How long between coats of paint? Discover drying times and why you shouldn’t add another coat too soon

Woman standing in front of white wall with bucket and roller in hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Knowing how long between coats of paint is important, especially when assessing when might be the ideal point to start painting a second coat. If you put on a coat of paint before the previous coat is dry, you could be heading for trouble. 

Whether you are painting a wall, doors, or skirting boards you need to make sure that the previous coat is clean and dry. But, drying times for different paints are all over the place. So, don’t make assumptions, check out our guide below as well as the manufacturer's recommendations to plan your paint project before you even open the tin.  

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.