How to apply thermal paste?

So this would be my 5th time putting on the thermal paste between my Asetek H50 and my Zerotherm ZT10.For some reason when i put each of them on the temps stay at around 50c under stress and then after a week or couple days the temps start rising.I'm not sure if it's the thermal paste or not.

So how do you correctly apply it.I usually just do a pea size and put the heatsink on right away.Should you wait for it to dry before you put it on?How long should i wait before putting on the heatsink after i apply the thermal paste?
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More about apply thermal paste
  1. Just put a small amount then actually spread it to a thin layer. You want to make sure it all has some on it. Make sure it is always a thin layer though, you don't want it being too much and squeezing out the sides. Then you just put the heatsink on, you don't wait for it to dry.

    Even if you don't do this, it still shouldn't matter that much. What is the temp rising to? Is it overheating or something?
  2. i usually use latex gloves or in a pinch a plastic bag to cover my fingers (to avoid getting skin oil contaminating the thermal paste) and actually use it to spread the thermal paste making sure there is a thin layer over the entire chip and immediatly apply the heatsink afterward
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