Oil-based paint dries a lot slower than water-based paints like acrylics. This is due to the oils inside of the paint. As a result, many people try to come up with ways that they can dry the paint faster. While it may be convenient to have your paint dry slower if you are doing a painting, it may not be for other types of projects.
So, can you bake oil paint in the oven ? Yes, you definitely can bake oil paint in the oven. Just keep the temperature to no more than 200 F, and your oil paint will be good to go.
There are of course a few more things that you will need to bear in mind before you bake it:
- The paint should be allowed to dry naturally for a few hours first. This helps the solvents to dry off.
- The oven should never be above 200F.
- You should not put pressure-treated or synthetic wood into the oven.
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At the most, the oil paint should be in the oven for about 10 minutes. After that, you will want to take it out. Keep in mind that at this stage the paint will not actually have dried. It may still be wet. However, if you leave it out for an hour or so, you will start to see it dry little by little. If it doesn’t, then you can put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. You can repeat this process until the paint has dried completely.
It is worth noting that there will be a weird smell when you open up your oven after baking oil paint. This is due to the oils. Don’t worry. As long as you let the paint dry for a short while before you put it into the oven, then it should be safe. There will be nothing toxic there.
However, you won’t want to bake anything in the oven until the smell has completely disappeared. Not unless you want the smell baked into your food. Leaving the oven open for a few hours should do the trick. If it still sticks around, then you can use an oven cleaner to get rid of the rest of the smell, although it will very rarely come to that.
Can You Use a Hairdryer on Oil Paint?
Yes, you can use a hairdryer, however it is not going to be that effective. The hairdryer will speed up the oxidation process that oil-based paints need. However, the problem with the hairdryer is that it dries some parts of the paint a little bit too quickly. The result will be cracked paint.
Another problem with using a hairdryer is the fact that it may actually release more solvents that natural drying processes. This means that there will be a lot of toxic fumes floating around in the air.
If this wasn’t enough, when you use a hairdryer, you will actually need to get pretty close to the paint to dry it. As you may well know, when a hairdryer is drying something, it should never get too close. It can cause the heat to rebound back into the hairdryer which can result in it burning out. So, not only do you end up with a painting that isn’t dry, but you will have a broken hairdryer too.
If a hairdryer does dry your paint, then do not expect it to dry that much quicker than any other method. This includes natural drying. This is because oil paint will never dry based upon heat alone. Some paints can take years to dry, and it all depends on these factors:
- The temperature
- How thick each layer of paint is
- The quality of the paint
- The brand of paint
- The amount of light
- How much and which medium was used
- The colour of the paint
How Can I Make Oil Paint Dry Faster?
While drying your oil paint in an oven can be a good idea, there are a few other methods that you can use to speed up the rate at which the oil paint dries too. The best method is leaving the oil paint in a well-ventilated area. The area should be warm but not too warm. You should also try to point a fan at the oil paint if you can.
You may also want to use the oil paint in layers. This will only work for some projects, though. Start with a thin coat, allow that to dry, and then do another coat on top of that. Everything should be far quicker than putting a ton of paint on at once.
Some people will also use acrylic paint as a base. This Arteza Acrylic Paint Set is great in combination with oil paints. Oil paint seems to dry a little bit better when it has been painted onto dried acrylic paint. You can also purchase certain products that speed up the drying of oil paint, such as Liquin. This Windsor & Newtown Liquin is my top recommendation. I recently used it to help dry an oil painting, and it worked great with no staining.
Tips to Dry Oil Paint Faster
- Paint on an even surface, cracks can cause paint to build up and take longer to dry.
- Start your paintings with faster drying paints like raw umber.
- Start your paintings with thin layers using solvents instead of lots of thick oil paint.
- Use fewer layers the more layers you use the longer it will take for them all to oxidise.
- Make sure the room is not too humid use a dehumidifier if you have one.
- Make sure the room is warm a higher temperature means faster oxidation reactions.
How to Check if an Oil Painting Is Dry
There is an easy test to check if your oil painting is completely dry, and it totally works! Simply run your fingernail very gently across a small area of your painting. If the small bits of paint that come off are powdery or dust like, then the painting is dry enough to work on top of. If the paint is still wet, then paint will come off like a thread.
Always check a small area, as you don’t want to ruin your masterpiece.
Do Different Oil Paint Colors Dry Faster?
Definitely yes! The color of the oil paint you choose will influence how long it takes to dry. Oil paints are made of a pigment which gives it color, oil and a binding agent mixed together. Different pigments, binding agents and oils can cause each color to dry at a different rate. The earthy browns are some of the fastest drying paints out there, with raw umber being the fastest to dry. Some colors sometimes take even less than a day to dry, if you use a thin layer.
Umber is a pigment that also contains a natural oxidizing agent known as manganese, and that helps speed up the drying time of this particular color as the oxidation reaction happens much faster. This color is typically used for under-painting sketches and block ins because it is one of the fastest drying oil paints.
Here are some other quick drying colors:
- Burnt umber
- Cobalt blue
- Raw sienna
- Burnt sienna
You can definitely bake oil paint in the oven. Just remember to keep the temperature at no more than 200F. Anything over that will cause your paint to crack. Even though it may not be fully dried when you take it out, it will start to dry very shortly after.
To make oil paint dry faster without an oven, make sure you follow all my steps and tips to ensure your oil painting properly dried without cracking or flaking.
Check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting!