How long does plaster take to dry?
Plastering a room in your home creates smooth, finished surfaces which are ready for painting, wallpapering, or panelling once the plaster is completely dry.
You need to ensure that the plaster is dry thoroughly before further decorating. If you don’t, it could damage the plaster, causing cracks and brittleness because of excess damp.
Plaster generally takes around three to five days to dry fully. It will turn from a brown colour to pale pink. Then, you can apply your mist coat of paint or wallpaper.
How long the plaster takes to fully dry can depend on how thick it is, and the conditions of your home. While you shouldn’t try to force the drying time of plaster, there are a few good practices to follow to ensure it dries effectively.
How to speed up plaster drying
Generally, as above, newly plastered walls shouldn’t be hurried through the drying process. You should not use a dehumidifier to purely quicken drying times, only if conditions require one.
If it dries too quickly, it will suffer from cracks and fragility over time. So, you should always plan for it to take around three to five days, or even longer. Bear this in mind if finding time to paint or hiring professionals to decorate.
Plaster can take anywhere up to two weeks to dry fully, depending on the circumstances. If layers are thick, or the air is humid, it can delay the drying time.
Instead of speeding up the drying times, you can create the ideal conditions to give the plaster time to dry.
Tip 1. Ensure the humidity is correct
You have to be really careful before introducing a dehumidifier to your newly plastered home. Take out too much humidity, and the plaster will dry too quickly, causing hairline cracks and brittleness over time.
Plaster needs a humidity of around 60-70% to dry properly, while still staying hydrated enough to dry evenly. If your humidity levels are above 70%, you may wish to hire a dehumidifier to correct this.
Humidity should be higher than 50%.
Tip 2. Increase airflow
Try to keep windows and doors open. Hiring a fan can help increase airflow, particularly in winter when opening windows is difficult.
A fan will not absorb excess moisture. Just ensure it is on a low setting so the room doesn’t become too cold.
Tip 3. Maintain the temperature
Most homes are usually around 18 to 25 degrees. Keeping the temperature low but comfortable is best for drying plaster.
Too high, and the plaster will dry too quickly and crack. Keeping plaster drying evenly requires consistent temperatures and ventilation.
You should turn off central heating in the plastered room to ensure sections near radiators don’t dry too quickly. Instead, hire heaters to maintain a temperature of around 15 degrees in winter or use fans on a cooler setting in summer.
The temperature mustn’t drop below 2 degrees when applying and drying plaster. Use heaters on a low setting to maintain some heat.
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