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How to Cure Paint Faster in a "Shop Painting" Environment

Posted in Painting & Coating

There are four very well proven ways to cure paint fast.

1. Put your painted product in a heated environment to dry

It is very expensive to heat a large painting area. There are two options to consider for heat: utilize a paint booth where your painting area is contained to a relatively controlled environment and once you finish painting you can raise temperatures to 150-200ºF. Alternatively you could look at applying localized heat to painted parts.

2. Move high velocity air over the surface of the painted product

Have you ever noticed that clothes dry quicker when it’s windy? The same principle applies to paint / industrial coatings when they are curing.

When paint dries, the solvents evaporate and form a thin layer on top of the coating. These will slowly drift away as the coating cures. That small layer of evaporated solvents forms an ‘insulation’ between the paint and the external environment creating a ‘saturated atmosphere’ within a few millimeters/thous of the surface and will cause the curing of the paint to slow down. If you have high velocity air that will move that concentrated atmosphere away from the painted surface, allowing the drying paint to release more solvents, ultimately curing the paint far faster than if the air was still.

In a painting environment, you cant have high velocity air while you are painting as it will create excessive overspray. A common option is to have an ‘Aquatech’ style fast drying solution which is turned on once the painting is finished, and forces fast moving air over the surface of the painted product. This system can be fitted to paint booths and also large open painting areas.

3. Don’t “thin” the paint

If you find that you need to thin the paint to get it to atomise, there is a couple of recommended options:

  • Use a plural component pump for standard epoxies which you normally thin and you will get away without thinning.
  • Use an in-line paint heater to heat the paint once it has left the pump. The most common reason paint wont atomise at the spray tip properly is because the paint is too cold.

4. Get the product you are painting up to temperature before you paint

This applies if you are blasting outside and bringing the blasted product inside for painting. If it is cold outside, the steel is cold and when the paint is applied, the low steel temperature will lower the curing speed.

Blast inside so the product has a chance to pre-warm before you paint.