How Long Before Painting Hot Mud/DryWalls (EXPLAINED)

  • By: homeshacks
  • Date: March 22, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

For many reasons, people find themselves needing to paint drywall. For example, they may be preparing their walls for a fresh coat of paint during a room renovation or facelift. At other times the homeowner may just need to cover up imperfections, such as small holes and blemishes in the wall’s surface.

Whatever your reasons for painting drywall, you need to know how long it takes for the compound to dry completely before it’s ready to accept a coat of paint. The answer is that it depends on many different factors.

Factors Affecting Drying Time

The type and brand of joint compound applied: One factor affecting drying time is the material used in the finishing process. Joint compound made from a base of gypsum, rather than other ingredients such as clay, dry more quickly.

The number and thickness of coats applied: The first coat to be applied is the thickest and therefore takes longer to dry out completely compared to subsequent applications. With each successive layer, you should allow for less time since the compound is thinner.

Environmental factors: As with many other types of paint, the drywall compound must dry out completely to form a solid bond with the following coat. A number of environmental factors can affect how quickly it dries out, including humidity and temperature.

The type of primer used before painting: Joint compound is designed for use on drywall. If you plan to paint over it, another form of primer will likely be required before the coat of paint can be applied successfully. How long this takes to dry out depends on the type of primer used, as well as other factors.

Exterior walls are usually painted sooner than interior walls: Exterior wall humidity is typically much lower than inside a home. If you’re painting the exterior of your house, this will be an important factor in deciding when to paint.

Do you need to prime hot mud?

For best results, it is always advisable to prime your walls before painting them. The reason for priming is because paint does not usually adhere very well to a surface which has been previously painted over and without proper preparation, it can cause problems with the flow of your paint. You should definitely prime hot mud before you begin painting, provided that you have allowed it to dry for a good amount of time. The process of drying in this case is all about preference and climate. 

If you’re living in a place where it’s very humid out but the temperature is rather low, you can expect your mud to dry within a couple of days. If you’re in an area where it’s cold and allows for very little light to shine through then the drying process will take longer than usual. Usually, between five and seven days is all that it should take before you begin applying paint on top of your hot mud.

From our research, we’ve found that people generally say they would like to wait anywhere between five and twelve days before applying paint on top of the mud. This is when it comes down to preference because time does not determine how long you should wait when it all boils down to whether or not you’re comfortable with having your walls bare during this time. If you feel as though your walls need to be painted as soon as possible then there is no problem with doing so after a couple of days or even less if it makes you feel better!

Tips On How To Prime Drywalls

If you are not sure how to prime drywall, here are some suggestions that may help:

  • Wash the walls with soap and water to remove any dirt or grease before painting over them. Once the wall is clean, allow it to completely dry off. If there are any dents or crevices in the wall, don’t forget to fill them with spackling compound.
  • Paint over the walls with a good primer before using your paint of choice. You can also use Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 123 primer for drywall that has been approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
  • Bake on acrylic latex paints, such as those made by Benjamin Moore, over the primer to ensure that your walls are well protected.
  • Use a roller or brush to paint on the acrylic latex paint. It is important not to rush this step and allow your coat of paint to dry completely before painting another layer of paint over it.
  • Allow the paint to dry for at least a day before touching it.
Hot Mud Basics EXPLAINED!


Although it does not take very long to dry, the waiting time for hot mud really depends on what you prefer. If you are impatient and just want to get the job done then you can do so after a few days or even less if that makes you feel more comfortable. However, for best results, it is advisable to wait five to seven days before applying paint on top of the mud.

Like More Like This? Check These Articles Below!