How Long Does Oil Paint Take To Dry?

Every time it’s time to repaint a room or our house, I always opt for oil-based paint. There are many reasons for this.

For one, the paint’s result is smoother, and it covers the surface more thoroughly. It is also less prone to shrinkage and holds up well even when frequently touched or disturbed.

Lastly, it takes longer to dry. I regard it as an advantage as it gives me more time to finish my work perfectly. However, the amount of time it takes for oil paint to dry can also be a disadvantage. So how long does oil paint take to dry?



chemical process of oil paint

Oil doesn’t dry the same way as water.

Water evaporates.

Oil, on the other hand, has to undergo a chemical process called polymerisation so that it can turn into a dry semisolid. This process can only be achieved when oil is exposed to oxygen.

The good thing about oil paint drying slowly is that it becomes malleable. In other words, it enables you to work on the surface for a longer period of time compared to when you use water-based or latex paint.

If, for instance, you are painting a design on the room’s wall, you have more freedom to blend color together.

You can also add layers of paint on the surface all day while it’s still wet and achieve the exact deepness of color that you like.

Let’s say that you’re done painting a room, and you want the paint to dry. You need to wait longer. In other words, you might not be able to use the room right away.

If you want to use the room as soon as possible, you need to be able to manipulate factors like the temperature and humidity inside.

How Long Does Paint Take to Dry


Oil paint takes 6-8 hours to dry

The rate of the process depends on the brand of the paint, the color, and the environmental condition. Usually, it takes 6-8 hours to dry. It’ll take longer if the paint is exposed to poor conditions.

Factors That Affect On Drying Time

How fast the oil paint dries will have to depend on different factors. These factors include:


As a general rule, paint dries faster in a hot, dry, and well-lit environment. However, for oil paint, you must also make sure that the room is well ventilated.

Color And Brand


The drying time may also depend on the color of the paint

The drying time may also depend on the color you are using and the brand of the paint.

Titanium white and black dry slower compared to burnt umber.

Paints that are made from linseed oil also hardens quicker than those made from poppy and safflower.

Walnut oil dries in moderate speed.

You can ask the shop assistant about what the paint is made of.

Thickness Of Paint


Thickness of paint

Another factor you must consider is the thickness of the paint. The thicker the paint is, the slower it will dry.

However, I don’t recommend that you settle for a glaze or thin layer. It’ll dry faster, but you will compromise the result.

How to Dry Oil Paint Faster?


Tips you can use to help oil paint dry quicker

There are different tips you can use to help to dry oil based paint faster:

  • Ivory black dries slowly. If you want to achieve this color, it’s advisable that you mix burnt umber with Prussian blue instead. Also, use lead white instead of titanium white.
  • Wait for one layer to dry before you apply another.
  • Ventilate the room well. Open doors and windows. Also, make sure that the room is dry and warm.
  • Use turpentine and oil of spike to speed up the drying process.
  • Combine linseed oil with your oil paint. This does not work on all brands of paint though. So, make sure that both are compatible before you do this.


Does oil paint dry faster in the sun?

Yes, the best way to dry oil paints is to expose your project to direct sunshine for a few hours. Sun won’t damage your paint layers, but It will help to speed up drying time.

Can I use a hair dryer?

Yes, but it is better if you can use a cold fan instead.

How can I speed up oil-based paint drying time on wood furniture?

Heat! You can heat your item before painting (if you have a large panel IR heaters). It will speed up the drying time.



Do you want to try and use oil paint during your next repainting session? Then, it’s best that you know how to approach this type of paint first.

I hope that I’ve helped you answer some of the most common questions with regards oil paint.

If you are things that still confuse you, you can leave a comment below.

Or do you have other experiences that decrease oil paint drying times? Please share your experiences with me below.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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