Does Oil Paint Dry Faster in the Sun?

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Does oil paint dry faster in the sun? It is a frequently asked question among painting enthusiasts; as the choice for paint keeps increasing, people would always want to know the best option to make in your search for the best paint to use, whether water-based, latex, or oil-based paint, drying time will always be an essential aspect of painting. Here the issue of drying duration will be addressed.

Now to address the question- Does oil paint dry faster in the sun? Oil paint doesn’t necessarily dry faster when placed under the sun; oil paint may dry quicker when placed outside, but this is mainly due to the wind. However, the sun does slightly heat the painting, and this can help in the drying.

You want to avoid placing your oil paintwork directly under the full glare of the sun to prevent it from melting the paint. The sun is an excellent source to use in drying your oil paint, but too much of everything is terrible, and so are too many direct sun rays on your painting harmful.

Oil paints dry via oxidation, not evaporation which is the process through water paints dry. Heat plays a tiny part in the fast drying of oil paints.

How Long Does Oil Paint Take to Dry in the Sun?

Oil paint will usually take anything between 6-8 hours to feel dry to the touch and would be fully dry in a day. It can be dependent on a lot of other factors. Remember that water-based paintings will dry in the sun very much faster than oil painting. But, oil painting is more professional, durable, and generally pleasing than the former.

How Long Does Oil Paint Take to Dry in the Sun

To speed up the drying process, you can face a standing fan on your oil paint and allow it to blow your painting at medium speed. High-speed fans will scatter the wet picture due to the high-velocity wind, and this will ruin the whole process of drying. Fans are an excellent source to aid the sun’s effort in drying oil paint.

The time for drying might differ from painting to painting, depending on how thick the layers are when painting. To reduce drying time, do not use very thick layers of paint.

If you’re going to use oil paint, you need to be patient because oil paint does take quite some time to dry in the sun. Does oil paint dry faster in the sun? It is a question to consider when opting for paint types. But there are ways to make your oil paint dry very much quicker; read on, and you will find out.

How to Dry Oil Paint Fast in the Sun?

When you’re done painting your beautiful work of art, I’m sure you do not want to wait for too long before your paint job is dry enough to be used. It can feel unpleasant if you have to wait for three or even more days for your oil paint to dry. It can pose a problem if you’re working on a schedule.

How to Dry Oil Paint Fast in the Sun

The challenge of getting your paint dried faster under the sun is a legitimate challenge that will be addressed in this article. Read on

  • You can use a standing fan to aid in the quicker drying of your painting. Because oil paint dries more from wind, this will help the sun to dry your artwork faster, and you can finally enjoy your work.
  • You can expose your painting to the sun from the windows of a warm and bright room; this is proven to get your paint dry very much faster. Please do not place your paintwork in a dark room because it will turn out smudged because it will dry very slowly.
  • You can turn on the hairdryer and use it to blow dry your painting with the accompanying sun heat. Be careful not to turn on the blow dryer to very high heat as the heat of the dryer plus that of the sun might be too much and result in the melting of your paint.
  • Your chosen medium can also mean faster or snail speed drying of your paint. I will advise that you use a medium like refined linseed oil; this will drastically reduce the drying time. If you’re looking for something to help you get your paint dry in no time, then use this.

What Are the Problems of Having an Oil Painting in Direct Sunlight?

Do you want your oil painting drying a bit faster than average? Then place it in the sun. However, this might come with some risks. Many people aren’t aware that as good as sunlight is for your oil paint, it can destroy your work.

What Are the Problems of Having an Oil Painting in Direct Sunlight

The ultraviolet rays of sunlight are too harsh for oil painting and, if left long enough under the harsh UV rays, can be ruined by them. UV rays are good for tanning and sunbathing, but you don’t want that on your oil paintwork.

When choosing a location to dry your painting, it should not be under direct sun. Unless you want to come back to see your paint become a smear of colors, then avoid direct sunlight for it. It is not a good idea to walk under the direct rays of the sun without the sunblock; imagine what that will do to an oil paint that is exposed to it.

There are harmful effects of direct sunlight on oil paint, and I will list out a few for you to see how negatively direct UV rays can impact your painting.

  • Chemical changes in oil paint: Oil paint, when exposed to direct sunlight over a long period, can change the chemical composition of the paint. You will see colors changing and becoming distorted. Blue may become grey, and green may become a dull brown.
  • Melting in oil paint: Too much and prolonged direct heat from the sun can break down the chemical makeup of oil paint and cause it to melt, especially when done on canvas. Avoid leaving your oil-based paint outside for extended periods.
  • Deterioration of canvas: If you used a canvas for your oil painting, then you have no business leaving it under the sun for too long. If you’re the type of person that forgets quickly, then you should keep your painting in a warm room instead. Direct sun rays will damage the canvas of your artwork and lead to a gradual deterioration of the entire work.
  • Fading: Many painters prefer oil paint because of its resilience. But oil paint will fade if left under the sun for too long. You do not want to see your work lose its vibrant and exciting color. That is why you must preserve the life of your painting by keeping it away from the harsh direct rays of the sun.


Does oil paint dry faster in the sun is a question you no longer to worry about if you took time to read through this guide. Take your time and apply the recommended suggestions and you will be on your way to becoming a better painting professional.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

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