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How Long to Wait To Shower After Painting Bathroom

Asking people about when it is okay to shower in a bathroom after painting it is not always helpful.

The answers vary wildly, some say a few hours while others say a few weeks.

What is the right answer? 

How long does it take to shower after painting the bathroom?

You have to wait around 72 hours after painting to shower in the bathroom. The number may vary depending on the paint you use. And 72 hours is how long it takes for the paint to dry, it still has not cured. The drying and curing process can be sped up. 

This is the gist of it. But as we mentioned the waiting time might vary depending on the paint. Details regarding everything can be found in this article. Just go through it to have a clear idea!

Paint Drying vs Curing TIme

The paint dries after the solvent evaporates and leaves behind the paint. The paint, at this stage, gives a dry-to-the-touch feeling. But it is not fully dried yet. 

For the paint to dry fully, it must cure. Curing begins after the solvent has evaporated. The paint cures when it is one hundred percent dry and has reached maximum hardness. 

Only after the paint has fully cured, has it merged with that wall. After curing the paint, it will withstand the environment properly. 

Meaning, that wiping the painted wall before it has finished curing is a bad idea. That might end up damaging the paint. .

The wait for the paint to dry and cure varies depending on the paint. Even environmental factors can impact the process and the time needed. 

The time written on the paint container is usually just the time needed to dry, not cure. 

How Long to Wait to Use the Bathroom After Painting?

The bathroom can be used to take a shower after the paint has dried. The paint does not need to fully cure for you to shower. 

The general wait time for bathroom paint to dry is 2 to 3 days. But it can change based on many things. Such as the paint you used, the size of the bathroom, and many more factors. 

But if you showering after the paint has just dried, you have to be a bit careful. As we already discussed, paint drying is not the same as paint curing. And the paint can only become permanent and fully resistant after it has been cured. 

If you are showering before the paint has fully cured, be careful to not damage the paint. Hard wipes or scratches will leave permanent marks on the paint. But do not worry about normal splashes of water, they will not do any harm 

You might want to set up a temporary shower while your bathroom paint dries. 

Wait Time For Enamel Paint

Enamel paint is the paint that gives you that thick, glossy finish. Enamel paint can be both oil-based and water-based. 

The percentage of pigment in enamel paint is higher than compared to the binder and solvent. What this means is enamel paint takes longer to dry and cure. 

So if you used enamel paint on your bathroom, wait at least 3 days or 72 hours. Do not attempt to shower before that period. Enamel paint will usually take around 72 hours to dry fully. 

Taking showers prior to the paint drying will damage it. Making the gloss of enamel paint tarnished. 

You can shower after 72 hours, but the paint still has not healed. The paint will take around 7 days to fully cure. Before, be careful about not damaging the paint. 

Wait Time For Latex Paint

Latex paint is water-based paint. Latex paint is a faster drying paint. 4 hours after painting your bathroom with latex paint, you can shower in it. 

People claiming they showered a few hours after painting, have used latex paint. But even so, it is best to wait around 24 hours before showering. This will ensure the best application of the paint. 

Latex paints may dry quickly, but they take a long time to cure. Generally, latex paints cure for about 30 days. 

So be careful for a month while the paint cures. Heavy scratches or wipes before the paint has dried might damage the paint job. 

Careful about spilling latex paint. Removing dried latex paint can be pretty difficult. Plus, if you are unconscious the whole process may go wrong, I would suggest, being careful while doing the task.

Speeding Up the Whole Drying Process 

We are now aware of how long the paint will take to dry. But what about processes to speed up the drying process? 

No worries, this article contains everything. And this segment is going to tell you about speeding up the process.

Not being able to shower in the bathroom for a few days might be inconvenient. Speeding up the process might be necessary. Here is a good idea for you. Just following the proper steps for painting is the best you can do but there are some ways to speed up the process

Keeping the Doors and Windows Open

Keeping the door and window open increases the flow of air in the bathroom. That in turn helps the bathroom dry faster. 

The increased airflow allows the particles of paint to evaporate at a quicker pace. The paint dries faster. 

