How To Make Acrylic Paint Dry Faster? 8 Effective And Proven Ways

Acrylic paint is already fast-drying, but sometimes we want it to dry even more quickly. There are numerous mediums to retain moisture in the paint, but how to make acrylic paint dry faster needs proper guidance.  

For faster drying of acrylic paint, you can use a heating torch, hot air gun, or curing lamp or choose a warm and ventilated atmosphere for painting. Moreover, a fast-drying brand or applying paint in a thin coating has also proved to dry fast. 

You can apply any method mentioned above, but doing it the wrong way can ruin your painting in the form of cracks, marks, and flecks.   

However, no need to panic; I’m at your back to guide you step by step on various acrylic paint drying techniques. I’ll discuss the correct application and precautions to dry the paint. 

What Is The Science Behind Acrylic Paint Drying?

If you’re a logical person like me, you might want to know why does acrylic paint dry slowly. Well, acrylic paint is based on water. As long as the water content stays in the paint, it remains wet. Once the moisture evaporates, it leaves hard and dried paint behind.  

So we need to look for ways to make the water leave acrylic paint in order to speed up drying. Relax; I’m going to explain these methods in detail.

Another query to take into account is, “How long does acrylic paint take to dry?” It depends on various factors like temperature, humidity, paint type, and ventilation. However, on average, the paint takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to dry. 

How To Make Acrylic Dry Faster (8 Methods Discussed)

Being water-based, acrylic paint is not that difficult to make dry. With the strategies discussed below, you can make the paint dry on any surface, including canvas, paper, metal, fabric, wood, and glass. 

  • Use Heat Torch

A heat torch is a type of heat-producing tool. The heat can be adjusted according to requirements. So how to dry acrylic paint quickly using a heat torch?

Clean a surface and apply the acrylic paint in thin, even coats. Now, hold the heat torch at a safe distance from the surface (around 6-8 inches) and move it slowly over the painted areas. Keep the torch shifting to avoid overheating the paint and causing it to bubble, ripple, or blister. Continue to keep the torch over the surface until the paint seems to be dry and glossy.

Caution: Make sure you adjust the heat properly and don’t make the torch come in contact with the paint. 

  • Use Curing Lamp

A curing lamp is a type of equipment based on UV light. It is often used for drying nail polish and painted surface. It can be used to speed up acrylic paint drying by following the procedure. 

After applying the paint over the surface, place it under the curing lamp and turn it on. Keep the surface under the lamp for a specific time, which is generally 2-5 minutes, depending on the lamp’s strength and the thickness of the paint coating. Check the paint after the recommended time and make sure it is dry to the touch. If not, keep it under the lamp for a little longer.

Caution: Please read the instructions on your paint. Some paints are sensitive and turn pale after exposing to UV light. So, avoid using curing lamps for such paint types.   

  • Use Hot Air Gun

What is a hot air gun? It is a handheld tool that combines heat and air to produce hot air. It is typically used to soften and heat up materials such as plastic or paint. But how to dry acrylic paint fast using this tool?

Adjust the temperature setting on the hot air gun; the temperature should be warm enough to evaporate the solvents in the paint but not hot enough to cause the paint to form bubbles or blisters. Make sure you maintain a distance of 6-9 inches from the surface for safety. However, the heat resistance of acrylic paint should be considered first.

Now move the hot air gun over the painted surface in a slow, steady motion, being careful not to stay in one spot for too long. Recount the process until the paint is dry to the touch and has reached the desired level of smoothness.

Caution: Don’t forget to wear proper personal protective equipment, such as heat-resistant gloves, masks, and goggles, when using a hot air gun. Moreover, keep fire extinguishers along with you to tackle fire hazards.

  • Use Hair Dryer

A hairdryer can also be used to dry acrylic paint in a faster way. It works well with regular paintings, but it is not recommended to use it for impasto painting because, in that case, the paint is applied thickly, and the hair dryer may disturb the layering. 

Can you use a hairdryer to dry paint? Yeah, using a hair dryer for drying is simple but tricky. A little carelessness can waste your hard work. So you better adjust the airflow and heat to a minimum and work efficiently, maintaining a proper distance from the canvas or any painted surface. 

  • Work In Ventilated Area

Another good way to speed up drying is working in a well-ventilated environment. For this purpose, you may work in an open area like your home lawn or backyard or choose an indoor location. Open the door and windows to allow air circulation when painting in a room.   

Ventilation can help in drying acrylic paint by removing moisture and promoting evaporation. Good air circulation allows the paint to dry faster, reducing the time it takes for the paint to cure and harden fully. 

By increasing airflow and reducing humidity, ventilation can help ensure a smooth, even, and long-lasting paint finish.

Caution: Check for the humidity in the air, as too much moisture in the airflow may extend the dry time. Work in the air only when it is fully arid or free of humidity. 

  • Use Fast Drying Brand 

We can’t ignore the fact that acrylic paints are formulated according to the customers’ choice. Some are fast drying, while others take time to get dry. So go for the brand that suits your requirement. Using fast drying acrylic paint eases your task and prevents you from additional drying practices. 

Some of the well-known brands I usually use include Liquitex, which takes 15-20 minutes to dry, and Winsor And Newton acrylic paint, which takes less than 30 minutes to dry. 

Caution: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the paint to get the desired results. 

  • Apply Paint In Thin Layers

If you’re not interested in using any product or employing any tool for making acrylic paint dry faster, you can work technically. Apply the paint in thin layers. You can thin down acrylic paint in many ways.

When acrylic paint is applied in thin coats, most of its surface area is exposed, speeding up the evaporation process. On the other hand, thick layers dry slowly due to less exposure to the underneath paint. 

Tip: You can choose to spray paint for this purpose. It already employs the paint in thin layers, making your task quite simple and easy. 

  • Choose A Warm Location 

Surrounding temperature matters when you’re painting. It definitely affects the drying process. As I mentioned earlier, the hotter the atmosphere, the better the paint dries. 

So, select a warm location indoors or outdoors. You may work in an open area in moderate sunlight or work inside a heated room. 

Caution: Exposing paint to direct sunlight for too long can fade the colour. So make sure you choose a shady area where light reaches indirectly. 


How to speed up acrylic paint drying? 

You may employ numerous strategies to speed up acrylic paint drying, including using an adjustable heat source like curing and heating lamps, hot guns, or hairdryers. But the best way is to use a fast-drying acrylic brand. 

How to dry acrylic paint faster on different surfaces? 

You can make acrylic paint dry quickly on canvas, wood, metal, plastic, paper, glass, fabric, or any other surface by using an appropriate way that speeds up the evaporation of water from the paint. 

How to make paint dry faster on metal?

To make the paint dry faster on metal, it is suggested to put it under a fan or bring it near a window. Moreover, you can use a heat source like a curing lamp or hot air gun.

How to make acrylic paint dry faster on plastic?

A hot air gun is the best way to make acrylic paint dry faster. It helps the water content evaporate quickly and doesn’t spoil your art. Moreover, it is an easy and manageable way.


So, how to make acrylic paint dry faster? Well, there are numerous approaches to doing so. Experimenting with these techniques can help you earn the desired drying time for your project.

However, it is important to remind that each method may influence the final appearance and consistency of the paint, so it is advised to test on a small scale before applying it to the final surface.

Thank You For Reading! 

Jose Scott

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