Drying Time Versus Curing Time
Latex paint dries very fast, but drying and curing are two different things. At normal room temperature and humidity latex paint can be dry to the touch in an hour or less. It’s only dry on the surface and until it cures the finish is still soft. Damage can occur from wiping the walls, having people or pets brush against it or from being hit with objects. It’s not going to stand up to water or other liquids beings spilled on it or to high humidity.
In ideal conditions it can take up to 2 weeks for paint to cure enough so that it can stand up to being wiped or washed. Most paints take 28 days to fully cure. This is when the paint reaches its full hardness. Until the paint has had time to cure you can run the risk of creating a burnish mark if you wipe the walls.
Conditions that can affect the curing time are temperature, ventilation and humidity. If something happens to mark the wall during the curing time it is best to leave it until the paint has cured, then you can wash it off. Of course there are times when this just is not going to be possible, such as a splatter of tomato sauce above your kitchen counter. In this case take a slightly damp cloth or sponge and wipe it off as gently as possible.
When having the exterior of your home painted make sure your sprinkler system is adjusted. It shouldn’t be getting any water onto the surfaces being painted during the days that the painting is taking place. It’s best to wait at least a few days after the painting is finished to reset your sprinklers. You still shouldn’t have water directly spraying onto your house.
After My Bathroom Has Been Painted When Can I Shower Or Bathe?
It’s best if you can wait 48 to 72 hours before showering or taking a bath in a freshly painted bathroom. Keep damp laundry or towels off the painted surfaces during this time. Keep this in mind when scheduling your painting. Is it going to work for your family? Do you have an alternative bathroom you can use? Your bathroom should be equipped with a good ventilation fan. Many bathrooms are small spaces, to help the humidity escape it’s best to leave the fan on for several hours after the painter has finished. As we mentioned above it can take between 2 to 4 weeks for paint to cure. When showering or bathing for the next while keep the fan running afterwards for at least an hour. If the room is not well ventilated and too much moisture or humidity is allowed to gather on the walls or ceiling it can ruin the paint finish. You should always have your fan running during a shower and its good practice to leave it running for 15 to 20 minutes after a shower or bath. For houses with humidity issues you may need to run the fan even longer.
When Can I Hang Pictures And Place Items On Painted Surfaces?
It’s best to wait at least 48 hours before hanging photo frames and other items on the walls. Placing objects on freshly painted horizontal surfaces like fireplace mantels and window sills should be refrained from for about a week. The paint finish might be slightly soft during this time period. You run the risk of things sticking to the finish. Items such as towel bars, door knobs, light switch and electrical outlet covers can be usually be put back on by the end of the day or the following day.