But open doors and windows might be the entryway of dirt and debris. Dirt and debris can heavily blemish wet paint. 

So if you think having the door or window open might invite too much dirt, do not open them. 

Using a Ceiling or Exhaust Fan

The ceiling fan or exhaust fan works following the same principle of open doors and windows. The fan increases the airflow in the bathroom. This helps the paint evaporate and dry faster. 

Fans do not bring in unwanted dust, so that is one less thing you have to worry about. Unless the fan itself is dirty. Be sure to use a clean fan. 

Adding a Japan Drier

Japan drier is an additive that can be used with oil-based enamel paint. Japan drier is a naphtha-based additive. And, even though the name might suggest it. It does not originate from Japan. 

Japanese dryers have metallic salt and sometimes cobalt. These help in speeding up the oxidation process of the paint. This in turn speeds up the drying and curing of the paint. 

The Japanese drier also adds a Japanese lacquer look to the paint as an added bonus. But be careful about the amount of japan drier you use. Add an ounce of the additive for a gallon of paint. 

Adding an excessive amount of the additive can make the paint crack after drying. Be careful about the amount. 

Increasing the Heat

Paint dries when the solvent evaporates. And heat helps speed up evaporation. Heat also speeds up the oxidation process.

Having a warmer bathroom will help the paint dry faster. Having sunlight enter the bathroom is a great way for this. 

But be careful that the warmth does not increase the humidity. 

Using a Dehumidifier

Paint dries slowly in a moist and cold environment. And bathrooms tend to be moister than other parts of the house. 

Using a dehumidifier can dramatically reduce the drying time of the paint. It increases the evaporation rate and oxidation rate. The paint itself dries and cures at a quicker pace. 

Checking If the Paint Has Dried

We are now aware of how long paint takes to dry and how we can speed up the process. But how will you know whether the paint has properly dried or not? How will you be sure whether the painted bathroom is apt for showering or not? 

Well, there are a few steps you can take. They will tell you for sure whether your bathroom has completely dried or not.

Step 1: Waiting

We already noted how much time each type of paint takes to dry. Depending on your type of paint, wait for the specified period. 

Do not mess with the paint in any way while it dries. The next two steps should only be done once you have waited for the specified period of drying. 

Step 2: Judging Based on How the Paint Looks

Wet paint has a certain look. The gloss of the paint will not be present in wet paint. 

See if your paint seems wet or dry. Visual indication is key. If the paint still seems wet, well you know it has not dried.

Step 3: Judging By Touching the Paint

Touching wet paint might leave a noticeable mark. Do this step in a place where the paint is not very noticeable. That way even if you blemish the paint, it will not be perturbing. 

Best if you touch the paint in places like near the top of the window or door frame, or corners. 

Don’t touch the window frame if you have painted or are planning to paint the window frame

Touch lightly with your fingertip. If the paint does not feel wet, then it has dried. But remember, the paint still has not been cured, so be careful about not smudging the paint. 

FAQs

How long after painting the bathtub can you use it?

You have to wait for around 48 to 72 hours after painting your bathtub to use it. But some companies have paints that dry much quicker. The wait for such paints can be around 24 hours. There are some materials that dry in 4 hours, letting you use the tub the same day you paint. 

What is the best temperature to paint the bathroom? 

Moderate temperature is the ideal temperature for painting bathrooms, not too hot or too cold. Early spring or late fall is the best season. Bathrooms tend to have higher humidity than the rest of the house. Painting at the wrong temperature might affect the paint badly. 

How soon can you wash the walls after painting?

You have to wait for two to three weeks before you can wash the walls. You cannot wash the walls before the paint has cured. The paint dries within a few days. But it can take a few weeks or even a month for the paint to cure. You cannot wash the walls before the paint has cured fully. 

Conclusion

And with that, we know how long to wait to shower after painting the bathroom. The wait varies depending on which paint you use. But the wait generally ranges from a day to three. 

There are factors that can slow down or speed up the drying process. Follow our instructions to handle the matter efficiently. 

That’s it!