How to Dry Acrylic Paint

Drying acrylic paint is a complex process that requires patience. Paint must dry at the proper humidity and temperature, which can be hard to control in most homes. However, there are many methods for drying acrylic paint; some even work with water-based paints! Read on for more information about how to dry acrylic paint properly.

Drying acrylic paint is necessary for artists who want to use their work in a professional capacity. However, it can be challenging to know how long the color will take to dry and whether or not you need to create a drying environment for your artwork.

This post will cover how long acrylic paint takes to dry before being used again and tips on creating the perfect drying environment. 

How to Dry Acrylic Paint

10 Ways on How to Dry Acrylic Paint:

1. Newspaper

Lay down newspapers under the area you plan to paint and let it dry overnight before throwing it away. If you are painting on the wall, attach newspapers to cover your desired location and dry them before removing them.

2. Aluminum Foil

Cover objects or areas with aluminum foil to reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it.

3. Blow dryer

Place the object you wish to paint near a window and use a blow dryer to direct outside air at it. The sunlight and wind will speed up the drying process by evaporating the water in the paint.

4. Hair Dryer

This is a great way to speed up drying time, but use caution as too much heat can damage the Acrylic Paints or canvas fabric, causing them to curl or warp.

5. Fan

Pointing a fan at the painting while drying will help speed up the process and circulate air to dry some areas quicker than others.

6. Dehydrator (Small)

This will dry painted surfaces quickly and thoroughly, but remember that dehydrators cannot be used on raw canvas or fabric because they cause shrinkage.

7. Dishwasher

Washing the painting in a dishwasher with a drying cycle will completely dry it, so it is safe to handle immediately after washing for reuse or storage.

8. Oven

Place paintings on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and place inside an oven heated to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and let the painting cool inside with the door closed for 2 hours.

9. Heating Pad

Place the painting on a heating pad and set it to low. Let it sit for 8 hours, then turn off the heating pad and let it cool before removing it.

10. Dehumidifier

Place the object to be painted into a dehumidifier for several days until dry. This is a great way to speed up drying time, but use caution as too much heat can damage the Acrylic Paints or canvas fabric, causing them to curl or warp.

What Supplies You’ll Need?

1. Acrylic paint

2. Modge Podge or large paintbrush

3. Newspaper or paper towels

4. Paper plate or any other paper object

5. Cloth or towel

Instructions: How to Dry Acrylic Paint

What Supplies You'll Need FOR Acrylic Paint

Step 1: Gather All Supplies

If you’re painting on a flat surface, it’s probably easier to find an open space. Acrylic paint of any color, a piece of paper or cardboard, a paintbrush, and a clear plastic container is all you need.

Step 2: Pour Out The Acrylic Paint.

Pour some acrylic paint into a piece of paper or cardboard. This will catch the drips when you pour them back into the container later.

Step 3: Pour Slowly

Slowly pour the acrylic paint back into the container. When doing this, try not to let it run down the side of the container or any air bubbles will form. Air bubbles in your work can ruin it so you must get rid of them if they do show up.

Step 4: Stir Quickly

Stir quickly with the paintbrush. If your acrylic paint is thicker or has a glaze in it, it will probably need to sit for a while before all the air bubbles rise to the top and pop by themselves. Air bubbles can make your paint dry unevenly, so you must get rid of them when you see them.

Step 5: Let Dry

Let your acrylic paint dry. Depending on how thick it is, the drying time could be from 2 hours to several days. You must let it dry completely before moving on to the next step. Drying times are listed on each bottle of paint you buy, but if you are unsure about them, ask an adult for help.

Step 6: Polish

If you want, you can polish the dried acrylic paint to make it shiny. Use a clean and dry cloth (or paper towel) and move in small circles. When the paint is completely smooth and opaque, your painting should be finished!

Some Tips and Tricks:

Some Tips and Tricks FOR Acrylic Paint

1. Professional Quality Acrylic Paints are expensive, but their colors are much more vibrant than student quality. The only downside is that you have to use a fixative over the paints because they will not dry otherwise. Luckily the fixative does not affect vibrancy or adhesion.

2. Acrylic paints dry by evaporation. Once the water evaporates, you are left with only the pigment that makes up the color. This process is sped up by adding thinner or glaze medium to the paint.

3. When thinning acrylics, it may be helpful to add a few drops of dish soap to make clean-up easier. Also, adding a little bit of water will help prevent skinning on the surface of the paint.

4. If you are using thinner acrylics for something other than painting, consider using an additive to increase adhesion between plastics or metals and acrylic paints.

5. Acrylic paints do not adhere well to Styrofoam.

6. Airbrushes may clog with some brands of paint, especially if using a glazing medium. Consider thinning the acrylic paint more to prevent this from occurring.


It is essential to dry acrylic paint properly with good ventilation and a good drying time. There are many ways to do this, but it’s best to experiment with different techniques until you find the one that works for your style and preference. The drying process will take a minimum of 24 hours and may take longer depending on the type of paint you’re using.

It is essential to understand that acrylic paints dry at room temperature, so there’s no need for an expensive exhibition space or other such expense. This article has demonstrated how to dry acrylic paint and store unfinished paintings to prepare them for future exhibitions.

We hope this has helped! If you have any more questions about painting and we’ll be happy to answer them! Thank you for reading, and enjoy your next project! Have any tips or tricks? Share them in the comments!

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