How Long Does it Take for Striping Paint to Dry?

Part of keeping up with parking lot maintenance is re-painting your stripe lines every few years. Updating your striping paint may be in conjunction with bigger parking lot repairs, or it may be a standalone project.

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Whatever the case may be, you no doubt want to know how long it will take for the striping paint to dry on the asphalt. After all, the longer it takes to dry, the longer your parking lot has to be off-limits to customers — and you don't want to lose any business if you can help it. 

Let's talk about some key factors that will determine how long it takes for the striping paint to dry, and the rough time frame you can expect for your drying period.


It's no secret that paint tends to dry faster in warmer weather as opposed to colder temperatures. This is especially true of water-based paint, since the water contained within the paint mixture must completely evaporate before the paint can dry. 

In general, it's not a good idea to apply striping paint to a parking lot if the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The paint may take much longer to dry under those conditions than it would on a sunny day with a high in the 70's or 80's.

Of course, in Southern California, almost every day's temperature high will reach into the 60's (apart from a few days in winter, perhaps). But the bottom line is: The hotter the day, the faster the paint will dry.


Another factor to keep in mind is humidity. The higher the humidity level, the longer it will take the paint to dry, since the water in the paint mixture will have a harder time evaporating in very humid conditions. Therefore, dry days are usually best for applying paint to asphalt. 


Yet another weather factor that can affect your paint's drying time is the wind. The water in your paint will evaporate more quickly on a windy day than it will on a day without much air movement.

When you take these 3 weather factors together (temperature, humidity, and wind), then it becomes clear that the ideal conditions for laying down parking lines would be a hot, dry, and windy day without rain. Fortunately, Southern California has plenty of those!

The Number of Coats of Striping Paint Applied

In many cases, your contractor will have to apply two coats of striping paint in order to achieve the best possible appearance for your parking stripes. For example, if your contractor has just applied a fresh coat of sealant to the asphalt, then he may need to apply two layers of paint to the parking lines in order for them to show up clearly and cleanly. 

Some contractors believe that one thick coat of paint on asphalt is better than two thin ones. However, this is a common mistake. A single thick coat of paint on your asphalt may start to crack and disintegrate into flakes within a few months.

So, How Long Does it Take?

Although the exact answer for your parking lot will depend on all of the factors mentioned above, here is a rough time frame you should keep in mind:

On a perfect day (warm, dry, windy), water-based paint will typically dry within 2 hours of application.

Of course, no matter what paint you use, you'd want it to dry as quickly as possible so that you can open your parking lot up to customers once again. At Empire Parking Lot Services, we realize that the longer your lot is shut down for repairs, the more business you could be losing. That's why we offer to work around each customer's schedule to get the work done — even if that means working on evenings, weekends, or holidays.

At the same time, we know that the appearance of your parking lot reflects on your business, for better or for worse. That's why we approach each project with the diligence and attention to detail that it deserves.

If you'd like to learn more about how our experienced team can help you with your next parking lot striping project, contact us at 714-633-0300 for more information. We'd be happy to answer any questions you have!

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