How To Make Acrylic Paint Dry Faster: Easy Tips & Steps

Acrylic paints are easy, affordable, and they also dry more quickly than other paints. However, there are ways to make acrylic paint dry even faster. Using simple tips, you can drastically speed up acrylic paint drying times. Keep reading to discover the best ways to make acrylic paint dry more quickly than you thought possible. 

acrylic paint drying faster

Top 5 Ways to Dry Acrylic Paint Faster

Need to dry your acrylic paint quickly? Try these tips from Sharon Urena, Art Director of online painting class provider Paint and Sip LIVE

1. Turn on a Fan or Open a Window

Acrylic paint dries more quickly in well-ventilated spaces. If the air is still in your studio, then you’re not allowing the paint to dry. 

Try running a fan to increase ventilation. More ventilation means more air flowing over your acrylic paints, which means faster drying times. Otherwise, open a window before you start painting and get air flowing through the room. 

Once you’ve completed your painting, leave the window open, or continue running a fan, and your acrylic paint will dry more rapidly. Just be careful about any rain, acrylic paint is not waterproof until you apply a seal like varnish to it.

2. Place a Heater Nearby

Have you ever wondered why people paint their houses during the summer? Higher temperatures mean faster drying times. You can’t flip your calendar to summer, but you can increase the temperature in your studio. Turn on the heat in your studio or place a space heater near the drying paint. By warming the surrounding air, you can make it dry faster.

3. Lower Humidity

Humidity keeps paint wet, which prevents it from drying. In fact, humidity can cause the paint to drip, ruining your painting. High humidity also increases the risk of contamination from dust and other particles.  

If you’re struggling to dry acrylic paint, try lowering the humidity in your studio. The best way to lower humidity is to run a dehumidifier. If you live in a dry climate, you can open doors and windows to reduce humidity. 

4. Apply Thinner Coats of Paint

It’s also possible you could be using too much paint. Apply thinner coats of acrylic paint to decrease drying times. Experiment with different levels of thickness to find the right amount. 

5. Other Tips

In addition to the tips above, Sharon recommends the following strategies for drying acrylic paint more quickly:

Buy fast-drying acrylic paints. Some acrylic paints specifically advertise their fast-drying properties. If you’re serious about acrylic paint drying times, then experiment with different brands to find the right type.

Use a hairdryer. Hover a hairdryer over your surface. Keep the hairdryer on the lowest setting, then move it evenly over the surface to increase drying times.

Invest in a heat gun. Some artists do better than a hairdryer: they buy a heat gun. You can find heat guns for under $20. 

Buy a heat lamp. Some artists use heat lamps. Focus a heat lamp towards your painting. To prevent bubbling or cracking, keep the lamp a safe distance away from the surface.

Warning: Be Patient When Drying Acrylic Paints!

The tips above can ruin your painting when done incorrectly. Be careful when heating your painting since if you apply too much heat or apply heat unevenly, your acrylic paint could bubble, change color, or strip away. You worked hard on your painting, and if it dries too quickly can lead to stripping, bubbling, discoloration, and other issues.