Oil Painting

3 Simple Ways To Make Oil Paint Dry Faster

Oil Painting

Does Oil Paint Dry Fast?

Oil paint is a slow drying medium. Oil paint dries slower than watercolor or acrylic. The slow drying property of oil paint makes it possible to blend and create effects that are difficult to near impossible with other mediums.

How To Get Oil Paint Dry Faster

Here Are 3 Ways To Get An Oil Painting Dry Faster.

  1. Use Heat
  2. Add Linseed Oil Or Painting Medium
  3. Paint In Thin Layers

Use Heat To Make Oil Paint Dry Faster

Heat is my favorite way to make oil paint dry faster. While there are additives that can be mixed with oil paint to make it dry faster, heat is a natural and almost always available alternative.

When you paint on a dry summer day, paint left uncovered on your pallet will likely dry overnight, making it unusable the next day.

In contrast, when painting in the dead of winter, paint mixed on your pallet may stay wet and usable for almost a week.

Temperature affects how quickly oil paint dries.

If you want a painting to dry faster, move it to the warmest room of your house or studio. Place it in direct sunlight if possible.

Many art forgers have been said to bake their paintings in an oven to speed up the drying process. As you can imagine, delivering a wet fake would be undesirable for a number of reasons. Several sources say this is a myth as bubbles and paint defects form in oil painting under extreme heat.

Let me be clear, I haven't tried baking a painting. As many pigments are toxic, I don't recommend it.

Painting Medium

Painting medium can act as an oil paint drying additive. There are many different types of painting mediums and each has it's own properties.

Some mediums slow drying time while others are designed to speed up the drying time of oil paints. Carefully read about each oil-based paint drying accelerator before using it in a painting. There are many oil paint driers available. Look for oil paint quick-dry medium.

If you want your painting to dry faster, consider adding a few drops of linseed oil to your paint.

You can use a small amount of linseed oil in place of a painting medium.

If you prefer to use a painting medium, choose one with the desired drying properties. Some painting mediums are slow drying. Other painting mediums increase the drying time of oil paint. Read the labels and choose accordingly.

Oil Paint Slow Drying

Oil paint is a slow drying medium. It's best to plan accordingly. Don't try to rush it. Paint far ahead of deadlines to be sure the painting will be dry to touch. Oil paints do not dry quickly. Oil paint drying speed is dependent on a variety of factors such as room temperature, humidity, painting medium or oil used, paint color, paint thickness, and so on.

Can You Make Oil Paint Dry Faster?

Yes, you can make oil paint dry faster by carefully considering oil paint additives like oil paint driers, using minimal amounts of paint medium, painting in thin layers, and painting in a warm location.

Paint In Layers

Paint in thin layers if you want your oil painting to dry faster. Thick paint takes longer to dry. Painting in thin layers of oil paint can help your painting dry faster.

How to make oil paint dry slower:

If you'd like to slow the drying of your oil paint, add a few drops of poppyseed oil, oil of cloves, or spike lavender oil to your paint as you mix it on your pallet. Poppyseed oil is said to be one of the slowest drying oils and linseed is one of the fastest.


Can you make oil paint dry quicker? The right methods can make oil paint dry quicker. We've discussed 3 easy ways to make your oil paintings dry faster.

My favorite method to make oil paint dry faster is to use heat. It's safe and natural. It doesn't alter the qualities of your paint as mediums might.

Consider using sunlight to help an oil painting dry quicker.

Does Oil Paint Dry Faster In The Sun?

Simply placing your painting in a warm, dry environment can speed up the drying time. Consider placing your painting in front of a window, in direct sunlight.

If you want to use an additive, you might try painting with linseed oil rather than a painting medium. Always keep oil and painting medium to a minimum. Too much medium or oil can make oil paint dry tacky.

Will tacky oil-based paint eventually dry?

Tacky oil-based paint will usually dry. However, it depends on what caused the oil paint to become tacky in the first place. Tacky oil paint can be caused by adding too much painting medium or oil. It's best practice to use only as much as necessary.

Can Oil Paint Dry Faster With Hair Dryer?

While oil paint may dry faster with a hair dryer, excessive heat can cause paint defects like bubbling and cracking. I would not recommend trying to dry oil paint with a hairdryer.

Why My Oil Paint Won't Dry?

If your oil paint won't dry, too much painting medium or oil has likely been added to the paint. Humidity can also affect paint drying time. Try moving the painting into direct sunlight in a warm room. Be patient as oil paint often dries slowly.

Does Oil Paint Dry Shiny?

Oil paint often dries shiny, but not always. The shine depends largely on the type of oil painting medium that has been used and the color pigments that are in the paint. Earth color pigments are more likely to dry matte. Earth colors often cause matte areas. This effect is often called sinking. Oil from the upper layer is absorbed by the paint layer below, leaving matte areas on the surface of the painting. Painting medium is optional. When painting without a medium, oil paint will often dry to a dull finish. Oiling out a painting between layers and a final coat of varnish can restore shine to a painting.

Finally, painting in thin paint layers will speed the drying time of each layer. I hope this helps you make your oil paint dry faster.

Author: Sonia Reeder-Jones