Does A Dehumidifier Dry Paint Faster?

Painting inside your home can increase the moisture present within the air, but this lingering moisture can prevent paint from drying as quickly.

A dehumidifier can help certain types of paint dry faster, most notably latex-based paints. Oil-based paints may not be affected as much by a dehumidifier. However, too much dehumidification can negatively impact the paint as each type of paint has a humidity range where it dries the best.

We’ve used our own dehumidifier to help make our paint dry out faster and it makes a noticeable difference compared to painting before we owned one.

Dehumidifier Plugged In
Using a dehumidifier helped us speed up the drying process of paint allowing us to paint further coats more quickly

We discuss below how a dehumidifier can help make paint dry faster by bringing the humidity down to ideal conditions.

Ideal Conditions That Will Help Dry Paint Faster

When we talk about paint drying conditions, there are various components at play such as filler, additives, binder, and solvent.

The efficiency of each component depends upon the humidity and temperature levels.

Ideally, rooms having low humidity levels and high temperatures provide the best conditions for drying paint faster.

However, this does also depend on the type of paint being used, but a dehumidifier will typically be able to help dry paint dry faster either way.

Optimal relative humidity levels are stated to be between 40% and 50% for painting, and painting in conditions in 85% or more should be avoided.

Latex Paint

Latex paint (100% water-based paint) will most likely dry faster than any other paint.

These types of paints lack volatile compounds which usually result in the formation of a surface that will dry faster than oil-based paint.

As a result, a dehumidifier will work great in helping to dry out latex paint.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint will not dry like any other paint. They dry through the process of oxidation when the layer of paint is exposed to oxygen in the air, it dries up. The upper layer that is exposed may dry, but the inner layers eventually take longer to dry.

Therefore, the effectiveness of a dehumidifier on oil-based paint would be lower compared to that of latex paint.

However, as we will discuss below, a dehumidifier may still make sense for oil-based paints. Because each type of paint dries at certain humidity ranges, a dehumidifier can be a good tool to help keep the room within that range while the room dries. This is particularly true in dry climates.

Additional Factors That Have An Impact On Drying Paint Faster

In addition to what kind of paint you’ve used and the temperature and humidity levels, other factors can affect how soon your paint dries up.

These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The color of the paint – the paints that take the longest time to dry up include yellows, red and black.
  • The number of layers you have used – if you’re using more layers, it will take much longer to dry.
  • Whether you are painting on cracks, even surfaces, or crevices.
  • The amount of light – If the paint is exposed to more light, it might speed up the drying process.
  • The paint brand and the quality of the paint.

Will Using A Dehumidifier Impact The End-Result Of The Paint?

Paint needs time to dry up to attain the perfect texture and finish.

However, if you want to quicken the process, you can change the humidity levels and temperature.

A dehumidifier will help dry the paint faster but potentially at the expense of the result and finish.

If the humidity levels are high in a room, it will affect the appearance of the paintwork. Similarly, you can expect the same results when conditions are too dry.

You can use a dehumidifier before you paint and then switch it off to achieve ideal results.

Bringing the humidity of your home down before painting can help achieve the best paint drying times

Paint usually takes time to dry, and it is necessary to adhere to the instructions mentioned by the manufacturer. The longer it is given the time to dry, the better it will bond to the wall. Dehumidifiers absorb moisture and lower the humidity level in the air.

Using a dehumidifier can sometimes result in defects in the final color or brittle finish, however.

Should I Run The Dehumidifier After I Paint?

The ideal time to use a dehumidifier to dry paint faster is before the painting begins.

The best levels for humidity for painting are 40-70%.

Once the humidity level reaches above 70%, your paint will start to dry more slowly.

When you use a dehumidifier before you begin painting, it will balance the moisture in the air. Optimum temperature and humidity will result in reducing the drying time.

You won’t be able to receive similar results if you use the dehumidifier after being done with the painting.

However, if you live in a very dry climate, be sure to check the humidity in the room beforehand as dehumidifying it further can actually harm the paint.

Other Ways To Help Paint Dry Faster

Apart from using a dehumidifier, there are various other techniques that can be used to cut down the waiting time.

By applying thin layers: A great idea is to apply two thin layers, instead of applying one thick layer. While thick coats may look better, but the waiting time is often tormenting.

By turning the heater on: There’s a reason why many people prefer summertime ideal to paint and remodel their house. Hotter temperature provides an ideal condition to dry paint faster. If you’re living in a cold region, turning on the heater can help paint dry faster.

Turning on the fan: Ventilation plays an important role while painting any surface or wall. You can turn on the fan before you start painting and keep it on till the paint dries.

By using drying mediums for oil paints: You can only apply this technique when you’re using an oil-based paint. Oil paints normally dry faster when they are mixed with drying mediums like lead dryers, alkyds, and cobalt dryers.

You can always refer to the instructions mentioned on the package while using a drying medium.

By selecting a quick drying paint: Type of paint and even the brand of paint matters. Selecting the right paint will speed up the process of drying paint faster. You can choose a latex-based paint.

There are paints available which are still cheap and dry faster. Make sure to look up reviews to ensure that you aren’t buying a finnicky paint—a good general rule is that if the paint seems to be too cheap to believe, then it probably is. Dehumidification and good drying techniques can’t help poor quality paint!

Should You Use A Dehumidifier While Painting?

If you’re painting or patching walls and it seems like it’s taking forever, using a dehumidifier can be an ideal option to help speed up the drying process of paint.

A dehumidifier can be a useful tool for drying paint faster, as it will help quicken the process by removing excess water vapor in the air leading to better circulation and drying times

However, along with quickening the drying process, the dehumidifier may not give you the best finish. If that’s not a concern for you and you want to make the process quick, using a dehumidifier is an ideal option.

Further Reading

Does A Dehumidifier Actually Work?

Does A Dehumidifier Collect Water?

Does A Dehumidifier Blow Hot Or Cold Air?

Can You Leave A Dehumidifier Unattended?