Have you recently painted your bathroom and now wondering how long after you paint a bathroom can you shower? The last thing you want is your newly painted bathroom to be ruined by a hot shower. The problem is if you don’t wait the right amount of time, you’ll ruin that fresh coat of paint.
Luckily for you, in this post, I’m not only going to tell you how long to wait after painting before you can use the bathroom shower, but I have also so much more to share!
I’m giving you dry times by paint types, a lesson on paint curing, tricks to speed up paint dry time, and tips to painting your bathroom walls and bathroom ceiling like a pro.
Let’s get to the good stuff!
Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.
Do I Really Have to Wait? What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
The worst thing that will happen is completely ruining your bathroom’s new coat of paint. And not only will you do that, but you’ll also by create a giant mess to clean up; you’ll need to repair the walls and start the entire painting process over again.
You know that feeling you get from finishing a project when you finally take a step back and take in the transformation from all your hard work? It’s pretty incredible (and never gets old), but if you just finished painting your bathroom and decide to shower while there is still wet paint, frustration will quickly replace this feeling with frustration.
There are two main reasons why showering too soon makes one costly mistake. The first is the humidity level, and the second is dust from exhaust fan.
Your wet areas of paint cannot come in contact with humidity before it dries; if it does, the paint will streak down the walls.
Also, when you turn on the ceiling fan (which you should be doing while showering), you’re going to spread dust particles around the room, which will stick to your freshly painted walls and ceiling, leaving you with a nightmare of a mistake to correct.
>> Did you know there is a better way to test paint? I love using Samplize when I’m shopping for paint colors – they are made with real paint, are crazy accurate, under 7 bucks per sample, and ship over night!
Dry Times by Paint Types
Several factors affect the dry time of your Paint. First, how thick did you apply your first coat of Paint? Hopefully, you went thinner because a thick coat of paint takes a long time to dry.
The temperature of your room will also affect your paint drying time, and so will the humidity. High humidity means longer dry times.
The two types of paints are oil paint and water-based paint. Oil-Based paint takes 6-8 hours to dry to the touch, whereas water-based paint only takes about 1 hour.
For best results, I also highly recommend using high-quality paint since the quality of the paint plays such a huge role in how long your paint job will last and hold up to wear and tear.
Should Paint Cure Before I Shower?
Before I answer this, let’s back up a little and review paint dry time vs. cure time. Dry time is how long it takes for the paint to be ready for a recoat.
Curing time is the time it takes for the paint to fully hardened, and during this time, it is when the little molecules bond together, making them stronger. Before the paint cures, it is weaker and can be more easily damaged.
Just like dry times, cure time varies based on the paint type, but regardless of this, I was shocked at how long it takes for paint to cure. You might think I’m talking about the next day, but you’re not even close! I’m talking several weeks up to ninety days!
You may not necessarily have to wait for your bathroom paint to cure before showering, but you certainly need to wait enough time to give these little molecules a chance to bond.
Is a Few Days Really Long Enough to Wait?
If you google search for the answer to the question “how long after you paint a bathroom can you shower” (which, odds are, you did, and that’s how you found this post), you probably have determined 24-72 hours is long enough to wait… but is it? I can’t make sense of this based on what I know about the curing process.
I, too, combed the google results, and post after post tells me to wait a day or so before showering after painting, but why?! If you think about dry paint vs. cured paint and how paint can be so easily damaged when not cured, why is it suggested you can shower with it this way? If you’re saying you can shower before the paint is cured, then why can’t you shower right after the paint is dry? Think about it!
In my opinion, unless you absolutely have to shower in the bathroom you just painted, you should wait as long as possible and as close to cured before you shower.
Tricks to Speed Up Paint Drying Time
There are a few tricks to speed up your paint drying time but use these with caution! Remember, as your paint is drying, those little molecules bond together to eventually form the durable surface that protects your walls. So, the science geek in me says you don’t want to rush this! But, you can create a more optimal surface and environment for your paint to dry, improving the drying time.
- Thickness: Apply a thinner first and second coat of paint versus trying to apply one thicker layer
- Room Temperature: Keep the room at an optimal temperature for painting; this information is on the label of your paint.
- Humidity: Work when the humidity is lower. Higher humidity increases the time it takes for paint to dry.
- Air Flow: Circulating air will help your paint dry faster. Open windows (if it’s warm enough outside) and turn on a fan (just be sure it’s not going to blow dust particles around when you do).
How to Paint Your Bathroom Like a Professional
You do not need to hire professional painters for this job! Painting is easy and fun, as long as you follow these tips. The prep work is the most important part of any paint job.
Using painter’s tape, take the time to tape around the toilet tank, door knobs, trim, bathroom faucet, etc. Go slow and ensure your tape is straight and covering exactly where you don’t want the paint to go. Also, make sure the tape is secured, so the paint doesn’t bleed under the edge. Doing so will keep the mess of the paint job off your trim and fixtures, giving you a professional look.
The Importance of Priming
Priming is also essential to achieving a professional paint look. Even if your paint says paint and primer in one, you still need to apply a primer. Doing this will save you so much time and frustration.
Pay special attention to how thick you are applying your paint color and the time period between your first and second coat. Using multiple thin layers and waiting the recommended time between each coat will give you a super smooth and professional look.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to affordably update your bathroom, check out this awesome budget bathroom updates.
You were wondering how long after you paint a bathroom can you shower, and I delivered this answer and so much more! Painting is a such great way and easy fix for an outdated bathroom.
Did you know there is a better way to test paint? I love using Samplize when I’m shopping for paint colors – they are made with real paint, are crazy accurate, under 7 bucks per sample, and ship over night!