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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

“Julie,Just to let you know I am very appreciative of your crew catching the plumbing/mold problem. It was very astute of them. I wanted to let you know that again your crew has done excellent work here, please pass this along to Mr. Jessee. There are some bumps in the road here, but the painting and your crew has not been one of them. Their work is the only thing going right currently, and this crew is very nice and respectful. It is much appreciated. Thank you again.”

— Beth
Oakland

“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walkthrough experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3-year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch-up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua J.
Oakland, CA

“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

“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walk through experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3 year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua Jansen

“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

“Dear Matt,You must be so proud of your men! They were fantastic to have around. Polite, courteous and hardworking. I am so pleased with the outcome of our home--in fact, I couldn't be any more pleased than I am!”

— Mrs. S
San Leandro

“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

“I want to express my thanks for a job well done. The rooms look great and there is no problem with any marks on the all the trim, floor, carpet, etc. The paint job is lovely. I also want to express my thanks for the level of professionalism the foreman showed in running the job. He was very attentive to any changes I needed to make, was extremely careful in getting the faux paint color and effect correct. Thanks so much for a job well done.”

— Suzan D’Arcy

“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“Just had MB Jessee paint the interior of our house and they did a wonderful job. They tackled some crazy wallpaper as well as painted some very high ceilings and walls. The whole process was quick and they did a great job! We are very pleased. I was also very impressed by the crew. They were very personable, kind and actually took pride in the work they were doing. In one of our conversations with the lead Ricardo, he actually told me he was very proud of how the rooms had turned out. I agree sir! It turned out great and it's not often you hear someone thinking of your home like they would theirs, and putting that level of work and quality into it. That made a huge difference in how I viewed this company. Ricardo, you were fantastic and thank you for the great job, we will be using you again.”

— Jeff M.
Danville, CA

“I just wanted to send you an email to say that John did such a great job over here today. He is truly a hard worker. He has the perfect balance of friendliness, honesty, and professionalism. I trust him. He takes the time to do the job to the best of his ability and that is what sets him (and your company) apart from the competition. He didn't make me feel rushed. He really made me feel like our job was the most important thing in the world. Thanks again!”

— Jo
Oakland

“Julie, by the way, I have never been so impressed with the service of a painting job before! It was like magical elves came and painted our walls without us having to do a thing! It looks amazing and just wanted to let you know how happy we are. Thanks”

— Anja
Piedmont