How Long Does Deck Paint Take to Dry?

By MWB-Team •  Updated: 05/28/23 • 

Painting your deck is an excellent way to improve its overall appearance. Deck paints give the deck a cleaner and more modern look with the many color options you can choose. Paints are also great at hiding deck flaws, such as weathering and cracks, which can revive your old deck back to life.

If you’re well prepared for the task, painting a deck can be relatively easy. Having the right tools, prepping the deck beforehand, and waiting for the ideal weather conditions will determine the results.

Often overlooked is the drying time of deck paint, which can affect the time it takes to paint your deck. The time a deck paint takes to dry will depend on several factors, such as the type of deck paint and weather conditions. Let’s delve into each of these factors below.

The Type of Deck Paint Used

There are two main types of deck paints, oil-based and water-based. Each of these has its pros and cons and has different drying times when applied to your deck.

Oil-based deck paints have been around for a while and are cheaper than water-based paints. Once applied to your deck, oil-based stains can take up to 24 hours to dry fully. However, some with added additives allow quick drying in about 6 to 8 hours.

Water-based deck paints are usually acrylic-based, but there are also water-based latex paints. Water-based deck paints dry faster than oil-based paints because they are thinner and easily affected by airflow. A water-based deck paint will take 4 to 6 hours to fully dry and be ready for recoating.

Check out our best deck stains.

Weather Conditions

When painting outside, different elements are out of our control but will affect the drying time of the paint. When painting a deck, temperature, airflow, and humidity are the main elements you should look out for.

The ideal temperature for painting a deck should be neither hot nor cold. The optimum temperature for oil-based paints is between 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit, while for most water-based paints, the temperature is 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Exterior Deck Painting

The humidity is another element to look out for when painting a deck. High humidity makes it harder for the solvent in deck paint to evaporate, which causes it to take longer to dry. Apart from making it longer to dry, you might also notice streaks once the deck paint dries. Adhesion will also be poor due to moisture condensation on a painted deck.

The airflow affects the rate at which a solvent will evaporate from the paint. The airflow needs to be just right because too much wind can cause paint to dry quicker, thus causing poor adhesion.

Before painting your deck, take time and plan. A weather forecast report can also help determine the best day for painting your deck. Choose to paint on a dry and warm day for the best results on your painted deck.

If you’re staining your deck, check this article for the drying time of deck stain.


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