How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry?

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry?

Acrylic is the most loved paint all over the world. The credit goes to its fast-drying features. It just takes about half an hour to dry completely. 

How long does acrylic paint take to dry? You know, right? Half an hour! But wait. There’s more to it. Keep scrolling to know it all. 

Here, we will guide you through all the keen details you need to know about working with acrylic and how you can make it dry fast or slow, depending on your comfort zone and needs.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Take to Dry?

Acrylic is the fastest drying paint available in the market. But it still takes a considerable amount of time to dry. This paint is used for making grandeur pieces of art. It is widely used for art and craft.

Earlier acrylic resin was used. Then, it slowly transformed into acrylic paint. Finally, it came into use and became popular because it was easy to use and dries faster. But it still gives you enough time to mix paints well on your palette and is water-resistant once dry.

Acrylic can sometimes dry even in just 10 minutes. But waiting overnight is recommended to make sure it’s completely dry even underneath. 

If you use professional acrylic, then it will take more time to dry. Some people even use a retarder to slow it down by markable degrees. This is done so that they can keep their palette wet for a longer time. But it has a con that your painting will be wet for a long time too.

The above is just a general estimate. The actual process has many elements added to it. Let’s see how they play their role.

Which Aspects Affect Your Acrylic Paint?

As the mood of a creator affects the setting of the painting, similarly, different factors have a say in how long you will have to wait for your painting to dry. 

Let’s get to know them all:

  • Studio environment- The overall layout of your studio is much more important than you can imagine. Whether you’re working in a warm cozy, comfortable room or a cold chilly one can add to or diminish the quality of your painting.
  • Ventilation- The amount of air you get is important too. It is important for your health. But, apart from that, it can effectively refine your painting. A painting kept in a well-ventilated room can dry 2x faster or sometimes even 3x faster. 
  • Humidity- Like all of the paints, acrylic works slow in humidity too. Humid weather makes it difficult for acrylic paint to dry faster.
  •  Quality of acrylic- There are different types of paints available in the market. You can either use the normal one or the professional one. Now acrylic gel is also trendy. However, owing to what use, you will have to wait to a varying degree.

If you want to speed up the process, you should work in a well-ventilated studio. Along with that, you can use fans directed towards your painting to blow air on it. This will make the paint dry faster. 

Besides, you should work in a dry area having little to no moisture. If possible, get a good brand and walk-in proper light conditions. Then you can expect your acrylic to dry much faster.

If you want to slow down the process so that you can have much more time in your hand to make the perfect color combinations, then it’s doable too. Just do the exact opposite of what we have mentioned above, and you are good to go.


Acrylic- now you know all you need to! Don’t you? I know you do. 

So, how long does acrylic paint take to dry? And how long should you leave it? When to coat with varnish? 

You know all the answers, don’t you? Still, just to make things easy for you. See, it takes about half an hour to a few hours for the acrylic to dry. But the rule of thumb is to wait overnight before coating or displaying. And the same goes for applying varnish.

The drying time can be affected by various factors such as ventilation, humidity, the studio’s environmental conditions, the quality of acrylic paint for use, and a few more things. Adjusting these, you can modify the time according to your own needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does acrylic dry fast in hot weather?

Acrylic is a polymer and is mainly water-based. Plus, you use water to make your color combinations. You can figure it out, can you? Yeah, heat makes the water evaporate faster, and hence it dries faster. Sometimes too fast to even start to work with.

How long should you wait before applying another coat of acrylic?

Probably wait an hour or two. Then, you can start applying another coat as fast as it is dry to touch.

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