When it comes to the aftermath of painting, there are two different waiting times that you have to allow for: the drying time, and the curing time.
The drying time is the amount of time it takes for the paint to be dry to the touch, and this can depend on the type of paint and the weather conditions.
So if it’s sunny and warm, the paint will dry a lot faster, and then there are also certain types of paint that are prone to drying faster too.
The drying time can take as little as over an hour or two, or it could take up to a full 24 hours, depending on the many different factors and the paint itself.
The curing time, on the other hand, is the amount of time that it takes for the paint to reach the maximum hardness and 100% dryness.
So it is essentially the amount of time it takes for the paint to be fully settled into place, and fully hardened.
Until then, the paint might be dry to the touch, but it is still vulnerable to scratches or others if the surface is used or moved.
The curing time also depends on the type of paint, but as a general rule, it will take at least a week or so, and in some cases more.
When the paint dries, you might notice that the color becomes slightly darker, as wet paint can often appear lighter, and you don’t really see the true color until it is dry.
But what about the curing time? Does paint change color as it is curing?
If you are using high-quality paint, the color should not change at all.
In fact, you should be getting the exact same color as indicated in the label, and there will also not be much difference between the paint when it is wet, and when it is dry. So curing will definitely not have an effect on the final result.
Other, cheaper, paints can sometimes become slightly darker during the curing process, but it should not be too noticeable.
On average, the color your paint features once it is dry, should be the color it also features once it has been cured.
Does paint get lighter or darker when it dries?
Choosing a paint based on its color can be quite a challenge, especially with the vast amount of color options to pick from.
But has it ever happened to you that you’ve finally chosen the color, you’ve gone home and painted the walls, they seemed fine, but then when they dried the result was slightly different from the color advertised on the label?
Perhaps the paint appears slightly darker, or maybe even lighter. It can be quite frustrating, so you might be wondering if this is a thing. Does paint get lighter or darker when it dries?
As a general rule, the answer is no. If you’ve bought good quality paint, the color should look exactly as advertised on the label when dried.
It could be that when the paint is wet and you are in the process of applying it, it looks slightly lighter or slightly darker. But once applied to your walls, and left to dry, the color should be exact and true.
If your paint has ended up drying and changing to a slightly darker or lighter shade than advertised, then you might have bought from a cheap brand, or there might have been a mistake.
However, it is true that sometimes paint can appear to be lighter or darker, depending on the environment it is in. This isn’t necessarily because it has turned lighter or darker, but rather a trick of the eyes, due to lighting or other factors.
For example, glossy paints will reflect the light, so the color can appear to be darker than what it is. While flat paints will absorb the light, so they can appear to be lighter and brighter than what they actually are.
Or, for example, if you have a wall surrounded by darker walls, then the wall will appear lighter in comparison and vice versa. There are a lot of optical illusions that can make us see a painted surface slightly different than what it actually is.
But as a general rule, your paint will be the exact color you chose, and there is nothing to worry about, as it doesn’t change after drying!