How can oil paints be dried faster?


Oil paints are not exactly one of the quick-drying mediums, quite the opposite: Most of the time they need a felt eternity, until they are finally finger-dry, let alone covered with a varnish. This is due to their very special way of drying, which can only be accelerated extremely difficult afterwards. There are still opportunities to intervene!

The oil color does not dry? That may be it!

Usually it just seems like the oil paint does not dry at all, because it just takes a long time. Some paintings will not dry until about half a year, others need "only" a few days or weeks:

It depends on which types of oils are contained in the paint and whether artificial dry substances (siccatives) have been added. For self-mixed colors, you should always make sure that you actually use drying oils, because not every oil really cures completely.

Actually non-drying oils were used, so it can be retroactively changed nothing more. And even with drying oils, it is quite difficult to induce them to "finish" faster, since it is a chemical and not a physical process.

This is how oil paints dry a little faster - and not so

Oil paints do not dry by evaporation of the contained solvent, so it is not worthwhile to get out the hair dryer to accelerate the process: you will not succeed. It is better to put the picture in a well ventilated room and just wait.

However, if you want to help to ensure that the drying of oil paints does not take too long before the painting is finished, you have the following options:

  • Do not mix animal oils with oil paints to prevent drying.
  • It is better to add a special siccative before applying the paint. Pay attention to an exact dosage!
  • Remember that there are siccatives specifically for depth or surface drying, and decide on the right product.

With these tips, you are on the safe side and can look forward to the drying of your oil paints. Always allow some time for the final varnish as it will take at least a few hours to really dry.

Tips & Tricks

Acrylic paints dry much faster, sometimes even within minutes. Cover an acrylic painting with a glossy varnish and you will notice that the colors will glow like real oil!

Artikelbild: Vereshchagin Dmitry / Shutterstock


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