How long should paint 'cure' on furniture?

whitdobeJune 20, 2010

And I don't even know if cure is the right word. I'm painting the exterior of a chest. Primed with SW XIM oil base primer and I will paint with SW oil base enamel paint. I'm in Georgia and it's hot and humid but, because of that, I'm doing this project sqeezed into the kitchen of my nice air conditioned house. Just so that you know the conditions.

I am waiting 24 hours in between each coat of primer and/or paint.

My husband will eventually use the top of the lid as a luggage rack for his suitcase. I know that I may be doing touch up over the years. That's why I'm doing this with an old chest.

Is is "ready to use" when it's 24 hours past the time I finish painting it? Seems to me that it should "cure" a bit but that's just a wild guess on my part. I've never done this before so I haven't got a clue.

Should I leave it to cure without letting anything be put on top of it for a while once I'm done painting and, if so, for how long?

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I would let it "sit" for at least a week, but wait as long as you can. It's hard to really say how long it will take to fully cure, but based on your description, I would say that you have done a great job. Technically it can take a full month to cure, but use your judgement, the surface should (obviously) not be tacky.
If the surface is flat and you want extra protection, I sometimes use a piece of glass, which I know can be expensive. But I also like the "antiqued" look.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 7:34PM
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Oil based paint really only takes a couple of days to fully harden, a week at most. Latex/acrylics are what may take up to a month to cure.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Thanks so much! This has been quite an adventure and I'm learning a lot.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:38PM
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When I painted a dresser, I let it sit for almost a week and then brought it in the house. We didn't use it for another week, left the drawers off to ensure that it finished curing while inside the room.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:42PM
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