How do I Choose the Best Fast Dry Enamel Paint?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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Much thought goes into making the appropriate paint choices and the same is true of selecting fast dry enamel. The intended use of the paint will play a big role in making a choice. Obviously, color, finish, and cost are important as well but the recommended drying time is crucial, especially if your project needs to be hurried along. Remember that the recommended drying time is an estimate and is based on specific conditions such as application, temperature, and humidity.

When considering fast dry enamel colors, remember that some offer better coverage than others. This is especially true when applying a dark color over light or vice versa. Generally, the more distinction there is between the current surface color and the new paint, the more coats will be needed. Applying multiple thin coats is better than attempting to apply a thick coat or two.

Some fast dry enamel products will be dry enough to apply another coat within 10 to 20 minutes. This does not necessarily mean they will be dry to the touch or that the painted item will be ready for use in that amount of time. Many paints, even quick dry options, can take from overnight to up to 24 hours to cure to a hard finish.


Be sure to read labels carefully. You can find a lot of valuable information beyond the drying time, such as which surfaces the paint covers best, the best application process, and necessary ventilation procedures. The label should also state whether or not a primer is needed, as it may be more important when painting certain materials.

The size of the job, or amount of paint required, may also help you choose which fast dry enamel to buy. If you are looking for craft paint or fast dry enamel spray paint, many brands are available in smaller containers for the sake of convenience. It makes sense to only purchase what is needed for the job at hand. Some brands offer a paint calculator on their websites to help the consumer figure out how much paint he or she needs to purchase.

Acrylic enamel paint, frequently used for painting vehicles, is another option and works great for touching up or for small paint jobs. It is handy for tough to reach areas or shapes or surfaces that are difficult to paint smoothly. Acrylic enamel can usually be applied in one coat and is not likely to chip or peel if applied properly. You can find quick dry options, but like other fast dry enamel choices, it too must be allowed to cure to a hard finish.


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