How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry?

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

Imagine having to wait for a long time for your paint to dry before you proceed with your other work. This can be discouraging if you have a tight time frame to work with. This prompts you to use Acrylic paint as it dries faster.

But how long does Acrylic paint take to dry? It will take around 20-30 minutes for thin films of Acrylic paint to dry. Thick layers will take about one or two hours to dry. That is not a long time, is it?

However, this duration will depend on several external factors, like temperature, type of paint, paint thickness and air circulation. All these have been detailed in this article.

Is Acrylic Easy To Dry?

Yes, Acrylic paint does dry quickly. But it will depend on the brand of paint you go for as some brands dry faster as compared to others. Besides, other factors come into play. They include the surrounding environment, temperature, the coat size among other factors.All these factors play a critical role on the duration Acrylic paint needs to be dried.

Is Acrylic Easy To Dry

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take To Dry?

It will take approximately 20-30 minutes for thin films of Acrylic paint to dry, while it will take an hour or two for thick films to dry. However, other external factors you ought to be aware of also affect the drying time. These include; humidity, temperature, air circulation, among other many factors.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take To Dry

The drying times of different brands of Acrylic paint

Different brands of Acrylic paints take different times to dry. Below is a table of different brands with their dry time.

Brand Name Dry Time
Sargent Art takes 20-30 minutes.
Old Holland Takes 10-20 minutes.
Arteza Acrylics Takes 20-30 min. But on average it takes 15 minutes.
Holbein Heavy Body Takes up to 30 min.
Tri-Art Thin coats dry to the touch within a few minutes, thicker coats take several hours.
Maimeri Takes 20-30 minutes.
Amsterdam Expert Series Thin coat dries in 30 minutes.
Daler-Rowney Takes 5-10 minutes.
Sennelier dries rapidly, it takes 10-20 minutes.
Matisse Takes 20-30 minutes.
M Graham Acrylic Takes up to 1hour.
Atelier Interactive It has a unique opportunity: mixing with unlocking medium you can slow drying without it it will dry normally
Golden Heavy Body Stay wet for less than 5 mi. Touch dry for 30 minutes.
Golden OPEN Acrylics Stay wet for 30-60 minutes. Dry within 24 hours up to 14 days to fully dry.
Pebeo Takes 20-30 minutes.
Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic Thin coats take 20-30 minutes and thicker coats take up to 1-2hours.
Utrecht Thin coats take 10-20 minutes and thicker coats take up to 3 days.
Lascaux Takes 20-30 minutes.
Liquitex 10-12 minutes for thin coats, and longer for thick coats.
Winsor & Newton, Galeria Acrylic thin coats take 10-20 minutes and thicker coats take up to 1hour.

Factors That Affect The Drying Time Of Acrylic Paint

Ever wondered if you can alter the dry time of your Acrylic paint? The answer is definitely yes. There are a number of factors that you can control to hasten or slow down the dry time. These factors include:

Factors That Affect The Drying Time Of Acrylic Paint

  • Type of paint- Some thick coats of paint will take more time than those  are comparatively thin.Therefore, your choice of paint may determine the dry time of your Acrylic paint in the long run.
  • Application type- the method you choose to apply your paint also will dictate the speed at which your paint dries. You may use a roller, brush, or even sprays. For example, sprays give a thin and even layer that will eventually take a shorter time to dry than the other methods.
  • Temperature and Humidity- High temperatures will shorten the duration by increasing the rate at which the moisture is taken out of the paint.  On the other hand, high humidity slows down the drying process since the moisture takes much time to evaporate in a moist environment.
  • Paint thickness- thinner layers dry faster than thick layer paints, which require more time to let out the water. Therefore, the amount of paint you apply will dictate the dry time for your paint.
  • Air circulation- Does your working space have good air circulation? This allows water moisture to be taken away quickly from your paint, enabling it to dry much faster than the place with poor air circulation. You can enhance this by using a fan.

Does Paint Dry Faster In Heat Or Cold?

Paint usually dry faster in heat than in cold. For paint to dry, the water in it has to evaporate. Acrylic paint is a water-based medium made up of pigments suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. This is a combination of small Acrylic spheres held in water.  You will find out that the water will evaporate faster when it is hot than when the weather is cold, causing the paint to dry faster.

The fact that Acrylic paint dries out quickly, you will realize that when the weather is hot, the paint will dry faster as the water is lost at a higher rate than when the weather is cold.

You may prefer to work with Acrylic paint during summer compared to the winter season due to the rate it will dry up.

RelatedDoes the Paint Dry Darker or Lighter?

What Color Of Acrylic Paint Dries The Fastest?

The color families of numbers, that is, the earth browns and the cobalt, blue, violet, and green, take the lead as the fastest drying Acrylic colors. Although Acrylic paints dry faster than other types of paints, there are those colors which dry at a faster rate that others

Can You Dry Acrylic Paint In The Sun?

No, as much as the sun dries paint faster, it is not advisable to dry Acrylic paint in the sun. The sun will affect your paint and destroy it. Too much heat from the sun causes the paint to dry quickly, causing a number of problems:

  1. Cause the paint to crack or bubble.
  2. Displays brush marks.
  3. Displays lap marks
  4. Causes inadequate adhesion.

How Do I Make Acrylic Paint Dry Faster?

Although Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint, you may require to reduce its drying time as the need may arise. Is that the case at times? Worry no more as this is what you are supposed to do:

You may purchase the Acrylic paint brands which dries faster, for example, Galeria by Winsor & Newton. This brand has thin films of color, and it only takes 10-20 minutes to dry, while thicker films will take just an hour to dry.

You can turn on a fan or open the windows to improve the air circulation around the working surface. This process will help pull away moisture from the surface and make the paint dry at a faster rate than the expected time.

Alternatively, you can increase the heat on the surface by using different items like heat lamps, heat guns, or hair driers. These items too take away the moisture from the surface and speed up the drying process.

Another sure way you can ensure your Acrylic paint dries faster is by applying thinner coats of paint. This allows the paint to dry faster than when you apply thick coats.

You also have to lower humidity in your place of work to allow the paint to dry faster. Humidity makes your paint contaminated with dust and other particles. You can reduce humidity by running a dehumidifier or by just opening windows and doors.


Given the many advantages outlined in this article, acrylic paints are the best paints to serve you. But depending on your needs, you can make an informed decision on when and whether to use Acrylic paint in your work. The good thing is that you are making this decision from the information point. Good luck with your paintings.

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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