Paint Drying versus Paint Curing

When painting a piece always use thin coats. The thinner the coat the faster (and harder) the paint will dry. Whether you use water base or oil base paint always use several thin coats vs. thicker. Now, all that being said, here is what happens after the paint film has been applied. As soon as you are finished painting, the solvents in the paint start to evaporate into the air. Depending on the humidity this can take several minutes to several hours.

After all the solvents in the paint have evaporated you can touch the paint and it will feel dry to the touch. (You may notice that you can press a fingernail into the paint film and it will give somewhat).  At this point in the process the film of paint will start to absorb oxygen from the surrounding air and “cure” the paint film into a fairly hard film surface. Again, this may take a few days or up to a week…depending on how thick the paint was applied. Once the curing has taken place a new chemical compound has formed on the piece. This can now accept a Briwax finish.

Knowing that this is a chemical process you may use this to your advantage. Artisans will paint a piece and on the very next day start to apply Briwax. They know that the paint has not cured but they want to remove some of it to create a “shabby chic” look, a look that has some of the paint worn thru. The surest sign that the paint has not cured is if you see some of the paint coming off when you use Briwax.

Curing is a time, temperature and humidity equation and you just have to work with the products to determine how they work best for you.

The beeswax in Briwax is inert, it effects nothing. The solvent in Briwax is one of several ingredients in paint remover and can have an affect on paint if it is not fully cured.

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This entry was posted in Acrylic Latex Paint, Paint Curing, Paint Drying, Simulated Milk Paint. Bookmark the permalink.

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