It’s always exciting to paint a room in your house, especially the bathroom. You spend hours choosing the perfect color, and then another few hours painting. The last thing you want to do is wait to take a shower, but is it safe? Can you shower in a freshly painted bathroom?
It’s not advisable to shower in a freshly painted bathroom. Wait for at least 24 hours so that the solvents in the paint can evaporate. For oil-based paint, wait for at least 48 hours. If it’s humid or cold in your home, it may take longer.
Remember, depending on the type of paint you use, it may take anywhere from 2–8 weeks for the paint to cure. However, you don’t need to wait for the paint to cure before taking a shower. Most interior paints are safe to come into contact with water if they are given enough time to dry. Just remember to keep the bathroom window open while showering and the door open afterward.
Drying Time for Latex Paint
If your paint is latex-based, it needs about 24 hours to harden fully. During this time, the paint is still vulnerable to damage from moisture, so it’s important to keep the area well-ventilated and free from any sources of moisture (including your own steamy showers!). After 24 hours have passed, you should be able to shower as usual without damaging your newly painted surfaces.
Drying Time for Oil-based Paint
Oil-based paints take longer to cure than latex paints, so you’ll need to wait at least 48 hours before taking a shower. As with latex paint, during this time it’s important to keep the area well-ventilated and free from any sources of moisture. This will give the paint time to dry properly and prevent any damage to your newly painted bathroom surfaces.
Problems With Showring in a Freshly Painted Bathroom
Dampness is a big issue with bathrooms, as most surfaces are constantly exposed to water and moisture. which can damage the entire paint work. But before you jump in the shower to wash off the day’s work, be alerted to the following two problems that you can bring to your freshly painted bathroom:
Water Streaks and Drips
If you take a shower in a freshly painted bathroom without giving it a proper drying time, moisture can seep into the paint. This will cause water streaks and drips, which can make the paint look like it’s sweating.
Water-based paints are particularly susceptible to soapy, oily, and sticky spots. Surfactants are the culprits. Surfactants are a required ingredient of latex paint and are leached in poor drying conditions. It leaches when the air temperature is cool, air circulation is poor, and humidity is high. Showering in a freshly painted bathroom is especially problematic because it promotes all three. Surfactant leaching is visible as a brown stain on the painted surface.
You Can Make the Paint Dry Faster
If you need to take a shower in your freshly painted bathroom, you can take certain measures to speed up the drying time.
Use high quality paint
You should only use high-quality paint for your bathroom. This will not only give you a professional finish, but it will dry quicker, saving you time. Low quality paints may save you some money, but they will take a lot of time to dry and cure as well as not stand up to higher levels of moisture.
Turn on the heat
During the drying phase, the molecules of the paint synchronize to form a solid membrane. You can speed up this process by raising the temperature in the bathroom. Bring a heater from home into the bathroom if you have one. The oxidative rate can also be accelerated by raising the interior heat, which will eventually shorten the curing process.
Keep the door and window open
By raising the airflow in the bathroom, you can help the solvents in the paint to dry faster. And you can do this by simply keeping the door and window of the bathroom open for a few hours. While doing this, make sure that no dust is entering the room to ruin the paint.
Use a dehumidifier
In cold weather, high humidity levels can cause your oil-based paint to dry longer than it should. In this scenario, a dehumidifier can speed up the drying and curing procedure. When the bathroom is cold and wet, you can use a dehumidifier to boost the evaporation rate in the room, making the paint to dry faster.
Check to See If the Newly Painted Bathroom Is Ready for a Shower
By lightly touching a discrete wall section, you can determine if the paint is sufficiently dry. The paint has dried when it feels dry to the touch and there are no finger marks on the surface. Although it is preferable to wait until your paint has completely cured or hardened before using the bathroom, this is difficult, especially if you do not have a backup bathroom at home. In such a case, you should give the paint as much drying time as possible.