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How Long Does Gouache Paint Take to Dry?

Gouache is a great paint for people who love working with watercolors but want the opacity of an acrylic paint. It is a great medium that is easy to use, making it great for beginners. One thing you need to know when starting with any type of paint is how long it takes to dry to make sure you don’t accidentally touch the paint before it’s ready.

So, how long does gouache paint take to dry? Gouache paint is a medium that dries incredibly fast. This paint will be dry as soon as the water evaporates, which can take anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. While it dries really fast, don’t let this intimidate you. You can easily reactivate the dried paint with a little bit of water.

Since gouache mixes with water, it is water based and dries as the water evaporates. This means that it dries pretty quickly, and you will be able to touch it pretty quickly without worrying about ruining your whole painting. 

How Do You Make Gouache Dry Faster?

Since gouache dries as the water evaporates, you can make the paint dry faster by literally making the water evaporate faster. One thing you can do to make gouache dry faster is bring in a fan or an air conditioning unit. This pushes air through the room faster and helps to dry the paint.

My favorite and top pick is always Arteza Gouache Paints. They have so many different colors, and the quality is amazing! I usually use Arteza Paints for all my projects.

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For special offers and discounts, with my link you can also go to the Arteza website and shop their amazing products.

You can also try using a dehumidifier. It takes paint longer to dry when there is humidity in the room. Using a dehumidifier will pull all of the moisture and humidity out of the room and allow the water in the gouache to evaporate faster.

Another thing you can try is opening the windows to the room. This will work best if it is warm and dry outside. If there is extra humidity in the outside air, it won’t help your paint dry any faster. It is best to do this on a summer or spring day with no rain.

Does Gouache Dry Faster than Acrylic?

If you use both acrylic and gouache paints, you will be able to notice that acrylic dries slightly faster than gouache paint. This makes acrylic paints more difficult to blend than gouache paints, so keep that in mind before you choose the right paint for your project.

Both paints dry really fast, but acrylic doesn’t have the ability to be reactivated with water after it dries. You can slow down the drying process of acrylic paints by misting them with water or adding something to the paint that is designed to make it dry at a slower pace.

Is Gouache Waterproof When Dry?

One of the best things about gouache is the ability to reactivate it and continue to work with it after it dries. While this is great, it does mean that the product isn’t waterproof when dry. All it takes is one little drop of water to reactivate and ruin your painting. 

Since gouache isn’t waterproof, you need to keep your painting away from any sources of water. This means you should keep the painting inside, but out of your bathroom or kitchen. You should also avoid putting a gouache painting in your garage, attic, or basement because these areas can experience high levels of humidity and impact your painting. 

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It is also important to remember that you can reactivate gouache paint just by adding an additional layer of paint or sealant. This makes the paint incredibly tricky to work with, especially if you aren’t used to working with it. You just need to always use a light hand and avoid passing over the same area more than once.

Can You Layer Gouache?

You can layer gouache paint as long as you do it extremely carefully. First, you will want to start by sketching your picture to give you an outline to paint over. The gouache will cover the lines while you are painting, so you don’t need to worry about the marks showing through if you don’t want them to.

Prepare your gouache paints by pouring them onto a palette for easy access. Get some water ready so you can dip your paint brush in to get it wet for the paint. It is important to use distilled water because tap water can cause the pigment to separate. 

One important thing you need to remember about gouache paints is they are easily reactivated by water. This means when you add an additional layer of gouache paint to an already dry layer, the dry layer will begin to rewet. To avoid as much damage as possible, you need to use very light brushstrokes on any additional layer of gouache that you add.

The best way to get used to layering with gouache is to practice. You can practice by painting a row of circles that start as transparent and end as opaque. This will allow you to learn how much water you need for transparent layers and how little you need for opacity. To practice layering, you can then overlap those layers with varying levels of transparency. 

The more you practice layering, the better you will get at it. Before you know it, you will be able to expertly layer gouache paints in your actual paintings. 

How to Seal Gouache Paint

When you seal gouache paint, you need to be very careful. Using a water-based sealant has the potential to reactivate the gouache paint when you apply it. It is extremely important to use a very light hand when you apply a sealant or use a spray sealant. A spray sealant is going to be the best choice because you don’t have to touch the surface of the painting. 

If you want to use a brush-on sealant, you can. However, you can’t apply it in the same way you would for an acrylic paint or an oil paint. You need to apply the sealant to the surface with an incredibly light hand and avoid moving your paint brush back and forth over one spot. You need to only paint the sealant on in one direction.

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One great choice for sealing gouache paint is Mod Podge. It is water-based, but it is available in a spray and a brush-on product. Mod Podge dries clear and will protect your painting with a water-resistant coating. It will be best to use the spray formula, but you can use a brush-on if you already have some.

Final Thoughts

Gouache paint is popular because it is the best of both worlds. It works like a watercolor but has the opaqueness of an acrylic paint. It is super easy to use and is great for beginners. The paint dries really fast, but it reactivates with just a few drops of water. This means you can continue to work with gouache after it has dried, making it great for beginners.

When you layer and seal gouache paint, you need to make sure you are taking your time and being more careful than normal. New layers of paint or sealant can reactivate the gouache if you apply too much pressure or paint over one spot more than once. If you can, it will be best to use a spray sealant to avoid touching the surface of the paint at all. 

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your gouache painted project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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