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How Long Does It Take Liquid Nails to Dry?

How Long Does It Take Liquid Nails to Dry?

Liquid Nails can be used in nearly every type of construction project.

As long as you give the Liquid Nails enough time to both dry and cure completely, your home projects and repair jobs will last for years.

Liquid Nails typically takes between 4 to 24 hours to dry, and 7 to 10 days to fully cure. Its drying time is affected by factors such as how thickly it was placed on a surface and the humidity.

No matter the type of construction or repair job, Liquid Nails is an invaluable substance to use in any project.

There are right and wrong ways to use Liquid Nails and if you don’t let it dry and cure properly, your project could become a disaster.

How Long Does it Take Liquid Nails to Dry?

Liquids Nails is a popular adhesive designed to replace real metal nails.

By using Liquid Nails instead of regular nails, there is no need to hammer nails into delicate wood.

You will no longer need to worry about unsightly indents, splitting wood, or holding two pieces of wood together as you hammer them together.

Just apply a generous amount of Liquid Nails in the right areas and wait for it to dry and cure.

What is the Average Time It Takes for Liquid Nails to Dry?

The average drying time for Liquid Nails is around 24 hours, but there are multiple factors that could increase or decrease its drying time.

It could take anywhere from 20 to 36 hours for Liquid Nails to fully dry!

There are multiple Liquid Nails products, and a few of the specialized products take only 4 hours to dry. But most products will take 24 hours.

Curing time is not a part of Liquid Nails’ drying time, as that is a separate process. After the adhesive is dry, you will then have to wait for it to cure.

It takes a long time for Liquid Nails to dry and then cure. When planning home improvement or construction projects, plan out the projects in advance.

Always have other smaller projects to do while you are waiting for Liquid Nails adhesive to dry and cure.

Liquid Nails Dry Time vs. Cure Time

In addition to drying time, you also have to factor in curing time. As stated above, the average amount of time Liquid Nails takes to dry is 24 hours, but the curing is much longer and can take up to an entire week, depending on the environmental conditions.

What Is the Difference Between Drying and Curing?

Drying and curing time are two essential processes that must be completed when using Liquid Nails.


Drying time is how long it takes for the adhesive to dry and stop running.

When Liquid Nails is dry, it won’t run, and it should not feel wet.


Curing is a process in which Liquid Nails hardens and forms the proper chemical bond that give the adhesive its unbelievable strength. If you have ever worked with concrete, then you are familiar with the curing process.

If Liquid Nails is not given the right amount of time for it to properly cure, then it will not reach its full strength, and your projects may come apart or fall off the wall in a month or two.

Liquid nails drying time

What Affects the Drying Time of Liquid Nails?

Several environmental and application factors can influence the speed at which Liquid Nails dry.

  • Humidity/Moisture. Liquid Nails dry faster if the surrounding air is less humid. But the air does not have to be completely dry. The maximum humidity should be 40% or less.
  • Exterior or Interior temperature. Temperature is probably the biggest factor in determining how fast Liquid Nails dry. If the temperature outside is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, expect the drying time for Liquid Nails to be twice as long then if it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

    If the temperature is below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, some people find that the Liquid Nails never truly dry. And if it’s not able to dry, then it is unable to cure as well.
  • The thickness of the adhesive in one area. This is a small factor, but it does have some effect on drying time. The most effective way for Liquid Nails to dry is if it is applied in a thin line.
  • The type of surface Liquid Nails is drying on. Depending on the type of materials Liquid Nails is drying on, it can take longer for the moisture inside the adhesive to dissipate.

    Porous materials allow the moisture in Liquid Nails to escape, while non-porous does not. Here is a breakdown of the materials that dry fastest and slowest:
  • Dries Slower: Glass, plastic, metal, surfaces that are painted or sealed, PVC, porcelain, aluminum.
  • Dries Faster: Wood, cement, brick, compacted wood, mortar, stucco.

How to Speed Up Liquid Nails Drying Time

Waiting anywhere from 16 to 36 hours is not feasible for many people who are doing home improvement projects.

