How long to paint after primer: detailed instructions and a brief description

How Long To Paint After Primer: Best Tips & Helpful Guide Paint FAQs

When it comes to a paint job, it is advisable to use a primer. However, many people have a question, how long does to paint after primer? More information about this you can find in the article.

how long to paint after primer

Primer application

You need to understand that it is quite difficult for beginners to work with latex primer. It should be noted that the rate of drying of the primer depends on many factors. More about them will be discussed below.

The type of primer used

To determine the drying rate of a primer, its composition must be determined. In total, there are several types of primer. There are compositions based on water. They are easy to work with and dry in about 3 hours.

If you use an oil-based primer, it is a little more difficult to work with.

It takes about a day for the compositions to dry. However, for most jobs, it is advisable to prepare latex paint, which is also quite easy to work with.

Environmental factors

It is quite important to determine what environmental conditions. Take temperature and humidity into account. It is recommended to work with a latex primer if the room temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the indicators go beyond the limits, this increases the drying time of the primer.

It is also significant that the humidity is at the level of 50%. Due to the high humidity, the primer will take longer to dry. This also applies to paint. The latex primers dry better if the weather is cool and dry.

Miscellaneous materials

Some craftsmen believe that certain types of surfaces will dry much faster than others. It is safe to say that wood and concrete differ in thermal parameters that affect the primer. However, the impact is minor.

The rate of drying of the primer is approximately identical. It doesn’t matter what surfaces you work with.

Primer tools

If you plan to work with a primer, you should prepare a list of specific tools. You need such tools to achieve successful results:

  • brush or roller to apply the primer;
  • paint tray, where the primer is poured;
  • tape for insulation;
  • nitrile gloves, goggles, and old outerwear;
  • napkins and sandpaper.

Keep in mind that not all types of primers need to be sanded before applying paint. Therefore, it is better to read the instructions on the package in advance. Read the instructions not only for the primer but also for the paint. If everything is done correctly, the layers are applied evenly.

Especially if you plan to work with a dark color. In such cases, work with a high-quality primer that has been formulated to work with dark tones.

The principle of applying primer and paint

You need to work with the primer correctly, observing the sequence of actions. More on this will be discussed later.

Primer application

Before starting work, it makes sense to prepare for the workplace. You should also wear protective gear and clothing. This allows you to protect yourself from drops of finishing material. If you are working indoors, cover the floor with a tarp. This saves the floor.

Insulation tape must be glued to areas that will not be painted. This applies to baseboards, sockets, etc. Now you can start using the container with a primer. Shake well before opening. This achieves a uniform texture.

You can also stir the composition with a stick. However, this should be done after opening the can of primer. Pour the composition into the tray, and arm yourself with a brush or roller. During operation, try to ensure that drops do not form. All areas must be treated.

The primer must be applied in a solid layer. This allows the paint to be fixed more reliably, and the coating durable.


After that, be patient and wait. Watch the primer dry. Modern primers can dry within an hour. Therefore, within the first hour, you can start painting the surface.

You can constantly check the dryness of the primer by touch.

If upon touching the primer, you notice that it is not sticky and does not remain on your fingers, you can start painting. However, it is better, for security reasons, to wait an additional half an hour. After that, you can start applying a second primer coat if required.


If necessary, you can do surface grinding. Keep in mind that this step is considered optional. If you have very porous surfaces or do not absorb paint well, you can first sand it, and then apply a second primer coat.

Thanks to such actions, you can be sure that the paint holds securely. After sanding the first coat, add a second one and repeat the previous step. You need to start the painting process when the primer dries. If you do not want to sand the surface, you can immediately proceed to the staining procedure.

Consequences of early priming

Do not cover the primer with paint immediately. Otherwise, the paint peels off and acquires an uneven shade, as well as stripes. This is fraught with additional expenses because you have to correct all the shortcomings and spend money on the purchase of high-quality equipment and materials.

Proceed to work if the primer is completely dry when you touch it.

Also, don’t wait too long before applying paint. If the primer dries too much, the paint does not adhere to it reliably.

Is it necessary to paint the primer?

The primer must not be left uncoated for a long time. The formula works so that the adhesion with the paint is ideal. The longer the primer is left uncoated, the faster it breaks down due to contact with harmful elements.

In this case, the primer deteriorates and turns into chalk. After some time, mold forms on the surface, so you have to additionally clean the surface before painting.

Consequences of staining without a primer

If you paint the surface without a primer, the product may soon fail. Therefore, the surface peels off and becomes ugly. You have to completely remove the coat of paint, sand the surface, and start from scratch with a primer.

If you initially refuse to use a primer, you have to spend more time, money, and energy in the future. Therefore, it is better to immediately apply such compounds.

The main functions of the primer

The paint primer performs several functions. First, it helps seal drywall. If you do not treat the surface with a primer, water-based solutions are absorbed unevenly. Therefore, roughness and defects are formed on the surface.

The surface has to be painted with a large number of layers of paint to smooth out all the bumps. Remember that the cost of paint is higher than the primer. Therefore, your repair is not economical.

The coat of paint lay down much better if you treat the surface with a primer. This also ensures uniformity of shade and gloss. If you do not use a primer, the pigmentation of the paint will deteriorate. The shades will be lighter, and in some places, they will completely blur.

Another purpose of the primer is to ensure proper adhesion. Therefore, the coat of paint does not peel off. Without a primer, the coat of paint will wear off faster, and it is quite difficult to normalize everything. Even if you use high-quality paint, it cannot replace the primer.

Can I apply multiple primer coats in a day?

It all depends on what type of primer you use. If the product is water-based, then after a few hours you can apply a second primer coat. If you have the oil-based primers, you need to wait a day.

The second coat is often applied as a finishing layer. Therefore, the second coat fills in all the cracks and spots on the surface of the wall or surface. This allows you to form a smooth surface and uniform coating.

Defects on the first coat can be determined only after it has dried.

If you quickly start applying the second layer, the result does not please you much. The paint roller, and become covered with stripes and unevenness. Therefore, you should not rush and apply several layers of primer in 1 day.

primmer wall


When it comes to working with a primer, you can face numerous questions. The answers to them will be presented below.

  1. How long should you wait after primer? As mentioned, a latex primer or a water-based primer will dry within half an hour. Do not start the paint job until the composition dries. It is better to wait up to 3 hours.
  2. Can I wait a week to paint after priming? Yes, you can wait a week or more. However, a primed surface does not have protection. Therefore, defects form. Better not to wait a long time.
  3. Do I need two coats of paint if I use a primer? Masters use a primer, after which they apply two coats of paint. The primer helps seal the surface and improve the adhesion of the paint to the wall. In this case, the pigment is brighter.
  4. How many coats of paint do you need after primer? It is best to apply no more than two coats of paint after priming. Yes, you can increase the number of layers and it won’t hurt the result. However, you need to focus on the type of surface, as well as the quality of the materials used. No more than 1-2 layers may be required.


As you can see, the primers dry pretty quickly. Exact indicators depend on what basis the remedy has. It is better to wait about 3 hours if the composition has a water base.

Oil formulations should dry for about a day. Only in this way can you guarantee a beautiful and even coating of the paint job.

Read More About How Long Does Primer Take To Dry? 

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My blog was created specifically to bring you the latest design trends. I graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York 10 years ago. I started drawing as a child. I was very fond of design and could even choose a style for my friends and relatives during the renovation.

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