How Long Does Oil Paint Take to Dry: Everything You Need To Know for More Efficient Use

Oil paints take longer to dry than others, but working with them will give you a certain amount of flexibility. That’s because of the long drying time. You can manipulate it on the canvas as much as possible during this long time.

Because its drying time is longer than acrylic or other watercolors, it is important to know the oil paint drying time. So, weighing its pros and cons, we’ll discuss how long does oil paint take to dry.

Oil paint takes a long time to dry, no doubt. But the question is, is it frustrating? For beginners, this can seem frustrating. But what do experts say about this? Painters love this paint and still use it despite its long drying time. This article will discuss everything about oil paints, including drying time.

Does Oil Paint Truly Dry?

Yes, oil paints take longer to dry. That doesn’t mean it won’t dry out. We have seen many people who do not believe that oil paints are dry.

Paint drying time may depend on many things. Several factors affect the drying speed of any paint. It also depends on different conditions and surface types.

Does Oil Paint Take to Dry

So, let’s get to the point. When we asked them for details, we found their process was wrong. They spend more than two and a half days, but the oil paint does not cure properly.

But they did not have enough knowledge about oil paint. Somehow, we managed to solve their problem. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will also learn how to dry oil paints on time.

What Are The Factors that Influence Oil Paints to Dry?

Some of our clients ask about the fixed drying time of oil paints. If you have such a question in your mind, then we are sorry because we don’t have an accurate answer.

We can just give an approximate assumption, nothing else. Some factors are responsible for it. These factors have a great impact on oil painting drying time. The factors are –

  • Environmental condition.
  • Paint brands.
  • The working surface absorbency.
  • The pigment colors.
  • The quality of the pigments.

Light, temperature, and air play an important role in oil paint drying. It is understandable by anybody. We know that paper sucks oil paints first. You may not get the same benefit on another surface. That can also make a change in drying time. And finally, the quality of the paint matters.

Brands use different paint mediums for their paint. It also affects painting drying times. Most people won’t understand why pigment colors affect drying time. Let’s check it out.

How Does Pigment Colors Affect Oil Paints Drying Time?

Drying time varies based on pigment thickness. Paints that come with thicker pigments take longer to dry. These pigments ensure a saturated color after application. Remember, the longer it takes to dry, the more saturated the color output will be.

Some pigments are made of iron oxide. They dry dramatically faster than oil paints. Cobalt or lead can also increase the drying time of the paint. Hence, some brands mix these chemicals into their color pigments. Here are some fast-drying pigment colors –

  • Burnt umber
  • Cobalt blue
  • Raw sienna
  • Burnt sienna

Here are some slow-drying pigment colors –

  • Black.
  • Crimson red.
  • Cadmium paints.
  • Alizarin crimson.

How Does Temperature Affect Oil Paints Drying Time?

Temperature and humidity are factors that will always affect paint drying time, whether it’s oil paint or watercolor. When the temperature is cold, paints dry more slowly, especially oil paints. Your room temperature may be colder or hotter than outside. Choose a relatively high-temp environment if you want the paint to dry quickly.

How Long Does Oil Paint Take to Dry

Generally, oil paints dry naturally indoors. You can get results somewhat faster from the outside. Moreover, running a humidifier device in your room will slow down the drying time.

Pro Tip: You can use a dryer or heater to dry oil paint fast. Otherwise, let it naturally dry. This tip is helpful in the rush moment.

How Long Does It Take An Oil Painting to Dry?

Quality oil paint takes 24 hours to dry to the touch. Since various factors can affect the drying time, you may see some changes during drying. Thickness plays an important role when drying oil paints. Thicker oil paints take longer to dry after application.

18-24 hours is the average drying time for oil paintings. If an oil paint takes less than 12 hours to dry, its quality will be questioned. 16-18 hours is the fastest drying time for good-quality oil paint. So, you can judge the quality of paint by checking its dry time.

How Long Do Oil Paintings Take to Dry from Different Brands?

We have already mentioned that pigments are responsible for the drying time of oil paints. Because brands use different pigments based on their unique methods, drying times will vary.

Each brand has its own recipe for pigments, filters, layers, driers, and additives. The chances of finding a match are almost impossible. However, Behr paint vs Sherwin Williams are people’s favorite home paint brands. You can try their oil paints.

Quality oil paint will not dry quickly. Now, chemicals like cobalt and lead may be good dryers, but they are not safe for human health. Moreover, different pigments require different levels of driers, increasing costs if properly maintained. So, for quality, many brands do not use quick-drying binders with oil paints.

M. Graham oil paint dry time is long, about 3-4 days. Michael Harding’s paint drying time is medium. Based on color pigments, it takes two to three days to dry. Fast-drying paints like Winsor & Newton take at least 18 to 24 hours to dry completely.

Pro Tip: If you buy quality oil painting paint, you must wait at least a day to dry the paint. We have seen some paints in the market come with 5-8 hours drying time. Avoid them if you want a long-term, high-quality project.


How Long Does It Take for an Oil Painting to Dry?

Quality oil paint takes up to 24 hours to dry to the touch, with the fastest drying time being 16-18 hours.

How Long Does It Take for Oil Paintings from Different Brands to Dry?

M. Graham oil paint has a long drying time of about three to four days.
Michael Harding’s paint has a medium drying time. Based on color pigments, it takes two to three days to dry.
Winsor & Newton is known for fast-drying paint, which takes 18 to 24 hours to dry completely.
Behr paint is also fast-drying, drying to the touch in about 4 hours. However, it’s recommended to allow at least 8 hours of dry time between coats.
Sherwin Williams paint typically dries within 24 hours.

Can I speed up the drying time of oil paint for a quicker project completion?

Yes, you can accelerate the drying process of oil paint by using drying mediums or choosing fast-drying brands. Keep in mind that while this speeds up the touch-dry phase, thorough curing still takes time. Experiment with different techniques cautiously to find what suits your project best.

Final Verdict

This is our short research about how long does oil paint take to dry. Hopefully, you have found the answer. Since the drying time is long, we suggest you try other types of paint if you are in a rush.

Otherwise, you can do your project with a good quality oil painting. M. Graham and Michael Harding are good-quality, cost-effective oil paint brands. If you are looking for the best oil paint, you can go with these brands also.

The comments section is open for your suggestion. You can share your opinion also, including this article.

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