Ask the Experts: How Long Does It Take for Car Paint to Dry?

Whether you’re a shop manager, technician, or customer, everyone wants to know: how long does it take for car paint to dry? And the answer: it depends. There are many factors that contribute to paint drying times, such as the size of surface being sprayed, type of coating being used, and the setup of the paint booth. While a paint technician may not necessarily have control over the first, ensuring the correct cabin configuration will be extremely beneficial.

Can You Speed Up Paint Drying?

Naturally, the next question everyone has is if you can speed up paint drying? And if so, how? Here are our expert tips for speeding up paint drying times.

1. Control the Booth Temperature

You may think that the hotter the temperature, the faster a liquid will dry. However, too much heat can have a bad impact on paint. If a booth is too hot during the spraying process, the coating can become dry and cause defects. Between 78-90 degreed Fahrenheit is the ideal spraying temperature.

Similarly, cold temperatures can slow down drying times. It can also cause paint to have a difficult time bonding to the car’s surface. Cold temperatures are especially harmful to solvent-based paints.

2. Decrease Cabin Humidity

It’s no surprise that humidity can negatively affect the drying process. It can cause moist and dry air, which can cause water-based paints to drip. Humidity also tends to increase dust contamination as the paint dries.

3. Use a Handheld Dryer

A big mistake shops can make is running their entire heating system for a small paint job, such as a car bumper or motorcycle part. For these smaller areas that need to be dried faster, and are using waterborne paint, try using a handheld dryer. These can be used on their own or to help speed up jobs alongside the heating system.

However, it is not recommended to use a handheld dryer for solvent-based paints. When holding heat so closely to solvents, they tend to escape through the layers and dry out, causing paint defects.

4. Install the Xcelerator

To truly speed up your paint job drying time, consider installing the Xcelerator. It can flash off waterborne paint in up to half the normal drying time. Flash time is extremely important, as a long drying period can cause the paint to peel. The faster waterborne paint dries, the faster the painter can take off the tape and start the next steps.

How to Paint More Cars Per Day

To paint more cars per day, evaluate your paint booth set up. On average, an automotive shop is able to complete 4-6 paint jobs in one booth in a day. If your shop is under-performing, there are some upgrades that may help your existing paint booth, such as the Xcelerator. However, it may be necessary to replace it entirely.

Similarly, if your booth is turning out a good amount of jobs per day, but your shop now has an increase in demand, consider a second or even third booth.

Benefits of Installing an Additional Paint Booth

  • Streamline Production: Get cars in and out of your shop in the most efficient way possible, especially with a drive-thru set up.
  • Increase Jobs Per Day: Multiple booths can allow for multiple types of jobs, turning your production from at best six to potentially twenty jobs per day.
  • Avoid Bottlenecks: By having more than one booth available, your production flow can avoid potential bottlenecks by keeping cars moving.

Choose the Right Paint Booth for Your Shop

Accudraft, a leading paint booth manufacturer, can help fulfill your paint booth needs. We offer paint booth service, even for non-Accudraft booths, to ensure your shop is always performing at its best. Our ongoing maintenance and support ensures the paint in your shop dries fast with little to no defects. With routine plans, you’ll help prevent your booths from going down and stopping jobs from being completed.

If you’re interested in upgrading or installing another booth, let’s talk! We’ll review your production goals, vehicle mix, bottlenecks, and other performance issues to determine how we can best help you. By comparing your paint booth vs. production goals, we’ll create the best shop set up for a high ROI. With our streamlined approach to installation, your shop won’t have to worry with long down-times or closures. Contact us today to get started!