How Long Does Interior Paint Take to Dry?

long-interior-paint-dry Credit: Gary Houlder/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Most interior latex paint dries to the touch within about an hour and is ready for recoating after four hours. Oil-based interior paint requires six to eight hours to dry to the touch and 16 hours before recoating. Drying times are heavily dependent on humidity, room temperature and thickness of paint application.

Latex paint is popular for interior applications. It is easy to use, dries quickly and does not exude harsh fumes. The only tools required for cleanup are a damp rag to wipe up spills and clean water to rinse out the brushes.

Oil-based interior paint is more difficult to use. Cleanup requires chemicals such as mineral spirits or turpentine. Additionally, the painting process is relatively slow since the paint requires so much time to dry between coats. Oil-based paint is often preferable due to its durability and is ideal for painting floors, stairs or other heavily used surfaces.