A common question when remodeling and painting a bathroom is
“How long do I have to wait to shower after painting my bathroom?”
The short answer is; it depends. Depending on the paint used and airflow in the room, you should generally wait at least 3 days. We recommend that you check the paint manufacturers labels. They often mention how long it takes for the paint to dry.
Also you might have most of your shower covered in tiles, in which case it will dry a bit faster.
Before you can shower, the paint should at the very least be dry but it would be best if it is cured completely. Until then, it is best to be careful and try to avoid too much moisture (and water directly on the paint).
How to Check if Paint is Cured
So what does it mean for paint to be completely cured? When paint is cured it has fully hardened. This mean that the water or solvent (a component in some paint) is gone. The details are not that important. However you should know that the curing time is (a lot) longer than the time it takes the paint to dry. Untill then it can become damaged easily (especially in a bathroom). That is why we recommended for you to wait unill your paint is completely cured. This might not be feasible for everyone, but at least wait for it to dry.
Want to Speed Up The Process? Do This.
There are not a lot of things you can do but a few things can help the paint dry faster. They all focus on increasing the air flow of the room. If you have only painted a tiny area, you can use a hair dryer. In most cases you will paint a significant part of the bathroom and should therefore:
1) Have the door and all windows open if possible (make sure no dirt or other things can get inside).
2) Put a fan in the room. This will greatly increase the air flow
If you do the two things above you might reduce the time to around 2 days. Once again this will depend on the type of paint and how much airflow there is.
Another tip is to coat the walls lighter, meaning don’t use more paint the necessary. It goes without saying that the more paint you use, the longer it takes for it to cure.
How Long to Wait When Using Latex Paint
Latex paint usually dries very fast (don’t mistake this for curing) which means if you are careful you can take a shower already the day after. However, be careful not to let the humidity get too high. Perhaps shower with windows open or an open door.
For the paint to fully cure it usually takes around a month. Realistically you are not going to avoid showering for that long (unless you have another shower), but especially during the first weeks you should be aware of humidity and any direct contact with water. As always make sure to check the manufacturers guidelines.
How Long Should You Wait When Using Oil Based Paint
Oil based paint takes longer to dry and cure and you should therefore allow several days to go by before taking a shower. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the paint is cured though, although it might be dry. This kind of paint just takes longer to “finish” than the latex equivalent. We usually recommended that you use a latex (or semi-latex) paint instead. It is more suitable for a bathroom.