How Long Does Chalk Paint Take to Dry?

How Long Does Chalk Paint Take to Dry?

You’ve heard chalk paint dries fast but exactly how long does chalk paint take to dry?

How long does it take for chalk paint to dry

Well that depends on what you mean by dry. Chalk paint is an amazing product. It’s no odor formula that you can use  in your home without worrying about making your family ill. Yes the paint does dry quickly. That’s why people struggle with their chalk paint thickening up too quickly (you can read my blog post on what to do about that here), but is it really dry?

So How Long Does Chalk Paint Take to Dry?

Chalk paint is dry to the touch within minutes. Usually within a half an hour you can touch what you’re painting and not have any chalk paint transfer onto your hands. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s actually dry.

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How Long Should it dry before a Second Coat?

I usually what a couple hours for my chalk paint to dry before I attempt a second coat. If you don’t you will pull the first coat off and have a hot mess on your hands (I speak from experience here). Even after a couple hours depending on your environment you could have a problem. Annie Sloan’s recommendation is 24 hours (they didn’t tell you that in the sales pitch did they).

How Long Should Chalk Paint Dry Before Adding a Topcoat?

Once you are happy with the paint coverage you are going to want to use a top coat to protect it. Most chalk paint stockist recommend waxing your piece. You don’t have to just use wax. I did a test of topcoats and found that you can use just about any top coat you want with varying results. If you want to see how each topcoat fairs check out this post here. What ever topcoat you choose you will want to wait for you paint to dry at least as long as you waited for the paint to dry between coats. So if that was 4 or 5 hours that’s how long you should wait.  I usually wait overnight to be safe.

So Is It dry?

Now you’re topcoat is dry so you’re all set right? Not exactly.

Dry paint

This is where the question of how long before it’s dry really gets people frustrated. It can take as long as two weeks before the paint is actually cured. Which just simply means before it’s stuck on their good and tight.

Again, they didn’t tell you that when they sold you this stuff did they! Nope.

I have had pieces I painted then stuck into my inventory only to have the paint easily scrape away when a customer has bumped up against it.  You can put your pieces in you house but you will still want to be very gentle with them for two weeks at least.

I sincerely hope that this post has helped answer some of your questions about dry time. Let me know if you’ve run across any other difficulties in the comments below. Maybe I can help!

Once your project is dry you might be curious what kinds of top coats you can use to protect your finish besides wax. I tested a few commercially available top coats to find out if they work with chalk paint. You can see that post HERE.

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Are you looking for a new challenge? Check out one of my favorite new posts Trying Angelus Leather Paints.

Many blessings to you all!


How Long Does it Take for Chalk Paint to Dry