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Can You Drive a Freshly Painted Car in the Rain?

can you drive a freshly painted car in the rain

Painting your car can be exciting, as it seems brand new and clean all over again. As thrilling as this exercise can be, you mustn’t be tempted to assume you can do anything you want with it. This begs the question, can you drive a freshly painted car in the rain?

The short answer is No! Driving a freshly painted car is not advised because your new paintwork will be exposed to harsh weather before it has fully cured. On the other hand, if you wax it, the answer is yes; the wash and wax will assist your car in shedding the water as quickly as possible, causing the least amount of damage to the paint.

Are you still in doubt? Then read on. This may be the best article you’ll read regarding this subject. So ride on!

Can I drive a freshly painted car in the rain?

Generally, as mentioned above, taking your freshly painted automobile for extended, unneeded journeys exposes it to severe weather conditions before it has fully dried.

Also, a fresh, unprotected, clear coat can readily be stained or ruined by tree sap, bird droppings, and acid rain, to name a few things.

Furthermore, drastic temperature shifts can impact curing and paint adhesion, from direct solar heat to wet cool evenings or mornings. So you shouldn’t drive a freshly painted car in the rain.


On the other hand, while rain might not harm your paint, rain combined with city pollutants might result in acid rain, which could be harmful.

Here is the verdict: You may drive your freshly painted car in the rain if you wax the car. Otherwise, drive it only in pleasant weather conditions.

How long does automobile paint take to dry?

The length of time a car takes to dry when freshly painted varies depending on the type of paint.

Applying paints, such as Rustoleum, can dry in 30 to 90 minutes, while others may require overnight drying.

Overall, a paint job can take a few days to weeks, including any final touch-up work.

How long does it take for a car paint to dry before it can withstand the rains?

This, too, will depend on the paint used. 

Before the rain arrives, you’ll need at least two hours of direct sunshine if you’re using latex paint. After an hour, the paint may feel dry to the touch, but it will still wash away.

Light rain may not entirely harm your work after two hours, but you may need to repaint some of it once it has dried.

Paints based on urethane cure in 24 hours or less: Most of them dry in about an hour. Also, it can take up to 30 days for lacquers and acrylic enamels to cure. Most painters will use a clear urethane finish to help an acrylic enamel paint job resist acid rain and other pollutants.

painted car dry

Is it possible for rain to damage car paint?

Rainwater on your freshly painted car can cause more harm than you imagine. As rain falls, it absorbs impurities and toxins from the air, resulting in acid rain, which etches its way into the paint and damages the surface of your automobile. What’s left is essentially a thin coating of contaminants, and the longer you keep them there, the more harm the paint surface might sustain.  

Again, while water will at some point evaporate, any dirt or minerals in the rainwater will not, resulting in what is known as watermarks. The good news is that regular watermarks do not harm your vehicle’s paint; they detract from its luster.

What should I avoid doing with my freshly painted car?

After 24 hours, a newly painted vehicle is safe to drive.

However, it is necessary to check the paint job in good light before leaving the shop to verify there are no flaws in the work.

Also, while the automobile is safe to drive, experts believe the paint job won’t be entirely cured until another 60 to 90 days. So, in the meanwhile, here are a few things to avoid with your car.

  • You want to park your car in a secure place: It is preferable to keep your automobile in the garage as much as possible during this period. Park as far away from sappy trees, intense sunshine, and birds when driving.
  • Don’t get your car washed: You’d be shocked at how many folks wash their freshly painted vehicle during a car wash. You shouldn’t do this, as new paints require proper drying. Also, avoid using soap on your freshly painted automobile until after a month. 

However, if you must wash it, bring it home and rinse it in the shade with cold water with a microfibre mitt. Keep your automobile out of the sun for as long as possible.

Wipe with a chamois or microfiber cloth after washing. You do not want water streaks and swirls on a gleaming fresh finish.

  • You should not wax your car: Wait until your car has been 90 days before waxing it. After that, you may wash and wax your vehicle as usual.
  • You want to notify your insurance company that you have made alterations to your vehicle. If your painting project is a specialty, you may need additional coverage from your insurance to ensure you are sufficiently insured.
  • Avoid making unnecessary trips: Taking your freshly painted automobile for extended, unneeded journeys exposes it to severe weather conditions before it has fully dried. Leaving your automobile in a garage for two months is recommended and safe.

Only drive when required and in good weather. You might use taxis or drive your second car if you have one during this time. Indeed perseverance is worth it and will fetch you a reward.

What happens if the paint gets wet before it can cure?

If it rains before the paint surfaces are completely dry, the rain will wash away some of the paint from the last coats. This is rarely a problem because they could repaint the surfaces the next day when they have dried.

How do I get a car’s paint to dry quickly?

Have you ever wondered what you could do to get your car’s paint to dry quickly, search no further? Below are simple guidelines that you can follow to ensure that you dry your automobile paint rapidly.

  • Always put a thin layer of paint on a previously painted automobile: If you’re doing a touch-up on your automobile, make sure to apply a thin layer of paint, whether it’s a single coat or a double coat. It is because thin paints need less time to dry and cure.

Furthermore, no automobile paints are available in a thin consistency. As a result, you’d add any suggested solvent to the paint to increase its consistency while preserving its durability and other properties.

  • Also, it is critical to have adequate ventilation: The greater the airflow around the automobile, the faster the paint dries. So make sure there is adequate airflow surrounding your freshly painted automobile.
  • Ensure the location where you’ve placed your automobile has enough windows or fans to speed up the drying process.
  • Raise the temperature: Increasing the temperature surrounding the automobile is another quick approach to dry the car paint.

As the temperature rises, the drying process accelerates without compromising its properties. If this isn’t possible, you can wrap a heater around the car and leave it for 30-50 minutes.

  • Reduce the humidity in the air. Do you have trouble drying your clothing when the air is humid? The same may be said about a freshly painted automobile.

Humidity in the air reduces the pace of reaction and evaporation of the paint’s solvents. As a result, when the air is humid, every piece of paint takes longer to dry.

Place a humidifier around the car and leave it for a while to accomplish this.



Your major responsibility as a car owner is to maintain the outside appearance of your vehicle. The top rank in this category goes to assuring high-quality paint all over the car’s body.

On the other hand, painting an automobile is not as simple as it seems. Besides selecting the best method and paint, you must consider other factors to ensure a unique and beautiful paint finish. This article has collated the answer to everything you needed to know concerning driving a freshly painted car in the rain. We hope you learned!

2 thoughts on “Can You Drive a Freshly Painted Car in the Rain?”

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