A Look At If Oil Paint Dries Faster In The Sun!

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With the popularity of oil painting having seen a sudden spike in addition to its regular steady growth over the last year or so, we have noticed more and more questions being asked from the various beginners taking up this pass time. As usual, we always try to answer the questions that we see our potential readers asking, especially the more frequently asked questions so we have been publishing more and more content based around oil painting recently.

Although we have already answered a number of commonly asked questions, we have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask if oil paint dries faster in the sun or not. We can understand why so many beginners to oil painting may ask this so we wanted to use todays article as a way to go into the various advantages and disadvantages of leaving your oil paint out in the sun.

Our goal is to try and help ensure that our readers understand both sides of leaving their oil painting out in the sun, especially for an extended period of time as well as how they are able to help their oil paint dry quicker. Due to covering a number of sub-topics within this article, we have added a table of contents below so you are able to quickly and easily navigate to different sections of the article with ease.

Does Oil Paint Dry Faster In The Sun?

Although oil paint may dry faster when outside, the reduced drying time is not due to the paint being in the sun light but due to the wind or breeze increasing the air flow over the paint. This is due to oil paints drying via oxidisation rather than evaporation and heat having a minimal effect on oil paint when it comes to drying.

Although there is a correlation with leaving your oil painting outside in the sun, this has nothing to do with the oil painting being in direct sunlight as most beginners initially think. Unlike a water based paint that dries via evaporation causing the water in the paint to leave the pigment behind on your paper or canvas, oil paints use oxidisation.

The process of oxidisation is based around the oil in the paint oxidising with the air around it causing the oil to dry and leave your paint pigment behind on your pigment or paper. Due to oil paints drying via oxidisation, one of the best ways to help them dry as quickly as possible is to increase the air flow over the paint as it is able to drastically improve their drying times by speeding up the oxidisation process.

Consequences Of Having An Oil Painting In Direct Sunlight!

Beginners often overlook that there are actually potential consequences of having an oil painting in direct sunlight due to the direct exposure to ultra violet light from the sun. Although this will depend on the colors of paint you are using and their pigments, some of them can start to fade rapidly when exposed to ultraviolet light for increased amounts of time.

In addition to this, you may also have issues with the wind blowing dirt and debris onto your oil painting if you do leave it out in the sun too. In this case, when it comes to using the wind or even a breeze as an aid to help your oil painting dry outdoors, it can be both a blessing and a curse.

Although the sunlight has no real effect on the drying time of your oil painting, it can have an effect on other items that you may have used such as your sealant or primer for your canvas. Although there are a number of different variables at play, this can result in the sealant or primer starting to yellow earlier than they other wise would due to the ultraviolet light exposure.

How To Help Your Oil Paint Dry Faster!

There are a number of ways that you are able to help your oil painting dry faster than it naturally would. The majority of them are based around increasing the air flow over the painted area to increase the amount of oxidisation that can occur with the oils in the paint in the same amount of time helping to paint to dry quicker.

Due to seeing so many people constantly reaching out for advice on how they are able to get their oil paint to dry faster, we already have a number of articles online going over the subject. The one that will probably be the most useful to you is our six tips and tricks to get your oil paint to dry quicker. In addition to that, we also have a dedicated article going over how you are able to dry oil paint with a hairdryer too that can be surprisingly effective.

We also have an article going over drying oil paint in an oven due to seeing so many people reaching out and asking about it. That said though, we would not recommend that you try it, especially as a beginner as there are considerably better and safer ways that you are able to take advantage of to help your oil paint dry quicker.


That brings our article going over if oil paint will dry faster in the sun to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you understand the risks of leaving your oil painting out in the sun to dry as well as some methods that you can try to reduce the drying time of your oil paint instead. When you understand the process of oxidisation that oil paint uses and the face that air flow is the main thing you should be focusing on to help your oil paint dry quicker, the process really is very simple and easy.