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Question DetailsAsked on 1/15/2017

How long for the plaster to dry...?

Hi! I just tried to fix my wall with some DAP plaster I bought from Home Depot it has been roughly 3 hours since I have finished and I am still waiting for it to fully dry...? I could be wrong but I thought it was suppose to dry a lot faster.

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2 Answers


Oops - guess you did not read up first. Generally you have to let drywall compound dry at least 1 day before recoating or priming - more in a house with humidity over about 50%. Generally, about one day is allowed before the next smoothing coat, and 2-4 days is allowed by pros before painting or wallpapering over drywall compound - up to a few to six weeks for true plaster, and typically more like a month for newly cast concrete.

Basically, with drywall compound (if that is what you used), if when you sand it all you get is dust with no smearing it is ready to put on another smoothing coat or a water-based (latex, acrylic latex) primer paint, but for oil-based finishes I would wait 3-5 days after applying the last coat of compound, and a minimum of 7 days total after initial mudding of the joints (where it is 1/2-3/4" thick in the joint so dries slower) before painting primer over it.

If you actually meant true "plaster", which would normally only be used to plaster walls or for major plaster wall repairs (or sometimes for faux texturing) - that is commonly a many week (4-6 commonly) drying time in normal conditions unless you put major fans and heaters to work blowing on it, which can bring the time down to a couple of weeks typically. Obviously, longer for a full-thickness wall repair than for a skim coat.

Not knowing which product you used, but the normal DAP joint compound (what most people would grab for drywall work) data is here -

says 8-24 hours drying time between coats (depending on thickness and humidity), and says should be "thoroughly dry" before painting or wallpapering ("finishing" in their instructions) - which to me means 2-3 days minimum after application ASSUMING relatively dry interior air.

For rapid plaster and drywall repair work, there are fast-drying compounds like Spackle (maybe what you thought you were getting) that are ready to recoat in an hour typically, or paint in about 4 hours. Though if filling a "hole" through the plaster/drywall, so the patch is an inch thick or so, can commonly take even Spackle 4-8 hours to cure. Those compounds are for drywall REPAIR - drywall "compound" is for taping joints and getting a smooth finish over joints and fasteners, and some types also for texturing, although it is awfully soft and dentable for that use so normally a drywall texturing compound or "texture paint" is used on any place that is subject to scuffing or bumping.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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