How Long Does Car Paint Need to Dry Before Rain

How Long Does Car Paint Need to Dry Before Rain?

Car painting is a fun activity that car lovers often do. This allows the owner to choose their preferred colors to decorate their car. Though it sounds fun, many obstacles are waiting to prevent your fun job. One is rain. It is always recommended to stay out of the rain while painting. But the situation won’t always be under our control. That’s why I often ask how long car paint needs to dry before the rain?

It varies with a car, paint, and various factors. Generally, it takes 50-60 minutes to dry paint so rain cannot damage it. Some paints dry out within a minute; they are not a problem. But what to do in the case of paint that takes more than one day? Don’t worry; this article will answer all your questions in detail. 

How Many Types of Car Paints Are There?

How Long Does Each Type of Paint Require to Dry

There are different types of car paints that the owner can choose from. They differ in quality, finishing, and longevity. Here is a list of the types of car paints one sees.

  • Solid Paint- This is usually the most accessible and cheapest type of paint available on the market. They have three layers (primer, paint, lacquer) and are easy to repair.
  • Metallic Paint – This paint finish allows the car to shine brighter. This is due to adding some aluminum powder to the paint mix.
  • Pearlescent Paint- This type of paint shines even brighter. The best part of this type is that lighter shades appear to show different colors when seen from different angles under bright light.
  • Matte Paint- This paint is least seen in cars due to its high expenses and less variety. Arriving only in black, silver, and grey finishes, they cost thousands of dollars and require high maintenance.

The cost of the paint varies, ranging from a couple of hundred bucks to thousands of dollars. If you are determined to do some paint job, get ready to splurge some money.

How Long Does Each Type of Paint Require to Dry?

Does Rain Harmful to Paint

Different types of paint require other times to dry. It usually ranges from 20 minutes to even a day. Generally, spray painting requires the least amount of time to dry (20-40 minutes). On the other hand, acrylic enamel and urethane can take up to 6 hours.

However, these numbers mentioned here are not the ones you would always expect. They can vary because of multiple factors. These factors influence the drying time of the paint. These factors include:


Drying time is seen to be proportional to temperature. The higher the temperature, the lesser the drying time. 

Coating’s thickness:

Thickness refers to the layers of coating applied. More thickness will result in a higher drying time.

Environment and Humidity:

The place where the car is kept to dry must be well-ventilated. Proper airflow will allow a quicker drying time. Also, it is advised the humidity remains within the 40-60 % range.

Materials used in the paints:

Before a paint job is carried out, notes must be taken on the paint and materials used. They should be of good quality and, of course, dry.

How long Does It Take to Wash Car After A Paint Job?

How long Does It Take to Wash Car After A Paint Job

A question is always asked how long does car spray paint take to dry? We advise the individual waits for at least two weeks after a paint job to wash their car. This is because of the chemicals present in the paint. The paint job can be severely affected by the water and soaps.

Therefore, one should take care not to get their car dirty right after a paint job. Even if some dust appears, one can gently wash the dust with water or wipe it with a microfibril towel. There are different types of washes one could choose from. Let us discuss the best time to carry out those washes after a paint job.


Does Rain Harmful to Paint?

Rain is not harmful at all when the paint is fully cured. The problem occurs with fresh paint. If you keep the freshly painted surface under the sun, there is nothing wrong here. But if water droplets fall in it, it will leave water spots on the paint. The color may change what we don’t want at all. 

You may wonder what happens if it rains on fresh paint? However, a drop of paint can be washed off by water. There is no prevention system because that will happen immediately in front of your eyes. Moreover, pollutants in the rain occur more damage to the paint. 

Altogether, rain is harmful to paint. It is harmful to uncured paint. The rain will mess up the new paint job if you don’t prepare enough. 

What Happens If Paint Gets Wait Before It Cures?

After the painting is done, you always let it dry appropriately until it cures. Water cannot damage cure paint but dissolve wet and fresh paint. That can permanently affect the paint, which cannot be solved without re-painting. Latex paint dries faster. It may take 2-3 hours to cure fully. But we cannot give surety about Oil-based paint. If you don’t want your paint, get washed off, and keep water away from your paint job.

When Should Get An Automatic Car Wash After Paint Job?

After the desired paint job, one should wait for a safe one month before sending their car to the automatic car wash. It will be a good enough time for the paint to dry. The paints will withstand the pressure and force the brushes might exert on the car.

When Can One Wax Their Car After A Paint Job?

Waxing would require much time compared to the automatic car wash. One is estimated to wait 60-90 days before waxing their car. 

Waxing severely damages the new car paint. Therefore, a month or more is needed for the paints to harden. If a car without a thoroughly dried paint job is waxed, the solvents in the wax could react with the paint, damaging it.

Always remember to wax your car to avoid damage gently. During the wait for the first waxing, you can gently wash your car with water at a two-week interval.

Ways to Take Care of Your Car After A Paint Job? 

A car after a new paint job is like a newborn kid. It must be taken care of regularly. Here are some tips you could follow to take care of your car.

  • Always keep your car in a safe place such as a garage to prevent natural substances from hampering your paint job.
  • Avoid driving on bumpy and off-roads. This can cause the chipping of the paintwork on the sides.
  • Try to park your car under shades during summer days. Hot temperatures can cause the paint job to degrade slowly.


Summing up, your car should take great care after a paint job. Give it ample time to dry before attempting to wash it properly.

 Gently wipe your car. Use water or a towel to wipe off dust and spills that may fall on your vehicle.

I hope that the article cleared all your doubts. I hope you follow all of the advice mentioned above in the article and indeed, your car will be in good condition!

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