A Look At Why Your Gloss Paint Is Not Drying!

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Although satin and eggshell paint have seen a huge spike in their popularity in recent years, gloss paint is still the most popular option at the time of writing with it dominating the paint market when it comes to sales. Due to its huge popularity, we always see a huge number of people reaching out and asking a number of different questions about what they are able to do to get the most out of their gloss paint.

We do see a wide range of questions each month relating to gloss paint but one of the main ones that have been consistently asked for many months is based on why my gloss paint is not drying. Due to so many people reaching out about getting their gloss paint to dry fast and most of the problems that we see being easy to avoid, we have decided to publish this article.

Our goal is to help you avoid some very common mistakes that beginners often make as well as help you with some simple tips and tricks to ensure that you are able to get your paint to dry as quickly and easily as possible. These are all quick, simple, and cheap so our tips and tricks below should easily be able to help ensure that our readers are able to get their gloss paint to dry as fast as possible without having any issues.

Why Is My Gloss Paint Not Drying?

The main reason your gloss paint is not drying is due to the water in water based gloss taking longer to evaporate than usual. Common causes of this is you applying too much paint, you not ensuring the surface is dry prior to applying your paint, and not offering the paint enough ventilation to dry as quickly as possible.

Although oil based gloss paints are becoming more and more popular with each year that passes, water based, acrylic glosses are still the most common option. If you are using an oil based gloss that is not drying quickly then the problem is probably ventilation but we have a dedicated article going over how to make your oil paint dry quicker that covers more reasons.

Due to the water based gloss paints being the most commonly used paint type, we are going to be presuming that you are using a decent quality water based gloss paint throughout most of this article. Although we do have an article on how you are able to make water based acrylic paints dry quicker, it is not specific to gloss paints so this article will probably be more useful to you.

You Have Applied Too Much Paint!

The most common reason that your gloss paint may not be drying quickly is due to you having applied too much paint to the surface. The more paint on a surface, the longer it will take to dry no matter what the expected drying time is for the paint. Although this may sound like common sense, it is the most common reason gloss paint takes longer than expected to dry and many people make this mistake.

If you are applying your gloss paint to the surface you are painting using a brush then this actually increases the chances of you applying too much paint by a surprising amount. Trying out a decent, cheap, modern paint roller is a much better option as it helps to control the amount of paint applied to the surface while also applying it in an even amount.

The majority of these modern paint roller sets are less than $20 too and although they can help your gloss paint dry quicker, they also help to keep an even application of the paint over the surface keeping the color consistent too. A large number of people have started to use paint sprayers to apply their paint recently too and although these tend to be even better at helping your gloss paint to dry quickly, they are a little more expensive than a paint roller.

The Surface Is Wet Or Damp!

A common cause of gloss paint taking longer than expected to dry is due to the wall or surface that you are painting being wet or damp. This moisture can transfer to the paint once applied causing it to take much longer than originally expected to dry. Depending on how wet the surface is, this can double the amount of water in the paint causing it to take considerably longer to dry.

The majority of the time, a quick visual inspection of the surface that you are about to paint will be enough to tell if it is still wet or not. Depending on the material of the surface that you want to paint with your gloss as well as its color, you may have to run a finger over it to double check but it is usually easy to workout if the surface is still wet or not.

If you have just removed wall paper with a steamer from a wall or you have just had a wall plastered then you may have to wait as long as week for it to dry out. Although this may sound like a waste of time, the moisture in the wall can cause your paint to take longer to dry causing problems with the consistency of its color as well as potential streaking too.

You Are Using A Low Quality Gloss Paint!

So many people use a low quality gloss paint unknowingly and this is an easy thing to avoid. This is often due to people presuming that a higher price tag means higher quality and although this can be true, there are many over priced paint products on the market with inferior paint formulas where a cheaper alternative can offer better performance.

A decent high quality gloss paint is usually much cheaper than many people initially think and can often be cheaper than the low quality paint options. The better ingredients in a higher quality paint as well as the ratios of these ingredients can help ensure that your gloss paint will dry as quickly as possible, often within a day.

The better quality gloss paint formulas on the market right now can also often offset the effects from some of the other issues on our list and still help to get your paint to dry as quickly as possible. This is why we try to stress that our readers should always take the time to be sure that they are using a decent quality gloss paint where possible.

You Need Some Ventilation!

Water based gloss paint dries by the water in the paint evaporating leaving the pigment on the wall with oil based gloss paint drying by oxidising the oil out of the paint so the pigment is left behind. Both of these methods can benefit from more ventilation in the room with increased air flow helping with evaporation and oxidization.

Depending on your situation, you can open up a window but we have an article on how you can speed up paint drying times using a hair dryer too. Although the hair dryer trick does work surprisingly well, we would usually recommend that you try to increase the ventilation in the room by opening a window if possible.

If you are applying your gloss paint to a large surface in a large room then some of our readers may benefit from using fans to increase the air flow over their gloss paint to get it to dry as quickly as possible. This tends to work better for oil based gloss paint but it can also help with water based gloss paint too.


That brings our article going over why gloss paint may not be drying to an end. We hope that these quick and easy tips and tricks will be able to ensure that our readers can get their gloss paint to dry as quickly as possible without having any issues with the color of their paint. If you take the time to plan a head and ensure that you have the correct tools and paint then there really shouldn’t be any reason that your paint streaks or fades in color during the drying process while your gloss paint dries as quickly as possible.