how long does it take for acrylic paint to dry

How Long Does It Take For Acrylic Paint To Dry?

Because Acrylic Paint dries faster than oil painting, acrylic paints are seen as a good substitute. But there are techniques to speed up the drying of this Paint even further. You may significantly shorten the time it takes for drying by using simple methods. In this article, we will discuss the drying times of Acrylic paint. How long does acrylic Paint take to dry? How to increase the drying time and make it dry faster? All the points are covered in this topic.

What Is Acrylic Paint?

The pigment particles in an emulsion of acrylic polymers make up water-based acrylic Paint. Any acrylic paint is made up of three ingredients: pigment, binder, and vehicle.

Pigment: Pigments are granular solids that provide color to paint. They are ground into tiny particles that do not dissolve but instead stay suspended in the Paint. Organic, inorganic, natural, and synthetic pigments are all possible. When applied to a surface, they have little to no affinity.

Binder: The material that retains pigment in place when the Paint dries is known as a binder. After the water has evaporated, the acrylic polymer that serves as the binder for acrylic Paint creates a film.

Vehicle: the portion of the Paint that contains the pigment and binder. Water is the carrier for water-based acrylic, and when coupled with the binder, it produces a polymer emulsion. The Paint dries when the water in the system evaporates or absorbs, leaving a stable, transparent polymer layer full of trapped colorful pigment particles.

What Makes Acrylic so Special?

  • They dry rapidly.
  • They stretch
  • When they are wet, you may clean them with water.
  • They are also permanent when dried.
  • They are available in a variety of consistencies and forms to meet your needs.
  • They adhere to nearly any surface.
  • They work in a variety of styles and techniques, ranging from practical applications to classic painting approaches.
  • They have a mild odor, no fumes, and are non-flammable.
  • You may influence their personality by using media.

Acrylic Paint Drying Time Affecting Factors

The time it takes for acrylic Paint to dry is also affected by the atmosphere. As a result, you can regulate how long the Paint takes to dry by controlling your workspace. A few things influence the dry time of acrylic Paint. Let’s go through them in further detail below.

Kind of Paint

Some paints are more viscous than others. It takes longer for thick Paint to dry. Slow-drying products are unique in increasing the drying period, whereas fast-drying solutions dry rapidly.


The drying time of acrylic Paint is affected by how it is applied. To apply the Paint, you might use a roller, brush, or spray.

Because spray paint usually is uniform and thin, it can dry to the touch in about 30 minutes and be ready for a second coat in an hour. Paint that has been rolled or brushed on is heavier. These applications require the maximum drying time between coats. Let the layers dry completely before applying the next application is also a good idea.


The dry time of acrylic Paint and pour paintings are influenced by environmental conditions such as temperature variations, humidity level, direct sunshine, air movement, usage of air conditioners, and others. When you paint in high humidity (50%+), the temperature in your room is lower than 65F (18C), which slows the drying of acrylics. You paint in a warm, dry environment, which allows acrylic Paint to dry faster since high temperatures cause water to evaporate more quickly.

The Thickness of the Paint

The longer it takes for your Paint to cure, the thicker it is. Color brands with thinner color films will dry faster. The number of paint layers used in a painting also influences the time. A thin layer of quick-drying Paint may dry in less than a minute. To guarantee that acrylic Paint dries rapidly, apply it in gradual layers.

Circulation of Air

Air circulation can help the Paint dry faster. Keep drafts away from your painting to keep it from drying too quickly. Set up your work location away from air conditioning vents and under heating ducts. Ceiling fans and open windows can also have an impact on how quickly your Paint dries.

Expect your paints to dry fast if you work outside on a breezy day. Set up your easel near a windbreak if you need to lessen the wind.


Acrylic Paint, as we all know, is suitable for a wide range of surfaces. If your painting surface is shiny or non-absorbent, the Paint will have a difficult time adhering to it. Make careful to prime your character and use the proper materials; adequate surface preparation is essential for optimal outcomes.

On the other hand, if you use unprimed wood or another absorbent (or unprimed) surface, it will soon soak up all of the Paint and require more and more layers.

Unprimed paper is also more absorbent than pre-primed canvas in general. Unprimed canvas, on the other hand, will be more absorbent than paper.


You utilize palettes that stay moist. It might be a handmade wet palette or one purchased from a store. The primary function of these palettes is to protect your Paint from drying out. If you don’t want to slow down the drying period of your Paint, use plastic or glass palettes.

