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How Long Does it Take for Interior Paint to Dry in the San Francisco Bay Area? !

How Long Does it Take for Interior Paint to Dry in the San Francisco Bay Area?

There are several factors that determine how long it might take interior paint to dry in the San Francisco Bay Area. Humidity and temperature are two of the biggest factors. Color, sheen, type, and even your application technique also affect the drying process.

Drying Paint

The biggest effect on how long it will take interior paint to dry in the San Francisco Bay Area is humidity and temperature. Humidity causes any paint job to take longer to dry. The more moisture there is in the air, the longer the process will take because the liquid in the paint will evaporate slower. For example, an interior painting job in the desert will dry significantly faster than an interior job in a rainforest.

In San Francisco the relative humidity tends to be between 84% and 62%. Ideal humidity level painting conditions fall between 55% to 80%, making San Francisco a generally great place to do interior painting year around. Keep in mind that humidity tends to be significantly greater in the early mornings so when humidity levels are unusually high, it can be a good idea to paint a little later in the day. Using a fan is another way of speeding up liquid evaporation.

Curing Paint

Curing is also a factor to be considered when getting interior paint to dry in the San Francisco Bay Area. When comparing the drying properties of oil and latex, it’s easy to get confused. Water based latex paint dries faster than oil. But people often assume that because latex paint dries faster than oil based paint, latex is ultimately the fastest. This is not the case; while latex does dry faster, it cures much slower. Oil based paint will cure in 3 to 4 days under ideal conditions, while it will usually take latex paint up to a month to cure. A paint job isn’t complete until the paint has properly cured, and placing furniture or heavy objects on a surface that has not finished this process can lead to damages on both the paint surface and the surface of the object.

Time Frame and Other Considerations

In ideal conditions interior latex paint takes about an hour to dry, while interior oil takes 3 to 4 hours to dry. If you’re doing more than one coat, allow 3 to 4 hours in between coats for latex and at least 8 hours for oil. To speed up drying time, when applying the paint, make sure that your technique leaves a thin film and not a thick one (using a simple paint brush usually ensures a thin film). Surface plays a role also. Paint dries faster on porous surfaces like drywall because the surface absorbs some of the moisture. Lastly, flatter sheens (flat and eggshell) dry slower than shinier ones (satin, semi-gloss and high gloss). Tint can also affect drying time, so deeper colors (which have more tint) can take a bit longer.


MB Jessee is always available to assist you in any painting job in the San Francisco Bay Area! Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 510-655-7000!

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Customer Reviews

“The people at M.B. Jessee are great – from the painters to the office staff to Matt. Talk about leadership from the top.”

— Kevin Ames, Mark Becker Homes

“Matt, Julie & Ricardo, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the three of you for the wonderful job you did in hosting the SFBA NARI Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Members and guests alike walked away with a truly positive experience. The "painter for a day" and the cookies in the paint cans were an absolute brilliant touch and received rave reviews. What a wonderful way to do such positive marketing. Thanks again for a truly memorable experience for our members and guests. You are valued as a NARI member.”

— Judy Tufo, SFBA NARI Executive Director

“Very easy to work with, they did an outstanding job with our project of re-painting our painting our kitchen cabinets. Given the scope of the job and that our kitchen is roughly half of our upstairs living area they did a fantastic job of minimizing the mess. Workmanship was top notch, would definitely recommend.”

— Vince Scola

“I highly recommend MB Jesse Painting to anyone looking for a professional team that does an impressive job. They are on time, efficient and clean up well each and every day they are on site. They pay attention to detail and listen to the needs of their clients. In addition, they give back to the community. A Five Star team all the way around.”

— Erin Troy

“Our paint crew did a great job and the foreman, Gersson was exceptionally great to work with. He was always available to answer questions, good at problem-solving, very patient, kind, and highly professional with great customer service. We definitely recommend this company, and Gersson and his crew.”

— Andrea Y.
Berkeley, CA

“High quality work from a pleasant and qualified staff. Thank you!”

— Paul Markovich

“The entire MB Jessee team is courteous, efficient and professional. From scheduling and estimating to the crew managers and crew, they all did an excellent job on a small (but complicated) two room project in my house. I'm already thinking about getting them scheduled for the next project in the spring.”

— Cari Cheney

“Matt, We are very happy with how all of the painting worked out. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the work in the bathroom. I liked working with Victor, he and Marvin were extremely conscientious about doing a great job, not just the minimum. I know the front door took a lot longer than you'd expected. But they did it PERFECTLY. We never thought it could turn out like that! Thanks again for the great work. We'll be calling you again in the future!”

— Craig
Alameda, CA

“It was a great experience working with MB Jessee. The crew was careful and thorough as they painted the house, sealed stucco cracks, repaired dry-rotted wood, stained the deck, etc. Robert, Gersson, Jose, and all of the people involved in the process from the estimate to the job completion were friendly and professional.”

— Mike C.
Livermore, CA

“M.B. Jessee painted the exterior of my Spanish house over 9 years ago, and they did such an incredible job that they are still getting referrals from me today. The paint is holding up perfectly -- there is absolutely no peeling chipping or any other deterioration. I still remember that my final walk-through list consisted of items written on one side of a 3x5 index card (and I'm REAL picky about my house!) However, when Matt and I did that walk-through over HALF the items were no longer an issue, as his team had noticed them first and they had already been resolved.”

— JoAnn Newcomb

“I loved working with M.B. Jessee from start to finish on a relatively small paint job that grew a bit. I felt in very good hands from the moment Matt Jessee came out to give me the estimate and talk about my job. He was very easy to talk to and he handled my changes very well. Then the actual work done by Rigoberto and Mario was impeccable. They were neat and meticulous and the paint job looks beautiful. I could not have asked for more and when I did, they accommodated me 100%. I will not hesitate to call M.B. Jessee again and to refer them to friends.”

— Nancy Kurkjian

“The finish on my kitchen cabinets had failed, becoming tacky and grimy around the handles. M B Jessee gave me a reasonable quote, far below some others, and did an outstanding job, striping the original varnish and refinishing with a new lacquer finish. The cabinets look like new. Work was done 1 day faster than estimated. The crew was extremely hard-working, considerate, and neat. Highly recommend M B Jessee.”

— Thama B.
San Francisco, CA