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How Long Does Oil Paint Take to Dry? (Quick Answers)

Painting is a part of the beautification and protection of our valuable objects. It allows us to enjoy aesthetic being existed in our natural space.

As many types of paints available, people tend to choose oil paint as one of the most commonly used material. Although the functionality may require the necessity of oil paint, you might have curiosity on its required drying time.

Let’s explore the situation to understand how long it may take to oil pints for drying.

How long does oil paint take to dry?

Oil-based paint usually takes more time to dry than any other paint available on the market. The drying period varies since its application is impacted by how thick and layered it is. Oil-based paint can take up to eight hours to start setting and around 24 hours to dry sufficiently to the touch.

Oils can be used to paint on paper, wood, metal, plastic, canvas, and a variety of other media. But the drying period of oil-based paint varies from surface to surface. The varying drying periods are described below-

On wood:

Oil-based paint on wood dry faster than on any other surface. Water evaporates quickly from the wood surface, and the oxidation process gets accelerated on wood due to different pigments.

As a result, paints dry fast but appear thinner ruining the art. For this reason, wood requires a good primer before painting. However, oil-based paint dries within an hour to the touch. But the paint may need 24 hours to get fully cured.

On plastic:

Oil-based paints generate a rigid surface, making them perfect for non-flexible, non-cracking plastic items. Oil paint dries to the touch in 8 to 10 hours and can be repainted in 24 hours.

On metal:

Oil-based paint can be easily applied to the metal as it does not contain water, and there is no risk of rust. After applying, it takes six to eight hours to dry to the touch, which is lower than for other surface materials. But for recoating, waiting 24 hours is considered the ideal period.

On paper:

Paper is an excellent flexible medium for oil-based painting when appropriately prepared. It takes a while to dry here.

On canvas:

Canvas is the most common surface for oil painting. But oil paint takes time to dry on canvas paper. It takes around 18-24 hours to dry to the touch.

On glass:

Glass, as a surface for oil-based painting, is considered one of the best materials. The smooth surface helps to blend the colors easily. Oil-based paint on glass surfaces takes longer to dry than on any other surface, so you can take your time while painting.

On furniture:

If the furniture is made of wood, it will take an hour for oil paint to dry to the touch. On the other hand, oil-based paint takes a longer time than wood on metal furniture. It requires around six to eight hours to dry to the touch.

How long does oil paint take to dry with liquin?

It is not uncommon to see painters use different drying mediums to complete their tasks in a shorter duration. Using a drying medium would dry paints sooner, and such a medium does not harm the overall quality of the paint and its longevity. Many users prefer using liquin with their oil paint, and you can use liquin to speed up the drying process.

Usually, an oil painting will take a hideous amount of time to dry. However, using liquin as a drying agent will reduce the drying time by half.

How long does water mixable oil paint take to dry?

Oil paints have a pretty bad reputation to their name for taking a very long time to dry, unlike many other water based paints. However, you can find many drying agents on the market, which reduce the time exponentially for drying oil paint.

Additionally, there is water mixable oil paint, a unique type of paint that is used on many occasions. The paint is unlike any oil paint, and as a result, it has properties of low drying time. Such paint takes 4 hours to 2 days to dry.

How long does a thin layer of oil paint take to dry?

Oil paints are usually consists of multiple coatings. As a result the finished item takes a longer time to dry properly. But it is not same for a thin layer of oil paint or when the paint is applied for a single time.

A thin layer of oil paint require a much less time to dry. Commonly it takes four to eight hours to set. Another 16 to twenty hours that means, 24 hours or a day in total is needed for the paint to get completely dried.

4 factors that affect oil paint dry time

There is no fixed time for drying oil-based paint, and the drying period gets affected by several factors. Four major factors that affect oil paint dry time are described as follows-

Environmental factors:

Direct sunlight, temperature, humidity, moisture, and dust significantly affect the drying period of oil-based paint. Oil-based paint works better in cold temperatures than hot and humid weather, as cold temperatures slow the drying process.

Type of oil used in paint:

The oil used in the paint significantly influences the drying period. Paints with linseed oil will feel touch dry in two days, whereas paints using poppy oil, safflower oil, or walnut oil would take three to four days to feel entirely dry and non-sticky.

Painting surface:

The painting surface is also responsible for the different drying periods of oil-based paint. Painting on an oil paper dries soon as it does not require any primer.

On the other hand, wood required a non-absorbent primer. Painting on such a surface would take a longer time to dry.

The brand of paint:

Oil paint dries at different rates depending on the brand. This is because each paint brand has its own blend of pigment, binder, fillers, dryers, and additives.

Most high-quality paints create their oil colors with a high pigment concentration and binder, avoiding dryers and additives, which might degrade the oil paint’s quality. Due to the lack of fillers in higher-end paints, they often take longer to dry.

Why does oil paint take so long to dry?

Unlike water based paints, oil based paints take longer to dry. As such paints have special uses, their application requires multiple coating and may need several more hours to dry. Additionally many find it more time required due to the process of its application.

Drying an oil paint may take a longer time, due to its brand or manufacturers. As all brands have to maintain some competition and chemical licensing, they cannot provide same quality every time.

Also the various surfaces of the oil paint play crucial role in longer drying process. Not using primer is another major reason that lengthens the process of drying for oil paints.

Most notable reason might be the use of oil. As water based paints dehydrate easily, oil paints cannot compete in the drying time race with it.

How can I make oil paint dry faster?

Oil-based paints dry through a chemical reaction named oxidation. Water evaporation, in this case, does not affect the drying process that much. Anyways, oil-based paint takes the artist’s patience while drying as the duration seems very long. there are some suggestions below to make oil paint dry faster-

Use a drying medium:

Using a drying medium would help your paint dry very soon. You can use liquin to speed up the drying process. You can also use turpentine to make a thin layer base. This would also speed up the process.

Apply your oil paint in thin layers:

Thicker paint takes a more extended period to dry. When the oil paint is exposed to air, it undergoes an oxidation process, which affects the chemistry of the paint. The thicker the paint application, the longer this process takes because the entire mass of paint is not evenly exposed.

Paint on a Dry, Well-Ventilated Area:

Painting in a dry, well-ventilated environment allows the drying process to go much speedier. Exposure to natural light, open doors and windows, having a fan, and running a dehumidifier accelerates the drying process significantly. Besides, it would help if you were careful about dust. Even a ceiling fan with dust may ruin the art.

Expose your painting to heat:

The drying time of your painting can be considerably accelerated by exposing it to heat. The higher the heat, the faster it dries. you can easily hang the paint.

Final Thoughts

Usually, oil paints require a longer time to dry. As the paint is commonly used by multiple coating and so drying each of the layers separately, leads the total drying time to mountainous duration. From 8 hours to set and 24 hours to dry completely, oil paint takes the longest time to dry.