Slow-dry Medium

Utilizing any of the following mediums: extenders, retarders, slow-dry medium, and wetting spray, They are all designed to help acrylics dry more slowly. Examine the qualities of the media you’re using.


You’re accustomed to spraying the back of your canvas or painting as you’re working. If this is the case, acrylics will likely dry slower than usual due to the water remaining on the surface.

You used too much water in the Paint, which slowed the evaporation process and reduced the Paint’s quality. I don’t advocate thinned Paint with water since it dilutes the pigment and binder and affects the bonding qualities. Second, it delays drying because, as we all know, drying equals evaporation.

After painting

Use plastic wrap to protect your paintings. It retains moisture and slows the drying process.

How Long Does It Take for Acrylic Paint to Dry?

Galeria Acrylic: Thin color films dry in 10 to 20 minutes, whereas more significant films might take an hour or more to dry.

Professional Acrylic: Thin coats dry in 20 to 30 minutes, but more significant layers might take an hour or two.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Canvas?

Almost most fast-drying acrylic paints dry in 10 to 20 minutes on canvas. Unprimed canvas may take longer to dry, while slow-drying formulations may remain wet for several hours. These timings vary substantially depending on your working environment.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Plastic?

On average, acrylic Paint dries in 15 to 20 minutes on plastic. However, the Paint has a harder time sticking to a smooth surface. To avoid flaking or peeling later, seal the Paint to the surface with varnish.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Wood?

On a wood surface, acrylic Paint typically takes 20 to 30 minutes to cure to the touch. The Paint does not fully cure for six to twelve hours. However, the drying time is determined by the number of layers used. Particularly humid conditions will also cause wood to remain damp for longer, lengthening the dry time.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Glass?

Acrylic Paint takes between 24 and 72 hours to cure on glass. However, you must carefully cure the painted glass and utilize a primer for the greatest effects. An acrylic paint designed for glass surfaces is also suitable.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Fabric?

Most acrylic paints dry on cloth in three to four days, depending on the recipe. It may be dry to the touch in 24 hours. Wash and dry the fabric before painting, and heat set the acrylic Paint for permanence.

Cardboard acrylics dry in around 24 hours on cardboard. To prevent the Paint’s moisture from distorting the cardboard, prime it first and seal it. When the cardboard is completely dried, it should flatten.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry on Metal? 

Acrylic Paint will cure in 48 hours on average. You should always sand the surface to assist the Paint in adhering to the smooth surface, and if you did not use outside Paint and want your product to be waterproof, you might require a primer and sealer.

How To Make Acrylic Paint Dry Faster?

Acrylic paints dry rapidly as is, but there are a few strategies you can do to speed up the drying period even more. Try painting in a warm, dry environment. Windy weather and low outside humidity are advantageous.

Use Thin Layers.

The most straightforward and most cost-free method is to paint thin layers. The usual rule of thumb is that a thinner coat of Paint will dry faster. Please remember that even if you are painting thin layers and cannot wait to continue, just paint another coat on top if the preceding one is dry to the touch.

Work in a Warm, Dry Atmosphere.

Again, the atmosphere significantly impacts how quickly acrylic Paint dries. It is one of the most critical components for painting, transporting, and keeping your work of art. The term “environment” refers to air currents, humidity, and temperature. A well-ventilated painting setting with a humidity of forty to fifty percent and a temperature of eighteen to twenty-four degrees Celsius (65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) is ideal.

The drying period in such an atmosphere is around twenty minutes to half an hour. What if you still want to speed up time? Then we suggest:

Paint in a warm, humid environment. Higher temps cause your Paint to dry faster.

Place your artwork in a moderate air current. Otherwise, use a fan. The airflow keeps the work area dry and your acrylic from becoming damp.

Something to consider:

Turn the fan away from the picture.

Avoid using too-powerful fans. A strong air current can harm and break your Paint.

Keep the area from becoming overheated. It will most likely result in the paint coating baking, breaking, and peeling.

Make use of a heater or a hairdryer

It is difficult to find someone who does not have a hairdryer at home. The item can significantly aid in the drying of acrylic Paint. Please remember to follow the instructions below.

Make sure your room is well-ventilated.

Avoid blowing air too close to your painting and staging in a long area. If not, the heat will most likely cause cracks or affect the quality of your Paint and colors.

Only use the lowest heat setting.

