How Long Does Drywall Mud Take to Dry?

How Long Does Drywall Mud Take to Dry?

If you’re like most people, waiting for the first coat of drywall mud to dry is about as exciting as waiting for water to boil, especially when you’re ready to get your project finished.

While most manufacturers recommend waiting 24 hours in between coats of joint compound, that’s not always necessary.

How long does drywall mud take to dry? The main factors are the humidity and temperature in your home.

If you’re like the average homeowner with a 70-degree temperature and 70% humidity, drywall mud will take 24 hours to dry. However, if the temperature in your home is more than 70 degrees and the humidity is lower, your joint compound will dry faster.

How Do You Make Drywall Mud Dry Faster?

How Do You Make Drywall Mud Dry Faster? With a heater

The easiest way to make joint compound dry faster is to crank up the heat. Try turning your heater on or placing space heaters in the room if you have them.

Some people even use hair dryers or heat guns to speed up the drying time.

Weather permitting, you can also open up a window and add a fan to the room to help lower the humidity levels.

Another option is to use hot mud, which dries much faster than traditional drywall mud.

How to Tell if Drywall Mud is Dry?

In general, when your drywall mud is dry, it will look slightly lighter than it did when wet. It should also feel completely dry to the touch. If you touch the mud or tape it and create indents, it still has moisture left in it and should dry longer.

If the joint compound looks splotchy, that means not all areas are fully dry.

On the other hand, if the mud is all one color and is completely hard, it’s probably ready for the next step. You can then add a second coat, sand, or prepare the sheetrock for priming.


When the joint compound on your gypsum sheetrock dries, it shrinks and hardens.

On average, drywall mud takes about 24 hours to dry. If you need to speed up the drying time, your best bet is to crank up the heat and bring in the fans to lower humidity and increase the temperature.

You can tell if your drywall mud is ready when it’s all a uniformly lightened color and is hard to the touch.