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Video:How to Dry Oil Paints

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Because oil paints dry through oxidation rather than evaporation, there's no way to speed up the lengthy drying process. Learn about how to properly dry oil paints and the best conditions for it in this video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Dry Oil Paints

Hi, this is Fay for About.com and today Im goint to give you some tips on how to dry oil paints.

What You Need to Dry Oil Paints

In order to dry an oil painting properly you need the following things:

  • A dry, room temperature location
  • A place where your painting will not be disturbed
  • Lots of patience

How Long Do Oil Paints Take to Dry

Oil paints are great to paint with but can take an extremely long time to dry. The reason is because the drying process involves oxidation rather then evaporation. So doing things like using a hair dryer or a fan will not speed up the process. In most cases it can take 24-48 hours for your oil painting to dry to touch but not completely dry, but this depends on a couple of different things.  

Firstly the amount of actual paint you use on your painting will determine how long the drying time will be. The thicker the paint, the longer it takes to dry. The only true way of drying your oil painting is setting it in a place out of the way and waiting for it to dry.

Where Should You Dry Oil Paints

Keeping it in a place that is at room temperature will help it dry more consistently and will help it avoid any cracking. Try not to let it dry outside or any place that is to damp or cold. This will cause the drying process to take longer. If you live in a climate that is really humid then using a dehumidifier next to the painting can help it dry faster as well. 

Make sure that after 24-48 hours, even if the painting may appear to be dry, to handle it with care. Lastly It does take some time for oil paintings to completely dry and cure, even the thinnest oil painting should be allowed to dry for 6 months.   

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