Skip to Content

How Long Does Lacquer Take to Dry? (Quick Answers)

Lacquers can make any ordinary wood, plastic or metal look glossy. The lacquer enhances the color of the object and also makes it waterproof. Lacquers come in different types. Likewise, depending on the nature of the surface, it may take a while to dry.

How long does lacquer take to dry?

Lacquers have VOC compliance, which can be abbreviated. These drying properties make lacquers very fast. Lacquers usually dry in five to ten minutes. It takes two to six hours for 2k Lacquers to dry. Nitrocellulose Lacquers require at least 24 hours to dry.

Let’s walk through this section to know how long the following sorts of lacquer take to dry –

Spray Lacquers:

Spray lacquers are quite easy to use. Moreover, they dry very fast. The drying time of spray lacquers is up to ten minutes. Spray lacquers normally dry in about ten minutes after normal application. Lacquers on plastic can take up to thirty minutes to dry.

Clear Lacquer:

It takes at least five minutes for clear lacquer to dry. Depending on the material, it can take up to ten minutes. Experts recommend waiting at least twenty minutes after coating Clear Lacquer. It should be kept at rest for at least a day before use.

Floor Lacquers:

The drying time for floor lacquers is relatively long. Generally, Floor Lacquers should be allowed to dry for at least twenty-four hours after application. Barefoot walking is possible after that. To ensure that it is fully usable, it is best to let it dry for at least 48 hours.

2k Lacquers:

2K Lacquers require an approximate five- to six-hour drying time. If the room temperature is between twenty and thirty degrees Celsius, it will dry in five hours. However, in the case of frozen temperatures, an additional hour will be required.

Nitrocellulose Lacquers:

It takes twenty-four hours for Nitrocellulose Lacquers to dry. The curing process for Nitrocellulose Lacquers may take up to three weeks. Such lacquers are somewhat time-consuming to use.

3D Crystal Lacquers:

3D Crystal Lacquers are widely used for crafting. These are generally thicker than other lacquers. Usually, they dry in thirty minutes or more. It is recommended that you wait at least 24 hours if you use 3D Crystal in your car.

How long does the lacquer take to dry on these surfaces?

Let’s walk through this section to discover how long does the lacquer take to dry on the following surfaces –

On wood:

Lacquer on wooden surfaces takes the least amount of time to dry. At room temperatures, lacquer dries in five to ten minutes. However, you should give at least 20 minutes before applying the next coat of lacquer.

Before Sanding:

In general, it takes five to ten minutes to recoat the lacquer. However, it takes thirty minutes to dry at Lacquer Before Sanding. However, this period can vary depending on the temperature and humidity. One hour is plenty of time to dry lacquers before sanding.

On plastic:

Lacquer dries on plastic quickly. Generally, lacquer applied to plastic should dry in fifteen minutes at the most. However, if you want to re-coat, it will only take ten minutes.

On metal:

It is advisable to let the metal dry for at least 20 minutes after coating it with lacquer. Although ten minutes is the standard time, it is advisable to let the metal dry for at least that long. In the case of metal, however, the lacquer can completely cure in five to six weeks.

Why does lacquer take so long to dry?

It depends on the kind of material, temperature, and humidity inside the lacquer on how fast it dries after being applied to the surface. After reacting with air, lacquer dries. Usually, resin-based material is used to make lacquer. 

When it comes in contact with air, this resinous solution dries out. For instance, acrylic lacquer reacts very quickly with air and dries in approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

Lacquers with nitrocellulose, on the other hand, take longer to dry because the nitrocellulose in them reacts more slowly with air. Temperature and humidity, therefore, are key elements in drying lacquers. 

As long as the temperature stays between twenty and thirty degrees Fahrenheit, lacquer can dry quickly. However, it may take longer to dry when the temperature reaches outside that range.

How do you make lacquer dry faster?

Reading the following steps will help you to make lacquer dry faster –

Use a thinner coat:

Lacquer usually dries within ten minutes of application. However, if you need to dry it faster, thin each coat before applying it. This will allow the lacquer to dry more quickly. Applying a retarder takes longer to dry the lacquer. You should not use lacquer.

Use COV Compliant:

COV is a combination of abbreviated components. Its main feature is that it dries very quickly when it comes into contact with air. Lacquer is a combination of COV Compliant. As a result, they can dry out very quickly. 

Using lacquers that are COV-compliant will result in a coating that dries quickly.

Try to use turbine sprayers:

Turbine Sprayers are used to spray lacquer very quickly, but one of the advantages of using them is that the sinking air reaches the surface before the lacquer even hits the nozzle. Hot temperatures cause the coating to dry quickly when applied to a surface.

The lacquer application process takes not more than five minutes with a sprayer. When using a turbine sprayer, it will take a maximum of 5 minutes for the lacquer to dry.

Proper Temperature and humidity:

Two very important factors in the drying process are temperature and humidity. The lacquer usually dries very quickly at room temperature. It takes more time for the lacquer to dry in both hot and cold temperatures.

A temperature of 21 C or 70 F is considered to be the optimal temperature for drying lacquer. When the temperature drops below 21 degrees, it will take a little longer to dry. However, it will dry normally up to 30 degrees.

When it comes to humidity, 50% is considered perfect. A typical home has a humidity level of about 50%.

How long should I wait between coats of lacquer?

Lacquer coats are required for almost all types of surfaces to achieve the right shine. The next coat needs to be applied after the last coat has dried completely. This usually takes between five and fifteen minutes.

However, it is not advisable to apply the next coat immediately after drying. The next coat should be applied at least half an hour after the previous coat. Metal, wood, and plastic may also require different drying times. 

Generally speaking, experts recommend taking one hour between each coat. It is recommended that you wait at least twenty-four hours between coats when using Nitrocellulose Lacquer.

Can I dry lacquer with a hairdryer?

It is possible to dry lacquer with a hairdryer. If you use a hairdryer, it will dry well in the shortest amount of time. But quality lacquer coats will never be possible with it.

The reason is that the heat from hair dryers will quickly dry the surface of the lacquer. However, there will always be some moisture under it. As a result of moisture contained in this coating, its glassy luster will be reduced.

The ideal temperature for drying lacquer is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. But a hairdryer provides temperatures from 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing the longevity of lacquer coating. Therefore, hairdryers should not be used to dry lacquer

The best idea is to let it dry at a normal temperature. Extra-hot temperatures may accelerate lacquer’s drying process, but its beauty and durability will be diminished.

Does lacquer dry in cold weather?

It is a bad idea to use lacquer in intensely cold weather. Lacquer dries quickly at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius, but if the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the lacquer won’t dry.

 On top of that, we do not say that lacquer can’t dry below 60 degrees but it will take extra time than usual. 

Lacquer should not be used in temperatures below the freezing point because that temperature would affect its hardness. You will need to use a lacquer coat at room temperature since it will dry faster and have an increased shine. 

Lacquer coat does not work well at freezing temperatures.

Final Thought

It usually takes about ten minutes for the lacquer to dry. Some lacquers may take up to fifteen minutes to dry completely. Floor lacquers take a minimum of 24 hours to dry. Lacquers dry faster on plastic and wood along with a temperature that is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.