or two coats of primer for getting a good result. 
  4. Painting on an old surface needs a lot of attention. You have to clean the area first and then priming it. 

What About Self-Priming Paint?

If you don’t want to apply the primer and paint separately, there is an option of self-priming. This paint is normally thicker than others. 

However, you can apply it to all different surfaces. But the result isn’t as satisfactory as you want. That’s why professionals stick with primers and regular paints. 

You still have the option to use self-priming under a quick fix. Of course, you have to clean the surface properly. Though it is a hit or miss deal. 

How Can You Make Primer Dry Faster?

There a few options you can apply to make your primer dry faster – 

  1. A dehumidifier is a great choice, and It will lower the room temperature for faster drying. 
  2. You can run a table fan and also keep open the window and door for proper ventilation. 
  3. Apply a thin coat, and you can use a paint sprayer for better application. 

Final Words

If you are already in here, that means you now have a better understanding of how long to wait for primer to dry before painting. 

Once you figure out the time between primer and paint, you can easily plan what to do. So we can recap the thing again, you have to wait 3 hours for your primer to sit properly. But you can’t wait more than 30 days, or you have to re-primer again. The best way is to follow the manual instruction. 

Moreover, painting your walls is very easy if you follow the process we told you to do. Make sure the surface is well prepared before you apply primer and paint.

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