Quick Drying Paint: A Handy Guide for Homeowners and DIYers

Close up shot of colourful paint pots with the lids removed

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Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or an enthusiastic DIYer, finding ways to streamline your home improvement projects is always a top priority.

When it comes to painting, one of the most time-consuming aspects is waiting for the paint to dry. That’s where quick drying paint comes to the rescue.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of quick drying paint and its immense benefits for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts alike.

What is quick drying paint?

Quick drying paint is a specially formulated type of paint that dries at a much faster rate than traditional paints.

Let’s take a look at the science behind it.

Quick drying paint employs a clever scientific process to speed up the drying time compared to traditional paints. The secret lies in the formulation of the paint itself. Quick drying paints contain special additives that help them dry faster by facilitating the evaporation of water or solvents present in the paint.

One key element in the science behind quick drying paint is the use of fast-evaporating solvents or water. These solvents or water molecules mix with the paint and then evaporate quickly, allowing the paint to dry rapidly. This rapid evaporation helps to eliminate excess moisture from the painted surface, leading to a quicker drying time.

Another important factor is the presence of drying accelerators, such as special chemicals, in the paint formulation. These accelerators work by increasing the rate of chemical reactions that occur during the drying process. Essentially, they speed up the transformation of liquid paint into a solid, creating a hard and durable finish.

Uses and applications for quick drying paint

Quick drying paint comes in handy in various painting projects around your home. Here are some ways you could use it:

Home Renovations: Quick drying paint is perfect for DIY renovations. Whether you’re painting an entire room, a piece of furniture, or just a feature wall, you can apply multiple coats in a day, saving you valuable time.

Touch-ups: Small touch-ups around the house become hassle-free with quick drying paint. It’s easy to apply, dries in no time and you don’t have to wait long to replace the furniture or use the room.

Outdoor Projects: If you’re working on an outdoor project, fast drying paint can help you take advantage of a brief spell of good weather to get your painting finished quickly.

Types of quick drying paint

There are several types of quick drying paints available on the market. Here are a few:

Water-Based Acrylic Paints: Acrylic paints are known for their fast drying properties. They are easy to use, emit fewer fumes (lower VOCs) and the brushes can be cleaned with just water. These are great for both interior and exterior painting projects.

Quick-Dry Gloss: Quick-drying gloss paint is an excellent choice when you’re looking for a shiny finish. Perfect for windows, doors, and trim, it can dry within 1 to 2 hours.

Fast Drying Emulsion: Fast drying emulsion paint is perfect for large walls and ceilings. It’s usually touch dry in around 1 to 2 hours and ready for a second coat in approximately 4 hours.

Choosing the right quick drying paint

When choosing a quick drying paint for your home decorating projects, consider the following factors:

Type of Surface: Different surfaces may require different types of paint.

Indoor vs Outdoor: Some paints are formulated specifically for outdoor use and can resist the elements better, while others are better suited for interior use.

Finish: Consider the desired finish. High-gloss finishes are excellent for surfaces that need to be easily cleaned, while matt finishes offer a sophisticated, modern look.

How quickly does quick drying paint dry?

Quick drying paint can vary in drying time, but typically, touch dry times can be as little as 30 minutes to an hour. The paint is usually ready to be recoated after approximately 1-2 hours. However, full curing can still take up to a few days, and it is always recommended to check the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific product you are using.

Where can I buy quick drying paint in the UK?

Quick drying paint can be purchased at many home improvement and DIY stores such as B&Q, Wickes, and Homebase. You can also purchase it online through websites like Amazon, Screwfix, and direct from paint manufacturers like Dulux or Crown.

What surfaces can I use quick drying paint on?

Quick drying paint can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including wood, metal, plaster, and more. However, it’s always best to check the label or product information to ensure it’s suitable for your specific surface.

Is quick drying paint as durable as traditional paint?

Yes, quick drying paint is usually just as durable as traditional paint. It provides a hard-wearing finish that is resistant to fading, peeling, and cracking. However, as with all paints, the durability can be affected by factors such as the quality of the preparation and the conditions it’s exposed to.

How can I apply quick drying paint?

Quick drying paint can be applied using a brush, roller, or spray system. Ensure the surface is clean, dry, and free from any loose material. If using a brush or roller, work in small sections to ensure an even coat.

Do I need to use a primer with quick drying paint?

This depends on the specific paint and the surface you’re painting. Some quick drying paints are self-priming, meaning they don’t require a separate primer. However, for some surfaces or for the best finish, a primer may be recommended. Check the product information for advice.

Can I use quick drying paint outdoors?

Yes, many quick drying paints are suitable for exterior use. They can provide a durable finish that is resistant to weathering. However, make sure the paint you choose is specifically labelled for outdoor use.

How do I clean up after using quick drying paint?

