How Long Does Chalk Paint Take To Dry and Other FAQs

Ted Slater
October 22, 2023

As a general rule, chalk paint will take about an hour to dry. However, this depends on the brand of chalk paint and the material you’re applying it to.

If you’re applying to a previously painted surface, give your first coat an hour to dry before going in with the second coat.

If you’re applying to raw wood, give your first coat at least an hour and a half to dry. The porous nature of raw wood will suck up some of the paint and extend the dry time.

If you’re applying to a non-porous surface like metal, the first coat just needs an hour.

These and the drying guidelines given by your chalk paint manufacturer are just general timeframes. There are better visual and tactile indications that you can use to determine when it’s time for a second coat or wax.

Drying time for chalk paint will vary based on humidity, application method, the material you’re applying it to, and more. Look for these visual and tactile clues to know when the paint is dry:

  • fully matte, no sheen
  • chalky, dry texture

Chalk paint cure time

There is a big difference between dry chalk paint and cured chalk paint. While the visual appearance will not change between the dry pain and cured paint, the tactile feeling will change.

Dry paint will still chip and scratch even with just light pressure with a fingernail. Cured chalk paint will not scratch with light pressure.

To allow the paint to fully cure, you’ll usually need to wait about 24 hours.

How long between coats of chalk paint?

Before going in with a second or third coat of chalk paint, you need to let the paint dry. It does not need to cure before going in with another coat of paint.

How long to let chalk paint dry before waxing?

Before waxing or applying another top coat to your chalk paint, let the paint fully cure. You’ll want to wait at least 24 hours before applying the wax or top coat.

If you don’t wait for the paint to cure before applying a top coat, you risk pulling up the paint.

Final thoughts

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