It is OK to substitute a heat gun or a heater. Remember that heat guns are far hotter than a standard hairdryer. Please use caution when using them.

Overheating can cause bubbles in the paint coating. The general precaution with hair dryers or similar devices.

Select Acrylics That Dry Quickly.

Some acrylics dry slowly and quickly (just about any acrylic). Acrylic paints are well-known for their ability to dry fast. Do you want to know how to dry acrylic Paint faster? Just avoid Atelier Interactive and other paints that dry slowly. Furthermore, Liquitex takes ten to twenty minutes to dry to the touch, depending on the kind. Golden Heavy Body is only wet for five minutes and dries completely in half an hour.

How long should Acrylic Paint be Allowed to Dry between Coats?

How long should you wait between acrylic painting coats? The time it takes for the Paint to cure between coats is determined by your climate, paint type, and the thickness of the coatings. The length of time you wait may also be determined by the impact you want to accomplish.

Allowing a coat of acrylic to dry before going on to the next ensures that your painting lasts. It keeps the Paint beneath from lifting or flaking. Allowing one paint layer to dry before applying another allows you to paint various colors on top of one another.

Acrylic Paint takes around 10 to 20 minutes to cure in thin applications. Thicker layers of acrylic Paint dry in roughly an hour or two between applications. If the previous coat feels dry to the touch, paint the next layer on top.

How Can I Shorten the Drying Time of Acrylic Paint?

Place your acrylic painting in a cold, wet spot with no air movement to shorten the drying period. Keep fans and heaters away from your workplace. Using any of these methods may allow you to lengthen the dry time by a few minutes.

Consider using a product to prolong the period you can leave a project for. Acrylic paint formulations that are unique allow you to moisten the surface for re-workable Paint after it has become touch dry.

With a wet palette, you may also stretch the dry time for a longer period of time. They are airtight containers that will keep your Paint wet for several days or weeks. Wet palettes are perfect for taking a long painting break. Simply place the cover in place, wet the foam layer, and return later.

Consider adding a retarder to your acrylic Paint to help it dry faster. Acrylic gel retarders, for example, lengthen the amount of time you may work with the Paint. Slow-dry mediums and palette-wetting sprays are other names for them.


Although acrylic Paint is typically fast-drying, some brands may include chemicals that cause the dry time to vary. Environmental conditions and applications, like with all paints, have a significant influence. You can change the dry time by knowing how these components interact.

Did you discover anything new concerning the drying time of acrylic Paint? Please let us know if you find our advice. Please forward this article to your friends as well.

Craft-level paints, which are commonly accessible in supermarkets, are less expensive but lack the composition and consistency of professional acrylics. Professional paints may be more expensive, but you receive superior pigment load, fillers, and binders, and therefore more valuable.

It’s because you’re attempting to apply layers of acrylic that aren’t completely dried. A workaround is to dilute the Paint with water. One important point to remember: Never use more than 30% water. Otherwise, you will shatter the paint molecules, weakening the Paint and limiting adhesion. Water is not a binding agent. Water degrades the paint binder, which is the polymer medium.

First and foremost, make certain that the wooden object has been sealed and primed before painting. Thinner coats of Paint can be used to enhance the drying time of your Paint on wood. Use a dehumidifier or a fan, but divert it away from the wood. A heater or hairdryer is also an excellent option. It is important to remember that acrylic Paint does not require paint thinners. Paint thinners are only for oil painting.

What is acrylic paint

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Ubaid Siddiqui is interested in arts and crafts. He has done arts and crafts since he was in school, and taking this passion to a greater extent, he became a writer in INKBYHAND. Here the users will learn how to make their first art and all the information they need to make a painting from tip to toe. An excellent mind will inform you.

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Muskan is a gifted artist who has dedicated her life to creating stunning paintings and calligraphy. From a young age, she has displayed an innate talent for the arts, and her passion has only grown. With a unique style that seamlessly blends traditional techniques with contemporary elements, Muskan's works are truly one-of-a-kind.

Throughout her career, Muskan has consistently proven her skills and creativity. She has won numerous medals in the field of art, recognition that speaks to the quality and impact of her work. Her paintings and calligraphy are not just visually stunning but also emotionally charged, inviting viewers on a journey of self-discovery and connection.

Whether you are an art enthusiast or appreciate beauty, Muskan's works are sure to captivate and inspire. With a passion for her craft and talent that shines through in every piece, she is a true master of her art form and a rising star in the industry.

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