Most quick drying paints are water-based and can be cleaned up using warm soapy water. For oil-based quick drying paints, you may need to use a paint thinner or white spirit for clean-up. Always remember to dispose of any leftover paint or cleaning materials responsibly.

Is quick drying paint safe to use?

Yes, quick drying paint is safe to use, but like all paints, it should be used in a well-ventilated area and you should avoid contact with skin and eyes. Some people may find the smell of the drying process unpleasant or may have a sensitivity to certain ingredients. Always check the safety data for the specific product.

Is quick drying paint more expensive than traditional paint?

Not necessarily. The price of quick drying paint can vary depending on factors like brand, quality, and type (interior, exterior, multi-surface). While some quick drying paints may be slightly more expensive than their traditional counterparts, the cost is often justified by the time saved during the painting process.

Does quick drying paint come in different finishes?

Yes, quick drying paint is available in a variety of finishes, including gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and matte. This allows you to choose the perfect finish to match your aesthetic preferences and the requirements of your project.

Can quick drying paint be colour matched?

Yes, many brands and stores offer colour matching services for quick drying paint. This means you can get the exact shade you want, whether you’re trying to match an existing colour scheme or creating a new one.

Is quick drying paint environmentally friendly?

Many quick drying paints are water-based, which makes them lower in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and generally more environmentally friendly than oil-based paints. However, it’s always a good idea to check the paint specifications for specific environmental information.

Can I use quick drying paint in a bathroom or kitchen?

Yes, there are quick drying paints available that are specifically designed for use in high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens. These paints are typically resistant to steam and humidity, and can be easily cleaned, making them ideal for these environments.

Does quick drying paint have a strong smell?

Most quick drying, water-based paints have a minimal odour compared to oil-based paints. However, some smell is normal, and it’s always recommended to ensure good ventilation when painting.

How should I store leftover quick drying paint?

Leftover paint should be sealed tightly and stored in a cool, dry place. It’s also a good idea to store it out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat. Always refer to the storage instructions on the paint can for specific guidelines.

Can I mix different brands of quick drying paint?

It’s generally not recommended to mix different brands or types of paint as they may have different formulations that could affect the final finish or drying time. If you need to mix paints to achieve a certain colour, it’s best to do so within the same product line.

Are there any drawbacks to using quick drying paint?

While the fast drying time of these paints is usually a benefit, it can also be a drawback if you’re working on a large area or a complex design that requires more time. The paint may start to dry before you’ve finished, which can lead to unevenness or visible brush strokes.

How long can I store quick drying paint?

If stored correctly, unopened quick drying paint can last for up to 10-15 years. However, once opened, it’s best to use it within 2-5 years. Always store paint in a cool, dry place, away from extreme temperatures and sunlight.

Can I use quick drying paint on radiators?

Yes, there are specific types of quick drying paint that are suitable for use on radiators. These are heat-resistant and designed to not discolour or crack with the heat from the radiator.

Can I use quick drying paint on floors?

Yes, there are quick drying paints available that are designed for use on floors. These paints are typically more durable and able to withstand the increased wear and tear that floors experience.

What’s the difference between quick drying paint and normal paint?

The main difference is the drying time. Quick drying paint is formulated to dry significantly faster, often becoming touch dry within an hour and ready for a second coat after 1-2 hours. This can be a major advantage when time is of the essence or when multiple coats are required.

Can quick drying paint be used for spray painting?

Yes, quick drying paint can be used for spray painting. In fact, the quick drying nature of the paint can be advantageous when spray painting, as it allows for quicker application of multiple coats.

Can quick drying paint be used on furniture?

Yes, quick drying paint can be used on furniture. Many people use it for upcycling projects as it allows them to complete their project more quickly. However, for the best results, it’s important to prepare the furniture properly by cleaning, sanding, and priming if necessary.

Can I thin quick drying paint if it’s too thick?

Yes, quick drying paint can be thinned if necessary. However, you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended method and type of thinner to use. Be careful not to over-thin the paint, as this can affect its coverage and drying time.

Is quick drying paint safe for children’s rooms and toys?

Many quick drying paints are safe for use in children’s rooms and on toys, but you should always check the product information. Look for paints that are non-toxic and have low or zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds). You may also want to look for paint that is washable and durable to withstand the extra wear and tear these areas may experience.

How can I dispose of quick drying paint?

Unused paint should never be poured down the drain. Instead, it can be donated, recycled, or disposed of at a household waste recycling centre. If the paint is water-based and has dried out, it can be safely disposed of in your regular rubbish bin. Always check your local council’s regulations for proper disposal methods.

In Conclusion

Quick drying paint has revolutionised the painting process, making it much faster and more efficient. So next time you decide to pick up that paintbrush, remember this guide and consider giving quick drying paint a try. You’ll be amazed at how much time you can save, leaving more room to enjoy your newly painted space.