How Long to Wait to Shower After Painting Bathroom?

The exact wait time for the paint to dry depends on the quality of the paint. Moreover, the paint may dry quickly but might not cure in time.

You need to let the paint dry and cure completely before using the shower.

So, how long should you wait to shower after painting the bathroom? In this post, you will learn about the ideal wait time for different paint types.

Dry and Cure Times for Paints

Paint that includes enamel and latex will dry once the solvents on the paint surface evaporate.

The emulsions carrying latex paint becomes dry after the bulk of the water has evaporated.

The curing process begins once the paint has dried. The curing time can take some weeks and months. During this period, the paint will harden and become less vulnerable to scratches.

Some paints dry faster than others. Read the paint manufacturer’s instructions regarding the paint dry and cure times.

If you don’t give adequate time to the paint to dry completely, you will mess up the paint on the wall. So, you should not shower or use the sink before the paint has completely dried and cured.

Wait Time for Enamel Paints

Enamel paints (oil or water-based) produce a thick and glossy finish.

The percentage of pigment is higher in these paint types as compared to the binders and solvent. As a result, the dry and cure time of enamel paints is longer than other paint types.

You should wait at least three days for the enamel paint to dry. This is important to ensure a glossy finish of the paint.

Wait Time for Latex Paints

Latex paint dries and cures faster than enamel paints. You can use the shower a few hours after painting the bathroom. Experts recommend that you should wait at least 4 hours for the paint to dry.

But ideally, you should wait for a day before taking a shower after painting.

Be careful not to allow moisture to get inside the room during the wait time. Humidity can mess up the paint job. Remember that it can take up to a month for the paint to cure completely.

So, consider taking a shower with the window open during the first few weeks. Again, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions about the ideal wait time for latex paints.

Excess humidity after the shower can ruin the latex paint. If there is no exhaust fan in the bathroom, you must wait for about 4 days before using the bathroom. This is important to ensure that the paint settles on the wall.

Tips to Speed Up the Paint Drying and Curing Time

You can take certain measures to speed up the dry times for the paint.

Here are a few tips that you should follow to speed up the paint drying process.

1. Keep the Windows and Doors Open

You need to keep the windows and doors of the bathroom open to allow it to dry faster.

The increase in airflow will allow the paint particles to evaporate faster.

Dirt and dust can ruin a paint job. So, make sure that no dirt or dust is finding its way in.

2. Use a Ceiling Fan

Another option to speed up the paint drying time is to use a ceiling fan. Using the fan will increase the airflow, accelerating the drying and curing process of the paint.

But make sure that the fan is not dusty. This is important otherwise the dust from the fan will ruin the paint job.

3. Add Japan Drier

Adding a Japan Drier can also speed up the paint drying and curing time. You can use the additive with oil-based enamel paints.

It is a naphtha-based additive that doesn’t actually come from Japan.

The additive is named due to the ability of the paint surface to appear like a Japanese lacquer when you add it to the paint.

Japan Drier contains a metallic salt, generally cobalt, which will increase the oxidation rate of the oil in the paint.

Consider using it in small quantities – an ounce per gallon of paint – since using large qualities can darken the color.

Moreover, adding too much of this additive will cause cracks to appear on the paint.

4. Increase the Heat

Molecules of the paint interlink during the curing process, forming a solid membrane.

You can speed up this process by increasing the heat in the bathroom.

This will increase the oxidative rate thereby reducing the cure time.

5. Use a Dehumidifier

The paint will take a lot of time to dry and cure if the air inside the bathroom is moist and cool.

You can speed up the paint drying by using a dehumidifier. This will increase the rate of evaporation thereby speeding up the cure time.

Also read: How to Reduce Moisture in Bathroom (9 Easy Ways)

6. Use a High-Quality Paint

Low-quality paint may save you some money but it will take more time to dry and cure.

You should always buy high-quality paint to ensure a good finish.

A high-quality paint will not only dry out faster but will also end up with a glossy fish.

Mistakes to Avoid When Painting a Bathroom

A lot of different factors determine a good quality finish.

Here are some mistakes you should avoid when painting the bathroom.

1. Painting During Extreme Temperatures

Paint can handle a certain range of temperatures.

It will not dry and cure properly in case of extreme temperature.

So, you should not paint when the temperature is too high or too low during the summers and winter months respectively.

The best time to paint is when the temperature is moderate, during early spring and late fall.

This is particularly true for latex and acrylic paints that won’t end up with the desired results in high temperatures.

Painting during the frigid cold winter is a bad idea since the paint won’t dry completely. It will come off easily when touched.

Moreover painting the bathroom during hot summer months is also a bad idea since it can result in defects such as bubbles appearing on the surface.

The paint will dry before you can spread it evenly across the wall, resulting in defects.

2. Painting Over Varnish

You should refrain from painting the bathroom wall that has been coated with varnish.

This is important since the paint won’t stick properly over glossy finishes.

To paint over a glossy surface, you need to prepare the surface by sanding the area before applying a coat of paint.

Another option is to wipe the surface using a deglosser. Professional painters use a liquid glosser to achieve the desired finishing.

3. Using a Paint with a High Gloss

You should not opt for paint with a high gloss or sheen when painting the bathroom. The light will reflect on the surface revealing the imperfections.

High sheen will accentuate the flaws, making the paint job look bad.

If you want to use paint with gloss or a semi-gloss sheen, you need to make sure that the surface is perfectly smooth.

You need to spend time preparing the surfacing before painting it.

4. Mixing Paint with Different Sheen

A common mistake when painting the bathroom is mixing the paint with a different sheen.

You need to make sure that the paint cans have the same sheen.

Often times, people realize their mistake after the paint has dried.

5. Not Priming the Walls

The importance of priming the walls before painting cannot be emphasized enough. Priming the walls will cover the imperfections, thereby resulting in a good quality finish.

If the paint surface has been previously painted, you can use paint and primer in one of the mixes.

This is also recommended if the surface is in good shape with no uneven areas.

But if you are painting over a difficult surface like wood, plaster, glossy paint, concrete, or porous drywall, you must consider using a premium all-in-one mix primer for the best results.

6. Using a Flat Paint for Bathroom

The bathroom is a high traffic area and using flat paint is not the best choice. A better option is to use paint with washable satins.

Moreover, you can also use paint with semi glosses for the bathroom. The paint will be easy to wash and won’t crack due to exposure to moisture.

But make sure that you sand the area properly when using high gloss paint. You must lightly scuff the surface using sandpaper and rinse the area before applying the paint.

This will allow the paint to adhere to the surface, accelerating the dry and cure time of the paint.


Painting a room requires a lot of care and one of the important considerations to keep in mind is the dry time.

You should allow adequate time for the paint to dry to ensure a good finish.

Before you take a shower, you must make sure that the paint is completely dry. You need to avoid letting the paint come in contact with moisture.

It is important to let the paint cure completely before using the shower.

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