I am repainting my mailbox, and just one layer of spray paint won't do. How long should I wait before spraying a second layer on the enamel?

The instructions indicate to paint with two coats two minutes apart, but they do not indicate what kind of paint it is (brand is Rust-oleum Ultra Cover paint+ primer). I take the two minutes as a "wet edge" sort of advice, but it does not solve how long to wait before doing the protective transparent cover (brand is Rust-oleum clear coat enamel).

I tried the theory of "many coats of the best paint" the last time, this time I am reinforcing it with a clearcoat on the theory it won't do any harm. But how long to wait before putting on the clearcoat?

  • 11
    What do the instructions printed on the side of the can say?
    – brhans
    Aug 22, 2023 at 0:28
  • two coats two minutes apart. But no indication of when it is safe to do a dry coat. My working hypothesis is three days of 80+ degree summer should be safe for almost anything....
    – 0xF2
    Aug 27, 2023 at 3:48

1 Answer 1


Read the instructions. The time you need to wait to repaint is on every can.

The best paint jobs start with prep first. Usually a good cleaning and maybe sanding.

  • 2
    And for many (not all) types of paint, there's a time window when you can recoat without any further prep, and beyond that time you may need to do some light sanding so the next coat adheres correctly to the previous one.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 22, 2023 at 0:56
  • The instructions say "two coats two minutes apart", but that is the only time indication provided. Agreed on the prep, I cleaned and sanded the thing close to perfection.
    – 0xF2
    Aug 27, 2023 at 3:50
  • 1
    rustoleumsupport.zendesk.com/hc/en-us Look at the FAQs. If the FAQs don't cover your case, call them and ask.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 27, 2023 at 14:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.