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How Long Should You Wait Between Coats of Paint?

Planning to do some repainting at your house? One of the first steps is figuring out how much paint you’ll need to get the job done. But it’s not just the amount of paint that needs consideration when repainting a room. Paint that isn’t allowed to dry before the application of a second coat is likely to peel, streak, clump, or flake when dry. Experts recommend leaving a minimum of two to four hours of drying time between each coat for best results. 

If you live in Las Vegas or Sacramento and decide you’d like to hire professional painters to do the job, we’ll give you a free estimate.

What Can I Do to Ensure an Even Second Coat?

A second coat of paint is important to ensure even distribution on the walls. Two coats also ensure the paint is more durable, making it resistant to chipping and fading. 

There are several things to consider in applying your second coat. These include:

1. Curing time

Relying on touch alone is not an accurate measure of whether or not your walls are ready for a finish coat of paint. Each coat requires additional time to set. The type of paint also plays a determining role. Latex paint requires only two to four hours to cure. Oil-based paints can take up to 24 hours between the first and second coats. 

2. Treatment of tools

If paint rollers or brushes are left open to the elements, they can begin to dry. When this happens, it is difficult to coat a roller or brush for a proper application of the second coat. This means the surface of the finish coat may be uneven. For best results, cover all painting tools with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. 

3. Painting technique

In order to ensure an even application, paint should be applied to the walls in the same pattern as the first coat. Experts recommend first cutting in all edges. When all edges have been neatly coated, you can then use a roller to paint the walls in a large W. This can then be filled in with painted by rolling in an upwards and downwards fashion to ensure even distribution of color. 

4. Color consistency

Dark paint colors contain a lot of pigment that can settle to the bottom of the paint can when resting. Be sure to stir the paint very well before pouring it into a paint tray to load the roller. 

How Many Coats of Paint Do You Need?

Typically, interior walls only need two coats of paint: a first coat and a finish coat. However, dark paint colors may require an additional application to ensure an even finish. 

Some variables that can affect how many coats of paint you may need are:

1. Painting the same color

If you are simply refreshing the same paint color, one or two coats are all that should be necessary. 

2. Painting a new color

If you are painting a room an entirely new color, the number of coats of paint will vary. Dark colors will require a minimum of two coats. However, applying light paint over something dark in pigment may necessitate as many as six coats to cover completely. Using a primer will dramatically cut down on the number of coats required to cover a dark wall color with light paint. 

3. Paint quality

It is quite true that you get what you pay for. Cheap paint is often thin, meaning more coats are required to get a good result. Opt for the best quality paints. They will cost more money but save you time. 

If you follow these steps, you should have no problem painting your walls. You shouldn’t have to worry about things like “how long should you wait between coats of paint,” “what can you do to ensure an even coat,” etc. If you decide you’d like a professional to paint your walls for you, and you live in the Las Vegas or Sacramento areas, give us call or click here to get a free estimate

 

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