Epoxy paint is a popular choice for its greatness in making the painted surface extra shiny. It works great on the basement, garage, and patio floors. But a question is there which people want to know: how long does epoxy paint take to dry? Knowing the answer may make the application result far better. I am here to explain how fast epoxy paint dries and the factors to accelerate the processes.
Usually, epoxy paint curing time depends on its type. You should wait below 2 hours for 1-part epoxy and more time for 2-part epoxy to dry. Again, 1-part epoxy takes 4-6 hours, and 2-part takes 8 hours for hardening and recoats. Both paints may take 24-72 hours for complete curing.
These facts may sound a bit confusing at first. But if you read this whole article, things will be easy to understand and beneficial for faster epoxy paint drying time. Okay, let’s start.
The Benefits of Giving Epoxy Paint Enough Time to Dry
Epoxy paint is a type of two-part paint applicable in many homes improvement projects. It contains a mixture of resin and hardener. Earlier, it was developed to use in the dental industry. Then, people started using it as an adhesive and coating that led to brilliant results.
If the paint is applied and dried correctly, it may offer several benefits like:
- Applying epoxy paint can resist frictions and chemicals. It works great in high traffic areas like workshops, factories, garages, entrances, etc.
- It lasts longer while fighting against chemicals, oils, detergents. Also, it can stay strong in different temperatures.
- If the paint dries properly, you can easily wash the painted surface for cleaning purposes.
- You can get the expected color, shine, and sturdiness if the paint cures fully after taking sufficient time.
- Curing the paint correctly can give it perfect adhesion to the surfaces. It enables long-lasting shine and protection of the applied surface.
- You can reduce the cost of maintenance if you give the epoxy paint enough time to dry or cure.
If you are not new or have already had some workshops on a painting job, you may know epoxy paint comes in two different containers. They contain resin and hardeners in separate containers. You will need to mix them to make the active paint. Therefore, we call the product 2-part epoxy.
Most people (especially newbies) may think using excessive hardener means faster and better curing. But it is not correct at all. Several factors control the drying or cure time of epoxy paint. Read these factors in the latter part of this article.
How Long Does It Take For 1-Part Epoxy to Dry?
One part epoxy is usually a waterborne enamel containing epoxy resins to improve the adhesions and resist the high traffic on a painted surface. Moreover, it dries faster than other epoxy resins as it is originally a latex acrylic paint with epoxy resins.
Other epoxy paints take more time as they need a chemical reaction for proper curing. Alternatively, 1-part epoxy dries through the air-drying process. In this process, the paint dries and hardens depending on its exposure to the air.
It may take around 2 hours or less than that for 1-part epoxy to dry. After that, you may need to recoat that will take about 4-6 hours for hardening. Later, you may leave it alone for 24-72 hours for light traffic. Then, you can walk on the painted floor or use the wall.
One more thing, it is better to apply the epoxy at more than 60°F temperature. It will be faster for the paint to cure and dry. After applying the paint, you can wash it the first time for cleaning purposes on the 31st day using a solvent.
However, many experts have found that 1-part epoxy paint takes (on average):
- 1 hour to dry to touch
- 6 hours for recoat or applying sealant
- 48 hours to walk on.
For heavy traffic like parking or moving a car on the garage floor, it will take a minimum of 7 days for 1-part epoxy. Still, it is good to use 2-part in these areas.
How Long Does It Take For 2-Part Epoxy to Dry?
You may now ask, how long does it take for 2-part epoxy floor paint to dry? I have the answer too.
Two-part epoxy resin takes more time to dry and cure than 1-part epoxy. The reason is that it contains two types of elements: resins and hardeners. If you want to apply it, you must mix them and make an epoxy paste to apply on the targeted surface. Then, a chemical reaction happens between two elements that produce exothermic heat. Lastly, the paint cures and dries with that heat and other helping factors.
It will cost at least 2 hours to dry to touch after applying it on wood, concrete, metal, or other surfaces. Then, wait for minimum of 8 hours for applying the next coat.
Usually, the 2-part epoxy painted area becomes suitable for light traffic within 24 hours. But the more time you give it to harden, the result will be more long-lasting. Even it may resist the frictions of any heavy vehicle parked in the garage. It may take three days to get like this dryness on average.
Like the one-part epoxy floor paint, it will take minimum 30 days to apply any solvents for cleaning purposes. But it may vary depending on the factors of drying any epoxy product. Again, you should properly apply it at more than 60°F temperature while following the application methods.
What are the Factors for Epoxy Cure Time?
Hardener works for strength and durability, whereas resin works for epoxy paint flexibility. Therefore, several factors can control the duration of epoxy cure. Some of them are the types of hardeners and resin, the temperature, and humidity.
Amine and anhydride are two common types of hardeners. Amine can cure quicker than anhydride. If you want the epoxy to work faster, you may choose an epoxy containing the amine hardener.
Another thing you should know is that using more hardeners can hasten the epoxy cure time. But if you use excessive hardener, the epoxy may become brittle and reduce the strength of the coat.
You can find two major types of resins: polyester and epoxy. Between these two, polyester resins have faster cure quality. It can save you precious time.
Temperature and Humidity
In warm areas or during the summer season, epoxy paints dry faster. But extreme hot temperatures may make the epoxy fragile. Again, higher humidity can slow the drying time. Experts suggest applying epoxy when the temperature is 60-85°F. It will prevent any damage or blister to the epoxy coating.
How to Speed Up Epoxy Paint Drying Process?
You can follow two effective methods to make the epoxy floor paint dry faster:
- Heating the epoxy
- Increasing the air circulation
Heating the Epoxy
Heating the epoxy can accelerate the chemical reaction of resins and hardeners. You can use any heat lamp, hairdryer, radiator, or heater for the room. Follow these steps to heat the epoxy paint:
- Turn on the heater after plugging it into an electric outlet.
- Adjust the temperature within 70-85°F.
- Maintain 3” between epoxy and heater and move the heater around the coating.
- After running it for 10 minutes, turn off the heater to shorten the curing time to 50%.
Increasing the Air Circulation
If you have applied 1-part epoxy, this method will perform best. As 1-part epoxy dries through air drying, you can increase the air circulation around the coating. You can also follow this method for a 2-part epoxy coating.
Follow these steps to increase air circulation:
- Switch on the fans.
- Keep the air vents of the room open.
- Open all the doors and windows for air passing.
- Run an air blower or fan in your air conditioner.
Besides these methods, you may find epoxy additives in the market. They can play roles to make the epoxy resin dry quicker.
Things to Avoid When Curing Epoxy Paint
You should be aware of some rules to apply the epoxy. They are not mandatory yet can effectively make the paint dry faster.
- Avoid applying more than two epoxy coats. It will make the coat thicker and take more time to evaporate.
- Do not add excessive hardener for timesaving purposes. It may provide poor results.
- Applying in cold temperatures may slow down the chemical reaction and air-drying processes.
How long does epoxy paint take to dry? I think you have understood the whole thing: 4-6 or 8 hours to dry for recoating, 24-72 hours for light uses, and a minimum of 1 week for full curing.
If you want to know if the epoxy is dry on the surface, you may deny the coating. If there is no indent, the paint is fully cured. However, an extended drying time may increase the lifespan and strength of the epoxy paint.