View Full Version : Artist Oil Paint Drying Time

Bill George
05-30-2014, 8:33 AM
Ok I did a nice little job trying out the clear transfer tape for a mask trick, learned here. So I got in a hurry (after a couple hours) and pulled the mask off early to see what my paint fill looked like. Looked pretty nice, but got a couple smears of the black artists oil paint and thought I'd wait until it dried to clean off.

That was yesterday, today the oil paint is no where even close to being dry. So how long does it take? Would I be better off next time to use acrylic artists paint, I'd think it would dry faster?

BTW the transfer tape I used was Clear Choice AT-60 and it seemed to do a good job as a paint mask over engraving on ceramic tile.

Mike Null
05-30-2014, 9:55 AM

That's one of the reasons I work with water color or acrylics (for my rare paintings) even though I'd prefer oil. Black is one of the slower drying colors and it can take 2 to 10 days. You can speed the drying time by adding a product called Liquin.

Acrylics are fast drying and quite durable not to mention you can clean up with water or dna.

David Somers
05-30-2014, 10:34 AM
Ohhhhh Mike! No need to speed it up. 10 days watching paint dry could be kind of therapeutic? A staycation of sorts!


Henri Sallinen
05-30-2014, 10:34 AM
My father owns a framing shop and from what I've heard, it could take even up to a half a year for certain types of oil paintings to dry. I'd definitely suggest using acrylic paints since they take some hours to dry rather than days or even months!

Kev Williams
05-30-2014, 11:01 AM
Only paints we've ever used is either Testors enamel, or water based acrylics. Most Testors colors, if not too thick, will dry to the touch within 20 minutes, full dry within a day. Water based acrylics dry a little faster. We routinely color fill aluminum legend plates and plastic pushbuttons with Testors, clean up the smears 10 minutes later and in customers hands an hour later. I color fill engraved graphics, typical is 1/4" wide, 3/4" tall engraved area about .015" deep; after filling with Testors I'll set the part in the laser with the blower on, the moving air really speeds up the dry time. Even though it's not fully cured, even that much paint is usually dry enough to bag and ship 4 hours later. I've never had anyone call me to tell me the paint was stuck to the plastic bag. Some colors for some reason take a little longer to dry, but not much. And if you use anything but Testors thinner in it, it affects dry time.

I like water based paint because it's cheap, easy, and once it's cured it's about as permanent as enamel.

I tried an oil based paint stick last week on a customers test part, and a day later it wasn't dry.

Joe Pelonio
05-30-2014, 8:00 PM
For items where yoy are getting a decent price, try using One-Shot enamel. It's made for sign painting and pin-striping, levels beautifully (no brush marks), and dries to the touch in 2 hours, and can be handled in 8-10 (overnight). It's expensive but worth it. I'd at least stock the common colors like black, white, red and metallic gold.

Dee Gallo
05-31-2014, 9:43 PM
Artist's oils are made to dry very slowly... like 100 years. When they do finally dry completely, the paint falls off the canvas. Hence the need to seal with lacquer. When I used to do oil paintings for people, I'd always tell them there is a 3 month drying period before they can be safely handled for framing or shipping.

You might want to try either model paints (oil based enamels) or 1-Shot, as suggested already. Some people like the Heavy Body Acrylic paints (Liquitex) which are water based and dry fairly quickly. Spray paints are the fastest if you are masking anyway.

cheers, dee

Chuck Stone
06-01-2014, 1:05 PM
I use the tubes of acrylic paint A LOT. They dry in seconds to minutes, depending on
the weather, humidity etc. They can be wiped off with a damp cloth till dry, then with
denatured alcohol after that. I pick up sets at the Dollar Store.. 18 tubes for about $3-4.
I'd probably spend that in an art store for just a tube of black, which I use the most.
And you can mix them for custom colors if needed.. this pic shows a 12 pack, but mine
are all 18's.