Before talking about the drying time, we should have a clearer view of this specific process. So, what happens during the drying phase of the leather edge paint? The drying phase simply consists in the period during which the volatile part of the paint (water or solvent) flows out from it, leaving only the so called "dry part"on the leather surface.
That's why the required time depends on how fast this process is, I mean how long does the total volatile part need to flow out the paint leaving it completely dry.
Firstly this time is influenced by the type of the volatile part: solvent maybe more or less quick in flowing out depending on the type of solvent, while water is the "tortuga". In fact water-based products are notoriously slower in drying than the solvent-based ones.
How can you check that a leather edge paint is completely dry?
Actually it is not so difficult: first of all you should refer to the suggested drying time given by the seller, this is usually reported on the technical data sheet. Anyway there are some environmental factors that may influence the drying time, such as room temperature, relative humidity, etc. and you should pay attention to these things.
By the way, the drying phase is like cooking a cake. The cake cooks from the outside to the inside, so if you have some experience in making cakes probably you should check if the inside is well cooked by using a knife and looking to see if inside the cake is still liquid. It's the same for the leather edge paint: it will start to dry from the outside to the inside, but with edge paint please don't use a knife!
Your main interest should be: How long should I wait before I can continue working on my leather item?
Respecting the drying time suggested by the technical data sheet will guarantee you the possibility of continuing to work without compromising the edge of the leather item.
Anyway, complete drying means that the whole volatile part has evaporated, and especially for water-based products it could take up to 48 hours. So if your leather goods have to be packaged in plastic bags we suggest you wait at least this long before packaging, otherwise some water condensation may appear inside the plastic bag.
Now you are wondering: what is the drying time for water-based products?
Well, at room temperature it could be from 30 up to 35 mins, but technology can help us in overcoming this limit, reducing the drying time down to 12 mins by using specific oven.