Tag Archives: acrylic paint

Visual art: The drying time of the acrylic paint

The acrylic paint drying time depends on its composition. Different manufacturers use their own recipes to produce the desired color effect as cheaply as possible. There is no blanket answer for the drying time just like when you need help with accounting homework.

Influences on the drying time

A common recipe allows the paint to dry within a few minutes as soon as it has been pressed out of the paint tube. As soon as it gets out of the tube for processing, various influences act on the color, which in turn influence the drying time of the acrylic.

The most significant influences on the drying time of the acrylic paint are the temperature, the humidity, the thickness of the paint application, and the substrate on which the paint is applied for mixing. In the closed tube, an acrylic paint stored cool and shielded from the sun can be kept for several years without drying out.

Humidity and temperature are not so easily influenced by you. These factors fluctuate due to the seasonal changes in weather.

The easiest way to extend the drying time of the paint is to use a water-repellent base to mix the paint. Cardboard coated with foil works no worse than a plastic pallet or a sealed wooden pallet. On the other hand, simple papers, pieces of cardboard, or pieces of wood into which the paint can penetrate directly are bad. In this way, moisture is removed from the paint not only from its surroundings but also from its surface.

A thick, pasty application of paint extends the drying time considerably, with the paint quickly forming a crust on the surface and continuously hardening inside. A thin application of paint, on the other hand, dries evenly and quickly.

Prolong the acrylic paint drying time

Aside from a coated, water-repellent palette, you can also mix the colors together on the canvas. Especially if you are still quite new to acrylic painting, this approach can cause you difficulties at the beginning, as you cannot easily correct “errors” or inaccuracies once the paint has dried. This means that you have to process the paint quite quickly.

Alternatively, you can use a drying retarder. This is a pure binder or a mixture of binder and solvent to reduce the amount of pigments in the paint. This works best if you use highly pigmented colors that can be diluted with binding agents and solvents without losing their radiance.