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Watching Paint Dry

November 23, 2018 2 min read

Watching Paint Dry

Today’s topic is about paint drying. It’s one of the parts of working with paint professionally, and, at first it’s as boring as it sounds. We’ve talked before about the compounds in paint that give our walls color. When a customer wants a room that is ready as soon as possible, needs us to match a specific kind of color, or has had problems with a specific kind of paint in the past, we look to how the paint dries. Some products like Aura and Natura dry extremely quickly, while others, like Advance, need a full day to cure before repainting.

First, let’s start by talking about how paint dries faster and slower. Since paint dries by evaporation, heating up your paint will speed up the rate at which it dries, and the reverse with cooling it down. To further speed up paint drying, we want a lot of airflow, so that the chemicals can constantly react. We always advise good air circulation when painting a room, and, to avoid high heat. One of the most common paint failures I’ve seen is painting window sills! The day can seem quite cool, but, the surface temperature in the sun might be 120 degrees or more! This will cause the paint to evaporate too quickly, causing uneven patches and crocodiling. Low heat may cause the water in the paint to never evaporate, leaving the paint running in streaks down the wall, or, chalky to the touch.

As paint dries, it’s bonding agents evaporating, the color changes. Wet paint is often vivid and extremely glossy and can be quite misleading when compared to the final product. Partially, the liquid gives it a strong glossy appearance and partially that some pigments aren’t as emphasized until they’ve fully dried. In my experience, reds and blues often have dramatic tone shifts as they become more subdued. This change can be more profound with oil and oil-hybrid paints, which also yellow as time goes on. An oil paint may undergo dramatic color change over its first week, sometimes days. You might see a difference between two cabinets that were painted just a day apart, as they go through their initial color changes.

If all of this seems like a lot to consider, just remember that your local Mallory Paint Store can help. Our friendly staff have watched a lot of paint dry! They will be able to help make sure you get the exact color you want, or, fix any sort of problems that might come up along the way. Our expert Color Matchers have an eye for detail and some amazing patience, taking your paint step by step to the right color. Come on down and talk to us about paint drying, or, your perfect color!


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