How Long To Wait Between Primer and Paint

Seemingly a daunting task is having to wonder whether to wait for hours or days on how long to wait between primer and paint.

In this article, you will find ideal ways on how to ensure that your paintwork won’t have to end in being a disaster, and you end up redoing the entire job again.

Read on and find more information in regards to the pausing in-between primer and paint and the various factor to be on the look-out for that perfect paint job.

On how long to wait between primer and paint majorly relies upon the type of primer used (oil-based or water-based) and, overall, the painting conditions.

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4 Factors That Determine How Long Does Oil Based Primer Take to Dry?

How Long To Wait Between Primer and Paint

You are looking to change the interior walls of your interior walls of your house.

Painting offers an affordable way to remodel your home brilliantly.

The key factor to always recall how long to wait between primer and paint, when working with oil-based primers is that you should give it ample time to be fully dry.

Otherwise, you risk redoing the entire paint job due to tackiness.

Oil-based primers drying time relies upon the following factors;

  • The brand name of the primer
  • Whether the primer was applied with a sprayer
  • Proper ventilation of the room or area in which the primer is being applied
  • Low humidity and high temperature


Applying primer via a spray gun will result in thinner coats in comparison to an application made with a paintbrush.

 They are thus resulting in a shortened period to wait for the primer dry to about 1-2 hours in ideal conditions.

Oil-based primers will generally take more time to dry than the water-based primers.

Some of the oil-based brands will take longer to dry than others because some brand contains more oil in them.

Ensure to read the manufactures instructions for the primer you have bought in regards to the drying periods for the primer.

When painting in a low humid area, the primer tends to dry faster as opposed to high humid areas.  With the advent of technology, the high humidity shouldn’t worry you much because you can get the dehumidifiers.

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Conditions when primer application is necessary


  1. Uneven surface

Uneven or porous surfaces necessitate prepping beforehand with a coat of primer, helping in ensuring that the priming coat seals up the pores and provides an even surface that will bond well with the finishing coat.

  1. Switching from darker wall color to lighter one

Painting over a dark color isn’t quite easy because a dark color will require a couple of finishing coats to be painted over it to conceal it.

A white primer will cover a dark color in either one or two coats, and thus saving time and the paint required in the overall paintwork.

  1. A surface having a glossy base

A surface with a gloss base coat limits bonding between the base coat and the finishing coat. Necessitating the application of a primer to acts as a base coat.

Common painting mistake that you’re prone to make

How Long To Wait Between Primer and Paint

  1. Choosing substandard products

A lot of people are predisposed to go for cheap, otherwise substandard paint brushes and rollers after purchasing paints.

Notwithstanding for you to get impeccable results, it’s advisable to get proper quality tools.

  1. Improper surface Preparation

Prepping your walls or the surface to receive the paint is the ideal way to go at about it. The surfaces should be free from all dust or debris, any holes patched up and primed, and should be free from any dampness.

  1. Preceding the use of a painters’ tape

Paintwork is all about paying close attention to detail. For your work to stand out from good work to great work with neatly cut lines and professional results, then you need not skip the tape.

Tapping guarantees that your paint won’t bleed when painting around baseboards, moldings, doors, and windows.

  1. Improper prepping of the workstation

During painting, you will realize that paint tends to end up in areas not initially intended.

Whether you’re a professional or a first-timer painter protecting the surroundings you’re painting around is of utmost importance.

Cover up the floor with a drop cloth, if there’s furniture sitting around you can either cover them or move them a different location and take off all the wall hangings.

You will appreciate this initial 5-minute prep after the paintwork when you aren’t scrubbing off splatter off the floor or cleaning it off the furniture

  1. Skipping the primer

After you’re done with the surface preparations, you need not skip painting the priming coat.

Applying the primer ensures that the paint will bond well with the surface, and also the sheen of the finishing coat achieved.

  1. Dunking the entire paintbrush

Dousing the paintbrush with paint isn’t advisable. The paint eventually dries up on the bristles, and its quite hard to clean out the paint later on. Likewise, fully submerging a roller brush can mat down the roller.

Instead, it’s prudent to dip your paintbrush at about a third way into the paint can.

Out of this, you will be saving on paint and avoiding undesirable paint splatter.

  1. Timing of the second coat application

Early application of the can ruin the entirety of the paintwork, by not allowing ample time for the first coat to dry thoroughly.

Check for the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended dry time of the paint.


A comparison of types of paint and Primers and their drying times

How Long To Wait Between Primer and Paint

Kilz and Rustoleum are two of the most used primers, profoundly used because of their outstanding sealing capabilities against tannins and grease stains and block outgrowth of molds, mildew.

The primers also aid against damage caused by humidity.

Dry time for the Kilz primer

The Kilz primer is a blend of either the Latex or the Oil-based primers.

They provide an excellent base for protection against mold, mildew, and moisture in the bathrooms.

The Kilz oil-based primers average at about 1hour dry time with the ideal conditions of above 85 Fahrenheit ±10°

Rustoleum Primer drying time

The primer averages at around 1hour with the temperature range between 70-80F

Unparalleled Painting Situations

How Long To Wait Between Primer and Paint

On the contrary, not all the paints and primers fall under the Latex or the oil-based categories.

Spray and chalk paints are tremendously becoming popular owing to their fast dry properties and ease of application.

  • Enamel spray paint takes around 30minutes to feel dry wilt will require at least 5 hours to receive the second coat.
  • Lacquer spray paint feels dry after about 5minutes but will be ready for the second coat in about 2-3hours
  • Polyester and epoxy paints dry in less than 5minutes due to the chemical reactions that undergo within the compounds but will require about 30 minutes to receive the second coat


How Long To Wait Between Primer and Paint

Knowing on how long to wait between primer and paint will unburden you quite a great deal of headache and save you from messy paintwork and having to redo the works

Pro tip

I commend screening the freshly primed surface for tackiness before ongoing with the paint job.  Make sure to primer and the paint to be applied vigorously to ensure that the pigment blend thoroughly in the solution.

The majority of the latex primers take about an hour to dry out. Notwithstanding, you should at least wait for at least 3-4 hours before applying the second coat.

Oil-based, on the other hand, takes a longer time to dry out to about 24hours.

However, high humid and cold temperature conditions will protract the dry periods for the primers and the paints.

Waiting for the paint to dry out also gives ample time for the paint to cure thoroughly.

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