How long does it take to dry the acrylic paint? Acrylic Paint Drying Time Detail

The drying time of the acrylic paint is very less as compared to other colors. This time mostly depends upon the composition and properties of the acrylic paints. Moreover, the more exposure to the air of the acrylic paint is responsible for its faster drying. The other factors which play a role in the acrylic paint drying are temperature, humidity, and exposure. So if you are thinking about blending the colors, it’s complicated by using the acrylic paint. To know briefly about the acrylic paint drying, you need to know about the background of the acrylic paint.

Acrylic paint drying time
Acrylic paint drying time

Background of the acrylic paint

The acrylic resin was firstly introduced by a German chemical company named Rohm and Haas. The Rohm introduced the thermoplastic substance which used in paints latterly. This substance has the properties of anti-staining, water-resistant, adhesive, weather-proof, and anti-cracking. This acrylic resin than transformed into acrylic paint around the 1940s. In the 1950s, the acrylic paint is officially available in the market. Before this, many artists mix their own paint with the desired color and thickness. This was very difficult for the artists until the acrylic paint comes in the market. Acrylic paint is soluble in the water, but when it’s dried, it’s become water-resistant.

Acrylic paint drying time

In the ideal environment, the acrylic paint usually dries fast as compared to watercolor and many other colors. A thin layer of the acrylic paint can dry in just 2 to 3 minutes at the surface. But when we talk about the thicker coat of the acrylic paint, it can take up to 30 minutes or hour depending upon the surface. When we are saying the dry, it’s doesn’t mean that completely dry. The drying time can be vary depending upon the water quantity, surface, and environment. There will be little moisture on the surface, depending upon these factors. If you are looking for complete drying of the acrylic paint, you can wait for 12 to 15 hours.

Professional acrylic paint drying time

The professional acrylic paints take much longer time to dry as compared to other acrylic paints. Although these professional acrylic paints are a little expensive as compared to other ordinary acrylic paints. You just need to buy a professional-grade acrylic paint for this purpose.

So you can expect little wastage of the paint on the palette as compared to ordinary acrylic paints. So the acrylic on the canvas takes much time to dry. Sometimes people also added the retarders in the professional-acrylic paint to increase the drying time. But if the conditions are ideal, the thin professional paint also dries in 30 minutes. But the thicker layer can take up to 30 minutes.

Factors affecting the acrylic paint drying time

The drying time of the acrylic paint can be changed depending upon the different factors, as discussed above as well. Let’s see these factors.

Gel quantity

There is a different kind of products which are added in the acrylic paint to increase their drying time. These products mainly include the retarders, acrylic gels, and professional acrylic paints. All these things affect the drying properties of the acrylic paint. So if you are using these types of products, especially the gel, make sure to leave the paint for 24 hours to dry.

Water quantity

If you are using professional paint without adding the water, it will take much time to dry because thicker professional paint takes much time as compared to thin acrylic paint. If we added the water in the paint, the water usually evaporates, and the drying time of the acrylic paint is minimized. But when we talk about the porous surfaces like unprimed canvas and cardboard, too much water quantity can add the further two hours.

Paint thickness

The thickness of the paint layer on the surface also plays a role in the drying time of the acrylic paint. A thin coat of the acrylic paint can be dry in just a few minutes. The thick layer of the acrylic paint can take around 30 minutes.


The environment also plays a role in the drying time of the acrylic paint. If you wanted the paint dry quickly, you need to make sure the proper ventilation of the room. Moreover, a little warmer environment can make a big difference. If you are using the paint inside the cold and humid place with no exposure to the wind, this will take more time to dry.

Displaying the acrylic paint art

The acrylic paint art can be displayed indoors or outdoor, depending upon the properties of the acrylic paint. The acrylic paint is water-proof and weather-resistant, which makes it perfect for the exposed surfaces. This will not crack in the sunlight. Sometimes it’s difficult for people to use acrylic paint due to its fast drying properties. But there are plenty of solutions that are available to get rid of this.

Can I use the hair-dryer to dry the acrylic paint?

Although the acrylic paint dries very quickly, many people want the acrylic paint to dry faster and ask about the different ways to dry the acrylic paint. The one main question is about the use of the hair-dryer to wipe the acrylic paint. The simple answer is yes; you can use the hair-dryer to speed up the drying process of the acrylic paint. Just make sure the nozzle is about 2 inches away from the acrylic paint surface because too close nozzle blisters the paint. Slowly move the dryer over the surface you want to dry. You can also use the hair-dryer on the furniture surface as well.


From all the above discussion, we can conclude that the drying time of the acrylic paint is faster as compared to other paints. When we talk about professional acrylic paint, it is the fastest. Usually, the drying time of the acrylic paint is around 30min. There are many other products that can control the drying time of the acrylic paint. You can use these products according to your needs, as discussed above. Moreover, there are many other factors that play a role in acrylic paint drying time like environment, and humidity, etc.

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