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Can You Paint Over Wet Drywall Mud? (Quick Answers)

Drywall is also called the wallboard. The large rigid sheets of various sizes and materials are used in drywall making. Drywall construction is the use of walls without any kind of plasters or mortars. Painting over wet drywall mud can come with its complexities.

We will be discussing if you can paint over drywall mud with paint, what happens if you do paint over drywall mud, how soon you can paint over, and how to tell if the joint compound is dry and if you can directly paint over the joint compounds, preparation, and texture over wet muds!

Can you paint over wet drywall mud?

It is better not to paint over wet drywall mud. You can paint over drywall mud after 24 hours of drying and when it is not sagging. Before each coat, sanding and priming are very important. Thinner coats, increasing air circulation, raising the temperature can help it dry faster.

Drywalls are these rigid sheets of boards of various sizes and materials, also called wallboard. There is a particular type of gypsum paste called the drywall mud or the joint compound used in finishing drywall compounds and joints in any new installations of drywall. 

You can also use them to fill in cracks and holes in the walls and plaster surfaces. But painting over can be a hard job.

You have to look after a few factors before painting over drywall mud. After using drywall mud, you have to sand down the wall and prime it nicely. 

If you put coats of paint over the wall without primer, a kind of foundation for drywalls to protect them, you will severely damage the walls.

You have to let the wet drywall mud sit for 24 hours before sanding and priming and then applying paint. The first coat you apply to the wall will also take the longest to dry. Temperature and humidity play a significant role in this regard.

You can look into raising the temperature and managing humidity to dry the drywall mud faster in almost twelve hours. You can apply thinner coats, hot mud and increase air circulation among the area to accelerate the process more quickly.

What happens if you paint over wet drywall mud?

Painting over wet drywall mud can come with its problems we are mentioning some of them below what will happen if you decide to paint over wet drywall mud:

Pull the muds off:

The paint will pull the muds off the wall and it will be a mess if painted on wet drywall. It is okay to fudge a little but it is best not to paint over wet texture. If you do plan on painting the walls on the same day it has been textured it is better to use a sprayer.


Sagging is caused when you paint over wet drywall mud or when the water pipes leak in your walls, causing it to sag. 

If the drywall is sagging between the joists or maybe pillowing, there might be an issue with the installing. Dry the wet drywall mud properly to avoid sagging. 

Flat or dull Look:

When someone paints a wall, they fill holes and patch cracks with joint compounds. But if someone paints over patched areas, the compound sucks the moisture out of the paint, which gives it a flat or dull look. The spots will stand out from the rest of the wall.

Using a sprayer is much different than using a roller or paintbrush which would cause a problem. Sprayed textured walls look the best. It helps the paint to get into all the cracks and narrow sides giving the texture a better finish.

How soon can you paint over drywall mud?

You can paint over drywall mud as soon as it dries off. A joint compound takes 24 hours to dry off generally between coats and before sanding, painting /priming.  However, the drying times will be increased if the level of humidity is high and if the temperature is warm enough.

How to tell if the joint compound is dry?

You can tell if the joint compound is dry by its hardness and dryness. If you tap on it and it has a dent that means it is still not properly dry. The first coat takes the longest to dry, from 12 hours minimum to 24 hours maximum. 

Weather and humidity can also play an important role in drying the joint compound. Try to keep a closer look. If the weather is cold and the humidity is less, it will take more time. 

How to dry drywall mud faster?

Drying the joint compound can be a time-consuming process. They take from 12 hours to almost 24 hours to dry off. The first coat also takes the most time to dry, and the other coats are relatively faster to dry off.

We would like to mention some ways you could get your drywall painted faster and more effectively below: 

Choose the right day:

Choosing the right day to paint drywall can have a huge effect on your process. Try to avoid a rainy or a day with increased humidity. That will not help your place. Try to choose a sunny, warm day that would really help to dry the drywall mud faster.

The Right Season

Sometimes, you might be in a hurry and not the option and have to paint very quickly, but if you are planning ahead, then please choose the right season. 

Try to paint over the summer seasons; it is going to work way faster with decreased humidity, it will soak up all moisture, and you won’t have to go through big troubles. 

Specific Drywall Mud: 

If you are in a hurry and have to get your drywall mud dryer faster, simply seek some professional help and ask which drywall mud takes how much time to dry off. You can also get the special type of powdered mud that dries up very quickly, great for being in a rush!  

These are some other ways you could seek help, instead of trying to fan or use a hairdryer to dry off the wall and increasing the air ventilation to get it done faster. 

Can you paint directly over the joint compound?

No, it is better not to paint over joint compounds directly. Joint compounds are used to fill up any holes or dents left in the wall. If you directly try to paint over them, it will give out a dull, dainty look. 

Joint compounds will directly absorb all the moisture giving it a less charming darker look. It would be best if you tried to prime after using the joint compound before painting to get the best look. It is better for your walls as well.

And try to use a stain blocker primer if the joint compound has been painted over before to eliminate all the dents and scratches in the wall from before. You should also remember to sand before using a primer. 

How to prep drywall mud for paint?

Prepping a drywall mud for paint can be hectic. We are putting a step-by-step process that needs to be maintained before painting on the drywall mud:


The whole room needs to be sealed off from getting any external dust before sanding. In the areas where the joint compound is used sanding needs to be done to prepare it for priming, this will make the whole surface smooth.

 Until every lump and raised area are removed sanding should be done. In case the joint compound is thick, sandpaper should be used to smooth out the wall.


 Every speck of dust needs to be wiped off after sanding to make sure during the time of priming the wall no dust is mixed with the paint. The floor needs to be vacuumed to remove all the dust from the room. A clean, smooth wall will give the best results.


Priming will blend the joint compound and the drywall, so the surface becomes uniform. A primer designed for painted walls should be used. A brush needs to be used for smaller areas. As soon as the primer dries, sand the wall lightly with fine sandpaper. 

If you follow these steps properly and use the instructions given on the packaging you would be good to go or maybe take some help from a professional if needed.

Can you texture over wet mud? 

It is better not to texture over totally wet mud. But you can dab with a small sponge over the joint compound or the drywall, then press the sponge over the wall to make a sort of texture or sequence. It is also known as the stucco finish, the tapping method.

Final Thoughts 

It is better not to paint before 24 hours on the wet drywall mud. Priming, sanding, and cleaning should be done to prepare before applying drywall mud. Use thinner coats, dehumidify the air, raise the temperature, and use 20-60 minutes of hot mud for better results and avoid sagging, molds, mildew.