How To Dry Tacky Spray Paint?

How To Dry Tacky Spray PaintSometimes after you spray paint, you’ll notice that your paint is taking forever to dry. Why is this? If you are wondering how to dry tacky spray paint then I’ve got some good news. Tacky spray paint is often the result of painting in direct sunlight, using too much paints, or simply requires longer time than you expected (check the label and you’ll see!).

With ‘sunlight tackiness’, you can put a little furniture polish on a lint-free cloth, wipe it lightly, and it should dry properly after that. With too much paint, just let it dry before continuing.

In today’s article I’ll tell you what to do with paint that’s still tacky after 4 days, how long is normally takes tacky paint to dry, and whether or not you can sand tacky paint. Let’s get started on today’s tacky-tutorial!

Why is my paint tacky after 4 days?Why is my paint tacky after 4 days

There are a few reasons why paint ends up tacky and doesn’t seem to be drying, even after many days. It’s generally due to one of the following things:

  • The surface that was painted was unprepared or dirty
  • The paint may not be fully mixed
  • Coats are being applied too thickly
  • Weather like extreme cold or high humidity

One little trick that can help if you are in a hurry is to sprinkle a little talcum powder onto the surface of the paint, and then just to rub it in a little with your fingers until it isn’t tacky. You might have to repeat this a few times but this will let you give it a light drying that can help it along when times are tough.

If it’s a surface problem, you might just want to sand it and start over, and the same goes for a bad mix. There’s not much more that you can do besides mixing it properly and attempting to paint over it. If the coats are too thick, you’ll just have to wait it out, and with extreme weather… well, you have to do it over on a more paint-friendly day.

Cold makes it so that your paint doesn’t stick and it tends to thicken up oils, and I’ve seen some really weird results when that happen enough times to avoid painting in the cold if I can. With humidity the talcum will help and might save you from starting over, but be prepared for the possibility.

Sometimes you can’t catch a break!

How long does it take for tacky paint to dry?

How long does it take for tacky paint to dryWhen it comes to how long tacky paint takes to dry, we’ve got some medium-specific info that you can find here ( That said, as far as a ballpark figure, you’re looking at anywhere from 1 to 8 hours before the item will dry enough to handle. The best thing to do is to check the label and then consider the weather factors. If the humidity is 85% or up, you’re looking at a longer drying time. The same goes with temperatures under 50 degrees.

On a hot day, your paint will dry a bit faster, as long as it isn’t over 90. When the temperatures get over 90 then your paint is at risk of drying too quickly and cracking becomes a real possibility.

By the way, forums like this one are a great resource for tacky-paint workarounds. Painting models teaches you a trick or two and sometimes a thread like the one I’ve supplied there can really help in a pinch.

Can you sand tacky paint?Can you sand tacky paint

Yes, you can! If you get yourself a 150 grit sandpaper then you can give the surface a light sanding and then follow this up with a good wipe-down of the surface. After that, then you just need to apply a bit of primer and you can paint it again. If you are at this point because heavy coats are taking too long to dry, then this is a great time to practice proper spray painting technique.

Just apply your paint in short, sharp bursts instead of prolonged, thicker ones, and give it a thin, but even coat. These smaller coats layer up nicely and they will dry much more quickly than a thick coat, ESPECIALLY when the weather is working against you!

Some final words on tacky paint management

Today I’ve talked about how to dry tacky paint and what you can do when it’s taking too long to dry. Stick to thin coats and keep the temperature and humidity in mind for best results. Also, know that you’ve got an average of 1 – 8 hours for drying but that the label can give you a better figure.

Last but not least, you can also sand it, prime it, and start painting again and with a little patience and perseverance your tacky paint problem will be a thing of the past.

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