How Long Does it Take Plaster to Dry?

Plaster facade of house with two windows.

Plaster is a popular construction component when making walls and ceilings. While plaster is not as common in home construction today (it has mostly been replaced by drywall), this could be due to the fact that plaster is not a fast-drying material. Plaster can take anywhere from two days to two weeks to completely dry. 

While plaster does take a long time to dry, it is much more durable and longer-lasting than drywall. Plaster can also insulate better and help to make your home more fire resistant. 

What Is Plaster? 

Plaster is a composition used in construction that is typically composed of lime, gypsum, water, and sand. 

What Is Plaster Made Of? 

As mentioned above, plaster is usually made of lime, gypsum, water, and sand. But, plaster can have other additives in it like clay or marble. 

Moroccan plaster, also known as tadelakt, uses limestone and even black soap which is made from olives. Tadelakt can also contain glass, marble, or granite which acts as an aggregate.  

Unlike other forms of plaster, like Venetian plaster, it is made much simpler only using fired limestone and water to obtain the putty-like substance.  

How is Plaster Used?

Plaster can be used inside and outside when completing different construction projects. Plaster was very common and even used during the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. Today, plaster is making a bit of a comeback due to its durability, waterproofness, hardness, and fire resistant qualities. 

Plaster is used for ceilings, walls, and to create partitions. Plaster can also be used for decorative elements like trim or to carve designs into walls or ceilings. 

Plaster is also a common medium used by artists due to its ability to be manipulated, molded, and dried. Some artists use plaster to create casts to then create gold or bronze statues. 

In addition to home construction and art, plaster was also used in casting in the medical field to set broken bones. While today, most medical casts are made out of fiberglass, plaster might still be used in some cases. 

How Long Does it Take for Plaster to Dry?

As mentioned, plaster can take anywhere from two days to two weeks to dry completely. But there are factors that impact plaster drying times. Just like with acrylic paint, there are environmental factors that affect drying times of plaster.  

If you are planning on plastering an entire wall, for example, the wall will most likely need two to three coats of plaster. Allowing the plaster to dry completely for at least 24 hours in between layers is important for the finished results. 

Just like with acrylic paint, plaster drying times will be impacted by the temperature and humidity. Plaster will take longer to dry if it is in a cold building with little air flow. Whereas, plaster drying time could be faster if in a warmer, well ventilated building. 

Due to the large amount of time needed for plaster to dry, try using our time calculator to keep track of when your plaster will most likely be dry. 

White plaster wall with texture.

Fast-Drying Plaster

As we know, plaster has been used for thousands of years and in a large variety of ways. Plaster of paris has the quickest drying time compared to the other types of plaster. 

What Is Plaster of Paris? 

Plaster of paris has been used for hundreds of years and is named after Paris, France, because there is a large amount of gypsum found in this area. Gypsum is an important ingredient when making plaster. But while gypsum is used to make typical construction plaster, it is also found in plaster of paris. Plaster of paris is more common in ornamental plaster work as well as in medicine to take models or casts. Plaster of paris also has a much quicker dry time than normal plaster with a dry time of about 30 minutes. 

Plaster of paris is a common medium for many artists because of its fast dry time. It gives artists a more immediate result than other forms of plaster. If you are thinking of dabbling in the art of plaster work, try using our hours calculator to calculate the dry time. 

Planning for Plastering  

Whether you are using plaster for walls, ceilings, or creating a piece of artwork. Using our time calculator will help to ensure that your plaster has had the correct amount of time to dry. 

This entry was posted in DIY, Home & Garden, Lifestyle and tagged , , , . By Emily DiFabio