How long does acrylic paint take to dry?

Acrylic paint takes to dry – People mostly ask the question, “How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry?” especially when they’re eager to finish their artwork. The quick-drying nature of acrylics is fantastic, but patience is needed. You can feel the paint is dry on the surface after half an hour, but you might need to wait a day or more for it to be fully dried and become transfer-free. It’s like waiting for a plant to grow. It takes time for the roots to anchor firmly.

In this guide, we’ll help you to understand the mysteries surrounding the drying time of acrylic paint. Explore the factors that influence it, and provide practical tips to help you paint.

drying time of acrylic paint

Understanding Acrylic Paint Drying Time

Acrylic paint is famous among artists for its versatile use and vibrant colours. Acrylics are famous for their fast drying process, while other paint mediums like oil-based paint may take longer time to dry. The drying time for acrylic paint can be different depending on several factors. The thickness of the paint, environmental conditions, and the specific brand or type of acrylic paint you’re using.

Factors That Influence Drying Time For Acrylic Paint 

1. Thickness of the Paint

Thicker layers of acrylic paint can take longer to dry as compared to the thinner ones. Keep in mind the drying time of the paint so you don’t smudge or blend unwanted colours when applying multiple layers.

2. Environmental Factors

The surrounding temperature and humidity significantly impact acrylic paint drying time. Warmer and drier conditions generally lead to faster drying, while cooler and humid environments can slow the paint-drying process.

3. Brand and Type of Acrylic Paint

 Different brands and formulations of acrylic paint may have different drying times. Some brands offer “fast-drying” acrylics, and others provide formulated paint that dries more slowly—allowing for extended blending time. Choose as per your liking.

4. Humidity Levels:

High humidity can extend the drying time of acrylic paint, leading to a more slow drying process. On the other hand, low humidity speeds up drying but may result in a quicker surface drying time.

How Fast Does Acrylic Paint Dry?

How long it takes for acrylic paints to dry is a common concern for artists who want to perfect their artistic skills and make the creative process smooth. The answer is acrylic paint can dry to the touch within 20 to 30 minutes. However, complete drying may take one or more hours, depending on the coats of paint and also you can read about How to get acrylic paint out of clothes.

Slow-Drying Acrylic Paint Options

Want more time for paint blending? Then, consider using slow-drying acrylic paints. These uniquely formulated paints allow artists more time to put intricate details and smooth blending. While slow-drying acrylics may take longer to dry thoroughly, they offer a more relaxed time during the creative process.

Slow-Drying Acrylic Paint

Tips for Managing Acrylic Paint Drying Time

1. Work in Thin Layers

To speed up drying, consider applying acrylic paint in thin layers. This technique will reduce the overall drying time and enhance the stability of your artwork.

2. Optimal Environmental Conditions

Choose a well-ventilated and moderately warm space for painting. Good air circulation and a comfortable room temperature can help to dry your painting fast.

3. Use a Palette with a Lid

Invest in a palette with a lid to prevent your acrylic paint from drying out while you work. This simple tool can extend the lifespan of your paint and give you more time to perfect your masterpiece.

4. Use Retarders

Use acrylic retarders as additives that you can mix with acrylic paint to slow down the drying process. It allows increased blending time and a more relaxed approach to your artistic process.

Understanding the Drying Stages

1. Surface Drying vs. Curing

You can feel acrylic paints dry to the touch within minutes. However, it’s essential to understand the difference between paint surface drying and curing. Surface drying occurs rapidly, but the complete curing process, where the paint achieves maximum durability and stability, can take longer.

2. Full Curing Time

Acrylic paint may appear dry, but for it to fully cure, it might take more than two weeks or more. During this period, the paint hardens and adheres to the surface, ensuring a lasting finish.

Dealing with Quick Drying

1. Palette Wetting Spray

If your palette is drying too quickly, consider using a palette-wetting spray. This mixture will help you keep the paint on your palette workable for extended periods.

2. Stay Hydrated

Acrylic paint can dry rapidly on your brushes, affecting their performance. Keep a water spritzer nearby to keep your brushes moist and ready for use.

Dealing with Quick Drying

Common Challenges and Solutions

1. Cracking

When you apply thick layers of acrylic paint, it may result in cracking as the outer layers dry faster than the inner ones. To avoid this, layer gradually and ensure each layer is fully dry before adding more paint.

2. Blending Difficulties

Use a blending medium if you need help with blending because of fast drying times. These additives can increase the drying time and provide you with more flexibility for blending and shading.

Recommended Brands and Products

Golden Open Acrylics

For slow drying time, Golden Open Acrylics are the best option to choose. Allowing artists to work on their paintings for longer periods. These acrylics are ideal for those who prefer their painting to dry slowly.

Liquitex Slow-Dri Blending Medium

For slow-drying purposes, Liquitex Slow-Dri Blending Medium is also a good option. You can add the medium to acrylic paint to increase drying time without compromising colour or consistency. Slow-dri blending medium is a handy tool for artists looking for more control over their blending process.


Understanding how long acrylic paint can take to dry is necessary to achieve the desired results in your artwork. By using the given techniques in this blog you can make your creative process smooth. Don’t forget the factors that can impact your painting process, such as paint thickness, environmental conditions, and the type of acrylic paint you use.

Whatever type of acrylics you choose, whether fast or slow drying, just use a method that suits your artistic preferences best. Keep experimenting with different techniques, and be mindful of environmental factors before painting. Keep your patience, as the drying process is an important part of your creative journey.

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *