Blended Canvas is supported by its readers. Please assume all links are affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of our links we make a small commission from Amazon. Thank You!

Will Oil Paint Dry Faster in the Sun?

Oil paints have been around for an extremely long time, and they are a fantastic medium to use and create depth in your work. Unfortunately, as great as this type of paint is, there is one slight downfall of using it.

The thing with oil paint is that is takes a very long time to dry. It can take anywhere from several days to several months to be completely cured and dry. It is natural to want to try to figure out how you can speed up the drying process.

So, will oil paint dry faster in the sun? Yes, it will. You can expose your oil painting to the sun for a few hours, which will help speed up the drying time. Oil paint dries through oxidation, which means the spirits in the paint evaporate when exposed to oxygen during the drying process. In this article we go over everything you need to know to speed up the drying time of your oil painting. Let’s read on!

How Long Does Oil Paint Take to Dry in the Sun?

When you are trying to speed up the drying process of your oil painting, it is very important to do it correctly. The best way to speed up the process is by putting your painting in a room with direct sunlight, low humidity, and efficient air circulation.

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

Click Image for More Info

Oil paint dries faster in dry air, so the less humidity, the quicker it will dry. You can use a dehumidifier to keep the atmosphere dry enough. The room should be warm, and the direct sunlight will help with that. The best temperature is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but the warmer the room, the better. 

With the direct sunlight on your oil painting, you can expect it to be dry to the touch in as little as fifteen minutes, but it could take longer depending on how thick the paint layers are. When they paint is dry to the touch, you should take it out of the sunlight.

Is Sunlight Bad for Oil Paintings?

Choosing where you are going to place your oil painting is a very important factor for the longevity of the artwork. If you place your painting in an area where it is in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, it can ultimately lead to a damaged painting. 

Oil paintings can easily be damaged from the exposure to UV rays that come from the sun. When the paint gets hot from the direct sunlight, a chemical reaction happens that can alter the way the oil paint looks. This chemical reaction changes the colors that are in the painting.

However, it is important to keep in mind that these damages will only occur after an extended period of time. If you need to temporarily place your painting in an area that gets direct sunlight, it will be okay. However, you shouldn’t keep the painting in that spot permanently.

Does Hairspray Dry Oil Paint?

Hairspray might seem like an easy solution for drying your paint faster, but this is actually not the case. The use of hairspray will not make your oil paint dry faster and it does not work as a sealant of any kind, either. The only thing that hairspray will do for your painting is add a layer of material that is not compatible with paint.

There is even the potential of hairspray ruining your oil painting completely. Hairsprays have different formulas across different brands, and it is highly possible for the hairspray and the oil paint to react badly. This could cause the paint to melt or become gooey, which would be devastating.

Is It Necessary to Varnish an Oil Painting?

It is absolutely necessary to varnish your oil painting. It provides several benefits for your painting. 

The first benefit is that is provides a unity to the surface of your painting. Sometimes you notice one part of your painting is really glossy while another part is completely matte. Oil paints have the tendency to dry differently than each other. Adding a varnish makes the entire painting have the same finish.

Adding a varnish is also by far the easiest way to make your painting look better. When you add a varnish, your colors will appear brighter and appear to have a deeper saturation. Gloss finishes are great at representing the deep layers in a painting, while matte can lighten up even the darkest parts of a painting.

I highly recommend Winsor & Newton Artist’s Gloss to varnish your oil painting. It protects against yellowing, and any other harmful debris to your painting.

Click Image for More Info

A varnish is also essential for protecting your work when you are finished with it. Paintings that don’t have a varnish added to them are extra vulnerable to the signs of aging that varnished paintings do not experience. Art collectors usually will not take a painting that isn’t varnished unless they dislike the way varnish looks.

There are two main criteria that is required from a varnish for it to be used on an oil painting. The first criteria is that the varnish has to be clear as water. This prevents the varnish from altering or changing the colors of the painting when it is applied.

The second criteria is that the varnish has to be removable from the picture. This is because the outermost layer of the painting will collect dust and dirt over the years. The varnish provides a layer that is non-porous to prevent the dirt and dust from getting stick in the paint layers beneath.

When or if the painting needs cleaned, the varnish will need to be removed to get rid of the dirt and the dust that has been collected over the years. A varnish is better known as the “sacrificial layer” because it sacrifices itself to protect the painting.

How Do You Dry an Oil Painting Overnight?

If you need your oil painting to dry over one night, there are some things you can do to help that process. The first thing you need to do is work with a fast-drying medium. Using a drying medium can drastically speed up the drying time of oil paint.

I use Daniel Smith Fast Drying Linseed Oil, and add it to my oil paint. This ensures the paint dries much faster than on its own.

Click Image for More Info

When you choose a drying medium, make sure it is non-toxic. You won’t need to use a lot of it for the process to work, but it is still important to have a non-toxic product to avoid any excess fumes in your studio space.

You should also paint in thin layers. This allows the oxidation process to happen at a faster pace through all of the layers instead of just the top. It also helps the paint dry more evenly and you will be left with a smooth surface.

Winsor & Newton has a great selection of fast drying paints, as well as products that can help your painting drying faster.

Final Thoughts

Oil paints are known for how slowly they dry. These paints take a minimum of a few days to as long as a few months to completely dry and cure. This can cause some conflict if you want to transport the painting after you are finished with it.

If you need to dry your oil painting quickly, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. You can let the painting sit in direct sunlight for a little bit or use a drying medium. If you are going to use a drying medium, make sure it is non-toxic to avoid any unnecessary fumes being released into the air.

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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *