Easy Ways to Make Interior Paint Dry Faster

Surprising ways to speed up the drying process for paint

Painting interior walls to sped up drying

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

No one has time to watch the paint dry. House painting is usually a huge job and one best done before you move in. If you're short on time but need to get a room or house painted fast, there are ways to make the job go a little faster. While there's no easy way to dry a whole freshly painted room, painters do have some painting tips to move the job along.

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. Using multiple coats also looks better than having one really thick one because it tends to give a more uniform appearance. Remember, you don't have to wait for your first coat to fully dry before adding a second layer if it's needed.

Paint One Wall at a Time

If you focus on painting one wall at a time, then you give the other walls time to dry. You might find that by the time you've painted the last wall the first is dry and ready for a second coat.

Use a Hair Dryer or Heater

If you need to quick-dry paint on furniture or walls, use a hair dryer to speed up the process. Focus the hair dryer on the area that is drying too slowly. Keep the nozzle of the dryer about 2 inches away from the surface so that the paint doesn't blister. Slowly move the dryer over the wet area until all areas are evenly dried.

This technique works particularly well on a piece of furniture that you're applying a special paint finish to. Instead of waiting around for each layer of paint finish to dry, you can speed up the process to quickly move on to the next coat of paint.

If you're working on a crackle finish, a type of finish that intentionally looks cracked upon drying, know that the heat of the hair dryer will make the cracks in the finish coat wider. Be careful with this technique because heating the paint too much could cause it to chip.

The temperature of the room can also affect the speed of the paint drying. Try pointing a space heater at the wall you're trying to dry. If you're painting in winter, then you'll want to point the heater at the outside facing wall as it will be the coldest. Just make sure you don't overheat while you're painting.

Keep the Air Moving

It may sound like common sense, but having good air circulation will speed up the drying process. Opening a window is a great way to keep air moving and vent the fumes from the paint. You can also keep fans running and pointed at the walls to speed up the drying process.

Unfortunately, the humidity will impede the drying process, so if you have a dehumidifier it couldn't hurt to turn it on. If you have the option, choose the least humid day of the week to paint.