How to make oil paint dry faster

If your paint is taking a week or more to dry, you can’t take the next step to move your work forward. Because this will smear the painting you have done so far. So, in this article will tell you some techniques and materials on how to make oil paint dry faster so you can complete your work in a shorter amount of time.

Do you know what is the biggest challenges for all oil painters? It is waiting. Waiting for paint to dry and it takes a lot of time. Sometimes, painters have to meet their deadlines to deliver the work and they can’t wait for many days to apply second layer. So, they use some tricks to get their work done faster but they don’t get the expected results.

In this article we are going to discus best methods to make oil paint dry faster. We will also discuss some factors which affect the drying time of paint and some common mistakes which painters make to get their paint dry faster.

You can also read our other guides on different paint related topics like how long does gloss paint take to dry.

So, let’s get started.

There are a number of factors that affect drying time of oil paint. Here is the list of them.

  1. Temperature: Temperature of the room and building where are you painting is also depends upon drying time of paint.
  2. Medium: Medium is the material which you use in paint. Definitely, it will affect the drying time.
  3. Surface: Condition of a surface on which you want to paint is also affect the drying time of paint.
  4. Pigments: Pigments also affect the oil paint drying time.
  5. Thickness: Thickness of layer also affect the drying time of oil paint.

How to make oil based paint dry faster

Here are the few ways which will make your oil paint dry faster and will clear all your quarries about how to make oil paint dry faster.

  • Choose the right pigments which have fast drying time
  • Use the fast drying oil medium and mix it with paint
  • Allow it to dry under the right temperatures
  • Paint the background with acrylic paint because it dries very fast
  • Choose the best surface to paint on which can absorb the oil
  • Apply paint in thin layers

Lets discus all of the ways with details one by one.

1-Choose the right pigment

You want to be selective with pigment that you use. Some colors typically dry fast some color take a long time to dry. Here is the list of fast drying and slow drying colors.

Slow drying colors

  • Titanium white
  • winsor yellows and orange
  • Sap green
  • Ivory black
  • Cadmiums (Red, yellow, orange)

Fast drying colors

  • Raw umber
  • Burnt sienna
  • Cobalt blue
  • Prussian blue

So what you can do to speed up the drying time of your paint is to mix a quick drying paint with a slow drying paint. For example, if you want to paint with any slow drying paint color, then add and mix little quantity of fast drying color in it. This fast drying color helps to make the paint dry faster.

How to make oil paint dry faster

2- Use oil mediums to dry oil paint faster

There are many oil mediums available in market which are used to make the oil paint dry faster or slower. Get any quick dry oil medium and use it with oil paint.

Here are the few quick dry oil mediums that you can use.

Quick dry oils

  • linseed oil
  • Galkyd
  • Walnut Alkyd Medium
  • Liquin

After mixing these quick dry oil mediums with oil paint, you will get your paint dry very faster even in a day or in a single night.

On the other hand, there is also oil medium available for moderate drying time and slow drying time, you can get them according to your need. Like safflower oil yields is used for moderate drying time and poppy seed oil is used for the slow drying time.

Please take care while using these mediums; it can be harmful for human health.

 You can also use a thinner in your first layers as a fast drying oil medium. It also helps you to make your paint dry faster.

3- Right Temperature to dry fast oil paint

While answering the question how to make oil paint dry faster, right temperature is also the key factor. Typically in warmer temperatures oil paint will dry a lot faster. Here are the few ways to provide the painting a warmer temperature or safe environment.

  • Before you leave your painting to dry, place it in any box or in a container to keep the painting clean from dust and keep this box anywhere in house in warm environment. If you’re using a clear container make sure that it’s out of direct sunlight.
  • Instead of putting in box, you can also put the paining in well ventilated area. But in this situation you should be very careful to avoid painting from dust and debris.
  • You can place your painting closer to heater but not too much close, otherwise it will damage your painting.
  • Increase the temperature by using a hair dryer and blow the painting from little far distance or from the backside of canvas. Avoid the painting by overheating; otherwise it will get cracks on the surface of paint.

4- Acrylic paint background

You can paint your under painting with acrylic paint. Acrylic paint dries quickly and you can paint your oil over the top of it. It is also affordable then oils.

I would recommend using this if you paint in many layers and you need to do quick under painting to cover the white of the canvas.

5- Thin layers

Painting in thin layers will dry faster but still take time to dry. As thicker the paint as long it will take to dry.

 Oil paint doesn’t actually dry by evaporating like watercolor or acrylic paint it dries by curing which means it dries by oxidization this is when the oil paint reacts with the oxygen in the air and then it hardens over time.

So, it will be dry in shorter time if it is in thin layers.

6- Painting surface

Another thing you can do is paint on wood. Because the wood surface absorb the oil very quickly. Oil paint dries faster on wood as compare to canvas because the more slippery the surface the longer it’s going to take the oil paint to bind to it and dry.

The more tooth on the surface the better the oil paint is going to bind to it because wood tends to absorb the oil out of the paint.

 The resulting finish will actually look more matte than glossy. So, keep this thing in mind.

These are the few effective ways. You can implement on them in order to make your paint dry faster.

Things you should keep in mind

There are some common mistakes that artists make when trying to speed up the drying time of the painting and it ends up damaging the painting. You should keep few things in mind to avoid mistakes.

  • First thing you should remember that avoid putting the painting under direct sunlight which can actually damage the pigment so your painting can be cracked.
  • Don’t apply paint in thick layers. You first layer should be very thin and upper layers should be less thin.
  • Some artists also blow a hairdryer directly on the canvas and ends up with damaging the painting. Don’t use hairdryer or heat gun directly on the surface of painting, Otherwise its upper surface will dry before lower surface and it will crack your painting.
  • Keep painting away from humid areas of house like kitchen, washroom, basement etc.

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