How Long Does Primer Take To Dry?


Are you looking to renovate your room? Do you prefer to do your renovations yourself? Are you contemplating whether using a primer is necessary? Are you worried about how long does primer take to dry?

Your worries are valid. We all know how beneficial using a primer can be. I also understand that planning ahead is very crucial when it comes to renovations. To be able to effectively plan ahead, you should have a rough estimate of how long each section of the renovation will take (even if it is just a paint job).

I will answer your question in detail in the article below.

Why should You use A Primer? 

Before we go on, here is a quick explanation of what primer is and why using it is important:

A primer is a protective overcoat applied before painting to ensure better adhesion of the paint to the surface of the wall. This way, when the painting is done, it has a more vibrant finish. Priming also makes the paint last longer and provides some protection for the material being painted. This is why priming is essential. 

Now, to answer question, how long does primer take to dry?

Normally, primer takes to dry after 1 to 24 hours. The reason why there is no actual figure is that the figures may vary based on the type of primer used and the painting conditions.

There are two major types of primers - Oil-based and Latex based primer. We will be taking a look at each of these primer types. I will also be pointing out how some certain factors can make these dry faster or slower. 

Oil-Based Primer

Oil primers are perfect for painting over wood. However, they have a longer dry time than latex-based primers. 

Kilz oil-based primer and Rustoleum Primer are great choices. These 5 factors can determine the dry time of your oil-based primer.

  • Mode of Application: Using spray paint will give a significantly lesser dry time than if you use a brush or a roll-on. The reason is that spraying on primer creates thin coats that will dry out in about one to two hours in ideal conditions.
  • Humidity: Primer dries much faster in low humidity areas than in high humidity areas. This takes longer for the paint to dry indoors when rain is falling. The issue of humidity can easily be solved by using a dehumidifier.
  • Temperature: The higher the temperature of the room, the faster the drying time of the primer. The ideal temperature of the room is 75 Fahrenheit or 24 Degrees Celsius.
  • Ventilation: Rooms that are highly ventilated will have a significantly reduced dry time. However, make sure there isn’t much dust floating in the air. If they get into your primer, it could bring an unpleasant result. 
  • Exterior or Interior Project: Your primer is exposed to the elements when you paint outdoors. The conditions outdoors will determine whether dry time will be fast or slow. For instance, a sunny day means a faster dry time than a humid, wet, or rainy day. When painting outdoors, choose your days wisely.

Latex Primers

Latex Primers are water-based. Generally, they dry a lot faster than oil-based primers. It takes about 1 to 2 hours for a latex primer to dry, all things being equal. They also do not give off as much VOCs and odors as oil-based primers.

They produce virtually the same results as oil-based primers. However, they do not offer the same level of protection of the material from the elements as oil-based primers do. 

Another factor that can determine the length of dry time is the type and number of coats used. The more coats you use, the longer it takes for your primer to dry. Generally, thin coats produce better results. They reduce the chance of getting uneven edges.

It is much better to use multiple thin strokes than a singular thick coat. Remember, 1 or 2 thick coats < numerous thin layers.

How Long Does Primer Take to Dry On Wood?

The primer dry time for wood takes no more time than it does for other surfaces like furniture, metal, or drywall. For the most part, dry time is determined based on the primer type.

While oil Primers will take about 12 to 24 hours, latex primers will take 1 to 2 hours to dry on wood. These figures are only possible in ideal conditions. Factors like high humidity and low temperature will definitely reduce dry time.

How Can You Make Primer Dry Faster?

You can make our primer dry much faster if you follow these tips:

  • Low humidity reduces dry time. Run a dehumidifier in the room or area you painted.
  • Thin coats dry faster than thick coats. Using a paint sprayer will result in thin coats.
  • Put on your heater. Primer dries faster in rooms or areas with high temperatures. 

Additional Notes

When it comes to priming, the patient dog gets the best results. You can wait for up to 30days after priming before you paint. So do not be in a hurry to paint your room.

If you paint your room before the primer dries, you will get a very terrible outcome. The tackiness may even force you to pull out the paint and start all over.


Priming is essential to get the best results after painting. Not only will you get an excellent finish, but your paint will also last longer, and you will be giving the material you are painting more protection from the elements. 

However, for everything to be perfect, you need to patiently wait for your primer to dry. Based on the primer type and other elements, it takes between 1 to 24 hours for the primer to dry.

Remember, patience is essential. If your primer sits for long before you paint over it, you are likely to get better results.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below. Thanks for reading.