After you have finished painting a room (or after the painters have packed up and left), you most likely can’t wait to move straight back in, and start enjoying your new and improved space.
However, there are the paint smells to consider before you start bringing everything back to where it belongs, as well as the actual paint drying times. As you don’t want to accidentally damage your freshly painted walls and have to start all over again, give your walls plenty of time to dry.
How Long Should Paint Dry Before Putting Furniture Back?
You should wait at least 48 to 72 hours to move your furniture back after painting a room, as this is how long it will take the paint to completely dry.
If you can, you can wait even longer, to ensure most of the paint smell has evaporated, and that your walls are in fact mosty cured.
Note that paint drying and curing times are not the same. While your freshly painted wall will dry in a couple of hours (if using latex-based paints) or in a day (if using oil-based paints), it will take anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks for the paint to cure completely. Only then will you be able to wipe it without the risk of creating a stain.
Ideally, you want to leave the windows in the room open at all times, and also ensure optimal temperature and humidity levels. Place an air dehumidified in the room, or turn the heat up if you are painting in the wintertime.
How Long After Painting Can You Put Stuff On It?
You should wait at least 48 hours before hanging any photo frames or other items on your freshly painted wall. The same goes for painted mantels or window sills.
The paint will remain a bit tacky or even sticky in the first couple of days, and you can damage the finish if you place an item on it too soon. This is especially true for glossy paints which will take longer to dry and cure.
Try to wait at least a week before decorating the walls of a freshly painted room, just to be on the safe side, and keep your walls looking pristine for as long as possible.
How Long Should Paint Dry Before Putting Outlet Covers Back On?
Wait at least 24 hours before putting the outlet covers back on after painting. This is the best way to minimise adhesions and achieve the cleanest effect.
If you need to put them back on as soon as possible, tighten the screws very loosely, and go back at a later time to fully tighten them.
How Long Should Paint Dry In a Bathroom Before Showering?
Let the paint in your bathroom dry for at least 72 hours before taking a shower or a bath. Otherwise, the increase in humidity may damage the paint, leading to stains, flakes and other damage.
Bathrooms tend to be dark and humid places anyway, so do your best not to make matters worse by taking a shower too soon.
Help your bathroom paint dry by opening any windows, bringing a dehumidifier into the room and leaving the bathroom fan on for extended periods of time.
Before you jump in the tub or shower, run your hands across the wall, focusing your attention on the corners. If they all feel completely dry to the touch, you can proceed as planned.
Can You Cook In a Kitchen After Painting?
Wait at least 48 hours before preparing food in your freshly painted kitchen, as the heat you produce can damage the paint on the walls.
Modern paints contain very little or no VOCs, so your worry isn’t how the paint will affect the food, it’s how the smoke and the heat can affect your walls.
Even if there is a backsplash around your immediate stove area, the rise in temperature and humidity will impact the curing times of your kitchen wall paint, so enjoy some takeout while you wait for it to dry.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Sleep in My Room After Painting?
If you have used a zero- or low-VOC paint, you can sleep in a room that has been painted that same day. If you have used regular latex- or oil-based paint, you will need to wait for around two week before sleeping in the room.
Sleeping in a freshly painted room will not be harmful if the paint you have used contains no VOCs. Low VOC paint will however still smell like paint, so you might want to give yourself 24 hours for it to fade.
Make sure to air the room well and keep your windows open to remove any of the lingering odours or potentially toxic materials.
If the paint you have used does contain VOCs and is of lower quality, don’t spend any prolonged time in the room for two weeks, until all the harmful fumes have completely evaporated.
How Long Do Paint Fumes Last?
If you use a high-quality paint, the odours it emits should not linger for more than 36-48 hours. Low-quality paints however will often emit fumes that can persist for up to 2 weeks.
Oil-based paints come with a smell that will linger the longest, while quality latex-based paints will be VOC-free, and thus be both perfectly safe, and as nearly odour-free as possible.
To ensure the best results and protect your family’s health, always buy the best quality paint you can afford, and air your freshly painted room well and often.
Wrapping It Up
Let your paint dry for a day or two before you bring all the furniture back into the room. While it may be a bit of an inconvenience, it will ensure that your walls stay in mint condition, and prevent you from causing a stain or smudge.