How Long Does It Take Rustoleum To Dry

How Long Does It Take Rustoleum To Dry?

Rustoleum is an amazing product to save your items from rusting and cracking. However, what most Rusotleum users get confused about is the drying time. It is essential to know it precisely as the functionality of the Rust-oleum is dependent on it. 

So how long does it take Rustoleum to dry? Depending on the surface type, you can touch a Rust-oleum coated surface within 2-8 hours. For re-coating, you need to wait at least 24 hours. For the product to be ready to fight against rust and cracking, at least a week of drying time is required. 

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the factors that influence drying time. This helps you speed up the drying process overall.

How Long Does It Take Rustoleum To Dry?

As already mentioned, a surface that is coated with Rust-oleum takes only 2-8 hours to dry. It depends heavily on the surface such as metal and plastic. However, that isn’t ready to be recoated. You can just touch the surface without getting any of the paint on your hand. 

For re-coating, you need to wait at least 24 hours. This allows for better bonding between coats, resulting in a smoother and more durable finish.

At this point, you might be wondering why it takes a whole week for the Rust-oleum to be ready to fight cracks and rust. This timeframe enables several chemical processes to take place in the coating, leading to the production of a durable layer. 

Throughout this period, the coating’s solvent evaporates, enabling the resins and other elements to bond together.  As a result, forge a sturdy defense against rust and cracking.

However, all the abovementioned periods are just average Rust-oleum drying times. It varies heavily on a few factors that will be mentioned right below.

How Long Does It Take Rustoleum To Dry

Factors That Affect The Drying Time Of Rust-oleum

Here are the factors that you should consider when estimating the drying time for Rust-oleum;

Type Of Rust-oleum Used

There are two types of Rust-oleum available; 

  1. Spray paint
  2. Roll-on paints

Among these two, each has its advantages. Nevertheless, when it comes to drying time, spray paints are way faster than roll-on paints. Spray paints are generally thin, and an even layer is found as the distribution of paint is smooth within it. 

And roll-on paints provide a thick layer of paint which takes more time to dry off. Additionally, rolling paints can trap moisture within the paint film, causing the drying time to increase.

Oil Based Vs Water Based

The type of coating you are using also comes into play for drying time. Well, there are two types of coatings available;

  1. Oil-based Rust-oleum
  2. Water-based Rust-oleum

Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that oil-based Rust-oleum is generally heavier than water-based ones. The drying process is slower since the oil-based ones have a slower evaporation rate than the solvents in the Rust-oleum.

On the other hand, water-based Rust-oleum is known to have a higher evaporation rate. You can also touch the surface within 30 minutes if water-based Rust-oleum is used.


How thick you paint your stuff with Rust-oleum also plays a crucial role in drying. A greater amount of solvent is needed to evaporate when a thicker coat of paint is applied. As a result, it will take longer for the paint to dry completely and for the solvent to evaporate completely.

Similarly, thinner Rustoleum has a lower amount of solvent that is needed to evaporate. Additionally, the air circulation is way better compared to thick coating. 

Here is a video that will walk you through using Rust-oleum for the best drying results:

Table: Drying Time Of Rust-oleum In Different Surfaces

We’ll be looking at a table in this section that shows how long Rust-oleum takes to dry on various surfaces. However, bear in mind that this is only an approximation. Furthermore, the time specified is simply for the surface to be prepared for touching, not for recoating.

SurfaceDrying Time
Metal1-2 hours
Wood2-4 hours
Concrete4-6 hours
Plastic6-8 hours

External Factors That Affect The Drying Time of Rust-oleum

Now that you are aware of the internal elements affecting the drying time of the Rust-oleum, it is time to learn about the external ones.


Temperature holds the power to speed up the process as well as slow it down. The Rust-oleum likes high temperatures as the higher temperatures increase the rate of evaporation of the solvents present in the paint. As a result, faster drying is seen.


Lower humidity is the environment to aim for faster drying. Since the evaporation of solvents occurs more rapidly, you will get your Rust-oleum coated item ready in no time.


You want the air to get in contact with the coated item as much as possible. The only way to achieve this is to ensure proper ventilation around it. Without proper ventilation, the moisture in the air becomes trapped around the painted surface.

This accumulated moisture forms a barrier that hinders the solvents from effectively evaporating. Explore About how much does it cost to regear a jeep.


Let’s check out some commonly asked questions regarding Rust-oleum and the time it takes to dry off.

Q: Does Rustoleum’s drying time vary when used indoors versus outside?

Yes, but this depends on the outdoor environment. Generally, it’s safe to keep the coated item indoors as the environment is generally adequate. 

At the same time, the outdoor environment can have higher humidity and lower temperature, which would increase the drying time. When a reverse environment is present, the process can also be sped up. 

Q: Is there a particular temperature range where Rustoleum should be dried to achieve the best results?

Yes. Though, different Rust-oleum products have different temperature ranges. However, a safe option would be from 10°C to 32°C. Within this temperature, you can achieve the best results. However, keep in mind that greater temperatures accelerate drying times. 

Q: Is there a recommended method for applying Rustoleum to ensure proper drying?

Yes. You can ensure faster drying by cleaning the surface properly. This will get rid of all the dirt, grease, and oil that would interfere with the drying process.


To conclude, we hope now you know how long does it take Rustoleum to dry. The answer is so versatile as it depends on many factors, such as the type of Rust-oleum you are using. Moreover, there are external factors as well that come into play, such as temperature and humidity.

Lastly, you should take the surface that the Rust-oleum is used on into account as it decides the drying time. Nevertheless, always follow the manufacturer’s manual to get optimal and fast drying results.

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