How long does it take for acrylic paint to dry {Complete Guide}

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Acrylic paints are fast-drying paints. It takes around 10-15 minutes to dry. These are water-resistant, UV rays protected and long-lasting. The drying process takes place in two steps.

Acrylic paints: a complete guide for acrylic paint

Those who are interested in the painting must have heard about acrylic paints. And for those who don’t know acrylic paint is a water-based paint made from tiny plastic particles, acrylic resins and pigments. The drying time of acrylic paint is significantly faster than that of any other paint. This paint is non-toxic and when it dries it becomes a water-resistant paint. These paints are all-purpose hence you can use them on multiple surfaces like wood, cloth, paper, metal, etc.

Characteristic of acrylic paint

Acrylic paints have many characteristics few of them are as follows:

1) Drying time- This paint dries very quickly, say 10-20 minutes.

2) Odor- Compared to the other paints the acrylic paint has minimum odor.

3) Resistant to fading and other environmental factors.

4) This paint has protection from harmful UV rays, hence it resists the sun effect. But the solvents may contain toxins.

5) It is water-resistant and avoids the cracking of paint.

6) The paint is permanent and durable.

7) It requires low maintenance.

How long does it take for acrylic paint to dry {Drying of acrylic paint}

Of course, the most common question people ask is how long does it take for acrylic paint to dry. Well, acrylic paint dry time is the shortest among all the paints available in the market. Other paints took very long to dry. These paints dry in two stages


This stage is called the dry to the touch stage. In this stage, the paint becomes water-resistant and does not stay wet but still, it remains sensitive to the pressure. Right now it’s not fully dried paint.


At this stage, the whole paint dries completely even the upper thin-film dries. Paint layers matter during the drying process. The thick layer will dry in a longer period while the thin layer will dry off quickly.

Factors that affect the paint drying time

There are other factors to affect the drying time of any paint. Some of them are:

#1. As a matter of fact, Temperature, humidity, and airflow can slow down the process of drying time. High temperature, low humidity, and low airflow will be the best situation for drying any paint quickly.

#2. Paint quality also matters in the drying process. But compared to other types of paints like watercolour, the drying time of acrylic paints is much faster.

#3. The surface- Rough surfaces give uneven paint and will dry late.

#4. Which palette you are using. Wet palettes take more time than other palettes.

#5. water medium- another water medium can increase the drying time.

#6. The thickness of the paint. Paint up to 1mm thickness dries off quickly. A layer thicker than this takes up to 3 to 4 hours of drying.

Types of acrylic paint

Above all was the general idea of acrylic paint but further, they are divided into two parts.

  1. Professional grade
  2. Student grade
Professional grade

It contains more finely meld pigment and hence gives a much smoother consistency. It also contains more pigments which makes them bright, vibrant and also the color doesn’t fade away easily. They have more environmental resistance hence they stay for a longer time. This type of acrylic paint is much more expensive than the other.

Student grade

This type is slightly lower than professional grade. Usually used by the students and the interns because they are cheap. In this, the color strength is low which results in decreasing the color brightness when mixed with any other color. The available color section in student grades is limited. Only basic colors are available.  And the colors appear darker after drying. This type is good if you are a beginner.

The drying time of both types varies too. Professional-grade dry quickly and student grades take some time. For modern artists, acrylic paint is nothing new but the older artists can tell the difference. Those who used oil and watercolour paints know what difference acrylic paints make. Hence acrylic paint is a revolution in this field. Nothing is better than this. Acrylic paint is the best of all.

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