Building or construction projects must be wrapped up in a certain amount of time, or new projects will be pushed back.

This will also delay the starting date of any upcoming projects.

Lack of time could be a reason why some people would rather choose to use real metal nails instead of Liquid Nails.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to speed up the drying time of Liquid Nails.

Ways to Speed Up Drying Time of Liquid Nails

  1. Heat: Place a heater near the item with Liquid Nails and put it on low heat. Place it under the sun or bring it inside to avoid cold weather.
  2. Circulation: Still air will not allow Liquid Nails to dry quickly. Place the item or project in a well-ventilated room or near a fan.
  3. Dry Environment: It should not be too humid, as the water in the adhesive must evaporate.
  4. Thin lines: Do not allow Liquid Nails to pool, as it will be harder for the middle to dry out. Apply the paste as a thin line.

Can the Curing Time Also be Sped Up?

Unfortunately, no. There is no way to speed up the curing time for Liquid Nails.

As we mentioned, curing is a different process in which the chemicals in the Liquid Nails adhesive mix with the moisture in the air.

While you can’t speed up the curing process, you can make sure it goes smoothly. The air in the space where the Liquid Nails sits cannot be too dry.

How Long Before You Can Paint Over Liquid Nails?

To ensure that the Liquid Nails adhesive won’t run or mix with wet paint, it is best to wait 24 hours or until it is completely dry.

If you cannot wait the full 24 hours to paint, then you can start lightly painting over Liquid Nails after 4 hours.

Some Liquid Nails products will only require 2 hours of drying time before it can be painted over.

But the length of time to wait before painting over Liquid Nails is actually not that important.

What is important is the type of paint you use to paint over the adhesive. Only use latex and oil-based paints when painting over Liquid Nails.

If the weather is humid, then you should wait the full 24 hours before painting over Liquid Nails.

Liquid nails

Liquid Nail Alternatives

Liquid Nails are not a general adhesive product that many companies make. It is actually a copyrighted product that only one company, Liquids Nails, manufactures.

So, it may be difficult to find proper replacements from other adhesive companies.

But, with a little digging, we have found several Liquid Nail alternatives that are just as effective!

Some of these products can be used in every single home construction product like a Liquid Nail can, but they are the property adhesive for the job they are designed for.

Because Liquid Nails is an adhesive designed for heavy construction projects, we focused on alternative adhesives that can handle similar projects.

Liquid Nail Alternatives

  • Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive: Perhaps the best replacement on this list, this adhesive is water-resistant, doesn’t smell after it is fully dried, and can bond with ceramic, tile, and wood.

    The Gorilla Glue company has created three types of this adhesive: the heavy-duty version, the heavy duty ultimate, and the max strength construction adhesive.
  • Loctite PL 550 Tub Surround Adhesive: This heavy-duty adhesive is formulated specifically for bathrooms. It is extremely resistant to steam, moist heat, cold environments, and moisture.

    One reason why this type of adhesive should be used in bathroom projects is it allows for 25 minutes of repositioning time.

    So, if you notice that something isn’t right or properly set in the right position, you will have some time to reposition the item before the adhesive is completely dry.
  • Power Grab Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive: Another strong heavy-duty adhesive, this product does best in dry but heavy traffic environments can be used outside as well.

    This adhesive can bind to drywall, plaster, concrete, masonry, cork, wood, and brick. It does not smell after it is finished drying. The only downside is this is not a good product for moist or humid environments.
  • Fuze It Max Interior/Exterior All Surface Construction Adhesive A alternative to the original Liquid Nail, Fuze It Max is an extreme heavy-duty adhesive that bond to all types of surfaces in any type of weather.

    The max cure time of Fuze It is 24 hours, and it can be painted over when it is cured. Do not used with polyethylene and polypropylene.

Conclusion on Liquid Nails

The average time it takes for the Liquid Nails adhesive to dry is 20 to 24 hours. Sometimes it can take up to 36 hours.

After the drying time is complete, then it is time to complete the curing time. The average curing time takes about 1 week.

There are several factors that can influence the drying time, including humidity, moisture, surface types, and thickness of the applied adhesive.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.