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Can I speed up the drying time of oil paint?

+2 votes
Oil paint takes a long time to dry, especially when I paint thick. Is there any way to speed up the drying time?
asked Oct 5, 2013 in Oil Painting by questions (730 points)
edited Oct 6, 2013 by questions

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
For standard oil paints, the best way to ensure faster drying is to mix a touch of thinner (preferably mineral spirit which is similar to turpentine) and also painting in very thin layers.  This would be a preferred way, for example, to do the very first underpainting layer.  Also allow the painting to sit in a decently-lit space with good ventilation but don't put it in direct sublight as it may cause the oil in the paint to dry too quickly and crack the texture.  Adding Liquin Impasto can also help with drying time without thinning the paint out very much, depending primarily on how much you add to the paint.  Adding oil-based mediums adds to drying time so try to limit your use of such mediums if drying time is more important to you.

Normal oil paint drys within 3-12 days depending on the particular color, brand and thickness as well as how much and what type of medium is mixed with it.  For the absolute fastest-drying oil paint, you can choose to use alkyd-based oils which dry very quickly (within 18-24 hours, with re-workability limited to the first 8 hours).  To hasten the drying time even more, use Liquin Impasto as a medium to mix with alkyd-based oils.  It's not uncommon to achieve dry-to-touch results with that kind of mixture within 12 hours so long as other conditions are optimal (sparing use of mineral spirits, minimal to no use of oil-based mixing mediums, a space with good ventilation and indirect sunlight).
answered Oct 7, 2013 by artist (2,620 points)
selected Oct 7, 2013 by questions
+1 vote
Yes, depending on what you mix with the oil paint and how you paint.  If you mix impasto drying mediums, that will help.  If you also follow the "fat on lean" painting method, the lower layers of paint will dry more quickly, allowing you to add progressively thicker coats of paint without too much time in-between.
answered Oct 6, 2013 by apprentice (780 points)