How Long Should Painted Cabinets Cure?

How Long Should Painted Cabinets Cure

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Just like many other belongings in your home, your cabinets can also get weathered. The first means to tackle that is by painting them. If you have experience in painting, you should know that it is not that hard. Depending on the material, you need to choose different painting types. The issue comes when it is about the drying and curing process of the freshly painted cabinet.

To understand the time it takes to cure cabinet paint, you should first have some necessary information. In this article, we will explain all that to you step-by-step.

The Difference Between Drying and Curing Paints

Regarding the painting process of your cabinet, a common confusion happens between drying and curing. Why does a painting take several days to be completed? The drying and curing cover up most of that time. To remove your confusion, here are the differences between them:

How Does Cabinet Painting Differ from Other Types of Painting?

You may have already noticed that you are required to get different painting types for each application. It is because they are specially made for that appliance. Here are the main differences between the cabinet and other types of paintings:

  • Since your cabinet is most likely to be used in a kitchen or other damp areas, cabinet paintings are more water-resistant.
  • Unlike most other paintings, cabinet painting provides a glossy finish.
  • They are stickier than other paintings. It is to improve their lifespan.
  • They usually cost much than other paintings.

How Long Does It Take to Cure Painted Cabinets?

Now that you know the difference between the two terms- drying and curing, time for the major part of this article. Keep in mind that curing takes way longer than drying. Depending on the paint type, it can take from days to a month. It also depends on the temperature. A well-ventilated yet warm environment is perfect for a quick cure. It allows the paint to get rid of the liquid substances quickly.

Below, we mentioned the time for both the drying and curing process for different painting types. We also added the suitable time to put a secondary coat:

  1. Oil-based Paints– The oil-based paints dry within around 6 to 8 hours normally. Meanwhile, they take about a week to cure. To put a secondary coat, you got to wait for a whole day after applying the primary one.
  2. Latex Paints (Water-based)– Usually, latex paints take a low time of a couple of hours to completely dry. However, their curing time can be as long as 3 – 4 weeks. You can go for the second coat after 4 hours of the initial one.
  3. Chalk Paints– If you have applied chalk paints to your cabinet, consider it dried after only 1 hour. But to cure it, you will have to wait for a month. Keep a day interval between each coat for chalk paint.
  4. Milk Paints– The drying and curing time of milk paints are similar to the chalk paints.


Remember that when you buy paints, you can find necessary information regarding dry and cure on the product description. We also recommend you put an extra finish over the painting. But it is only applicable after the paint completely cures. You may need to sand the surface before applying each coat.


How Long Does It Take for Cabinet to Dry?

You may need to wait between 1 to 8 hours for your cabinet to dry. It depends on the type of paint you are using.

Do I Need to Seal Cabinets After Painting?

It is not mandatory to apply seals to your painted cabinet. But doing so will put a glossy finish on the surface.

How Can I Speed up the Curing of a Cabinet Painting?

You can apply additional heat to the cabinet painting to speed up the curing process. Also, putting multiple layers of thin paint will help it cure faster. Make sure that there is enough air circulation.

Final Note

Do not forget to make sure that your painting has dried and cured perfectly before putting it back to its spot. Otherwise, it can ruin the paint. You can test that by applying pressure with your finger on any spot. If the painting is hard enough, your cabinet is ready to be moved home.

While painting the cabinet, never ignore the sanding process before each coating. It will smoothen the surface to make the paint stick properly. Choose the warmer days of the year for this type of painting project. Keep damp objects away from the cabinet during the painting process.