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Thread: Q: How long must paint cure (on bookshelves shelves) before use?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Q: How long must paint cure (on bookshelves shelves) before use?


    I recently built a 13' long by 9' tall bookcase. I finished painting it about 7 days ago and I'm wondering how long I should wait for the paint to cure before I start putting stuff on it.

    I painted with Sherwin Williams ProClassic acrylic enamel (2 coats with one coat of a primer underneath.) The lady at the paint store said I should wait 30 days before placing anything on the surface of the paint.

    I'm a total novice at this kind of stuff. This was my first large scale woodworking project and my first time painting furniture. I have no experience to rely on, but 30 days seems like a long time to wait. On the other hand, I don't want to ruin anything by putting stuff on the shelves before the paint is fully cured.

    For those of you with painting experience, do you think I need to wait 30 days? And if not, how soon would be OK to start loading up the shelves?
    (Everything that was in the room before the project started is scattered in a total mess in the opposite room. We are dying to get all of our books and papers organized again.)


    Matt Bollinger
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Southport, NC
    You got good advise. Oil based finishes and waterborne acrylic finishes dry/cure in two steps. The first is the evaporation of the thinner or solvent. Then, the second stage occurs which is the curing of the remaining chemicals. The total curing cycle is about 3-4 weeks depending on the temperature and film thickness.

    Given that you are finishing shelves that will hold books, I'd give it the 3-4 weeks before putting any books on the finish.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Thanks Howie.

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