I've recently painted a room with latex paint. To finish the room I need to reinstall outlet covers, as well as some other fixtures that screw to the wall. I was wondering how long I should let the paint dry/cure before putting these on so that I minimize the chances of them sticking to the paint and peeling it up when they're removed in the future. Any tips/tricks to minimize their adhesion to the paint?

  • Most latexes cite 30 days drying before allowing scrubbing. The rubber component will never fully release adhesion, if compressed (such as a cover fully tightened. Latex enamels will cure 'harder', making them better for trim (over a wall formulation). I like @mike 's suggestion of candle wax. Paraffin might be a bit cleaner (and with a lower melting point, easier to apply).
    – HerrBag
    Jul 15, 2013 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


Wax the back edges with a candle. Tighten only as much as necessary.

In the future, if a cover plate does not fall off after removing the screws, use a knife to score around its perimeter. Scoring will go a long way in preventing paint from being pulled off with the plate.


Give it at least 24 hours to be safe. The best way to minimize adhesion is to just let it dry. If you need to get the covers on sooner (say you have children crawling around) then just loosely tighten the screws, then go back after 24 hours and fully tighten the wall plates.

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