Most caulks made of acrylic latex need to dry 2 to 4 hours before painting, according to DAP Products Inc. Painting before the caulk is completely dry sometimes causes the paint to crack.
Clear caulks are white when applied, then the material turns clear as it dries. These caulks need to turn clear, which takes from seven to 14 days, before painting. These times are the minimum recommended waiting periods, and more time is needed if the area being caulked is significantly cool, humid or quite large. A joint that is deeper than 1/2 inch benefits from a foam rod inserted behind the caulk, which cuts down on drying time because less caulk is needed.