How to Make Acrylic Paint Dry Faster: The Full Guide

How to make acrylic paint dry faster is a common question for painters. The good news is that there are many ways to do it, and in this article, we will explore all of them! We’ll start by answering some of the most common questions about drying time, then move on to a detailed tutorial with useful tips.

So whether you’re an experienced painter or just starting out, you’re sure to find something helpful here!

What Is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is water-based paint that typically contains pigment, binder, and solvent. The pigment provides the color, the binder helps the paint stick to the surface it’s applied to, and the solvent facilitates application and dissolves the binder once the painting is complete.

How Does Acrylic Paint Dry?

When you apply acrylic paint to a surface, it will initially be in a liquid form. As it dries, this liquid evaporates and leaves behind solid particles of pigment and binder. Depending on environmental factors like humidity and temperature, different parts of the painting will dry at different speeds, which can lead to problems like cracking or peeling.

How Long Does It Take For Acrylic Paint To Dry?

The time it takes for acrylic paint to dry varies depending on many factors, including the type of surface you’re painting on and how thickly applied the paint is. Generally speaking though, most people find that their paintings take anywhere from two hours up to eight before they are able to touch them without leaving fingerprints or smudges.

You can check by gently pressing a finger into one corner of your canvas with gentle pressure – if there’s still liquid underneath then wait until all traces have evaporated away before proceeding further!

Why Do You Need To Dry Acrylic Paint Faster?

There are many reasons why you might need to dry acrylic paint faster. Maybe you’re in a hurry to finish your painting, or maybe the weather is humid and causing your paint to take longer than usual to dry. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways to speed up the process!

Reasons Why Your Acrylic Paint Is Not Drying

Before we get into the methods of speeding up drying time, it’s important to first identify why your paint might not be drying in the first place. Here are a few common reasons:


Acrylic paint dries more slowly in cold temperatures, so if the temperature in your studio is too low, acrylic paint will take longer to dry. Conversely, if it’s too hot, the paint can become brittle and crack.


Humid conditions can also cause the acrylic binder to evaporate more slowly than it otherwise would under dryer circumstances – which means that even though we may not feel like our hands are sweaty when applying paint, there is still water vapor present in the air around us!

This makes it harder for any moisture from within our paintings themselves to escape outwards through evaporation or diffusion before they settle into place permanently onto whatever surface they’ve been applied to.

High humidity levels can prevent the paint from drying completely, leading to a wetter finish that is more susceptible to damage.

Type Of Surface

Porous surfaces like canvas soak up more paint than non-porous surfaces like metal or glass, which means they will take longer to dry. For example, the canvas is known for being a more absorbent surface than paper, so paintings on canvas usually take longer to dry than those on paper.

Paint Thickness

The thicker the layer of paint you apply, the longer it will take for it to dry. This is because there’s more binder and pigment in a thicker layer, meaning that there’s more material preventing water vapor from escaping.

How To Make Acrylic Paint Dry Faster

In this tutorial, we’ll show you four different ways to speed up the drying time of acrylic paint. We’ll start with the easiest methods and move on to more advanced techniques, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced painter, you’re sure to find something helpful here!

Method One: Using a Hair Dryer

If you’re in a hurry to finish your painting, one of the easiest ways to make acrylic paint dry faster is by using a hairdryer on low heat. Simply hold the hairdryer about 18 inches away from the painting and slowly move it back and forth across all areas of the surface that have not yet dried.

This may seem like an obvious choice, but it’s not without drawbacks such as overheating and melting away layers faster than others (which could lead to peeling).

Be careful not to use too much heat, or you will damage your artwork! You’ll have to experiment with different ratios until you find one that works best for your needs.

Method Two: Increasing the Temperature Of the Room

Another easy way to speed up drying time is by increasing the temperature of the room where you’re working. This will cause air circulation around your painting and help to evaporate some water from its binder more quickly so it can dry faster than usual!

You can do this either naturally through opening windows (which may be impractical if there isn’t enough breeze outside) or artificially by turning on an electric fan.

Method Three: Using a Fan On Low Speed

If you want to know how to make acrylic paint dry faster on canvas, using a fan at low speed is another option that works well. Simply hold up your painting so it’s facing the direction of the air flow; this will cause some evaporation and help evaporate water from its binder more quickly than normal conditions would allow!

This method works best for paintings in progress because they’ll have time before moving onto another project or finishing touches like varnishing an already-dry work of art–and helps create beautiful art with less stress about the timing.

Method Four: Adding an Accelerant

If you’re in a hurry to finish your painting, you can add an accelerant like Liquitex Air Dry Medium or Stand Oil to help it dry faster. These products will not only speed up the drying time, but they’ll also make the paint more durable.

Now that we’ve shown you four different ways to make acrylic paint dry faster, let’s take a look at some common problems and how to avoid them!

Common Problems And How To Avoid Them

When you’re working with acrylic paint, there are a few things that can slow down the drying process and cause problems like cracking or peeling. Here are a few tips to help you avoid these problems:

  • Don’t work in a humid environment, as this will cause the paint to take longer to dry.
  • Don’t use oil-based products near acrylic paintings, as they will slow down the drying process.
  • Don’t apply thick layers of paint, as this will also slow down the drying time.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be less likely to run into any problems with your paintings!

Be Patient When Drying Acrylic Paints

Acrylic paint takes a longer time to dry. It’s important to remember this when you’re working with acrylic paint, as it means that your paintings won’t be ready right away.

The best thing you can do is plan ahead and give yourself enough time before moving on to another project or finishing touches like varnishing an already-dry work of art! This will ensure all layers have dried completely so there’s no risk of cracking later down the line–and save money in materials too because nothing worse than having a gorgeous piece ruined by bad timing (or lack thereof)!

You might also be interested in our article about How to Seal Acrylic Paint.

People Also Ask

Can I Paint Over Dry Acrylic Paint?
How Long Should I Wait To Varnish an Acrylic Painting?
What Is The Best Way To Prevent Cracking In Acrylic Paintings?

Final Words

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how to make acrylic paint dry faster, try out one of these methods and see for yourself how much of a difference they can make. If you follow these tips, you’ll be less likely to run into any problems with your paintings!

Be patient when drying acrylic paints and remember that it takes time for them to fully cure before varnishing or sealing the surface (24 hours at least). With just a little bit of planning ahead, you’ll be able to avoid common drying-time problems and create beautiful paintings without all the stress!

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