How To Dry Ink On Glossy Paper Fast!

Although the majority of people still do tend to use matte paper, glossy paper is slowly becoming more and more popular as time goes by. Due to this, each month we have noticed new questions being asked about how you are able to use glossy paper (sometimes called photopaper) to get the best possible performance out of it.

Although we do see some people using glossy paper for drawing or writing, the majority of people do tend to use it with their computers printer to print off their own photographs and images. It doesn’t seem to matter what you are using your glossy paper for though as we have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask how to dry ink on glossy paper as fast as possible.

Unlike matte paper, the gloss really can cause issues with getting your ink to dry with some ink types having an absolute nightmare when it comes to actually drying after printing or writing with them on glossy paper. In our article, we will break down a number of methods for drying your ink on glossy paper as fast as possible as well as go into a number of different ink types that you are able to use for optimal performance.

What Ink Can I Use On Glossy Paper?

Although historically, pigment based inks tended to perform very poorly on glossy paper and dye based inks were the defacto standard, times are definitely changing. Developments in both pigment ink formulas as well as how glossy paper is put together is starting to change this and the performance of pigment based inks when used on glossy paper is becoming better and better although dye based inks do still generally tend to be the better option.

If you are looking for a pen to draw, color or edit photographs on glossy paper then the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner range blows the competition out of the water right now. They are leaps and bounds ahead of what the other brands are offering while also having a low price tag for what you are getting. The pack comes with a range of colors, has an excellent reputation, and the proven ability to dry on glossy paper fast as in within a few minutes.

If you are looking for a fountain pen ink for use with glossy paper then the Noodlers Kung Te Cheng is the best option in our opinion but even then, it can have a long drying time. This is a limitation of the formula of the ink for use with a fountain pen not being ideal for use with glossy paper and although the Kung Te Cheng formula can work with glossy paper, it can still take a few hours to dry.

If you are looking for a printer ink for us with glossy paper then we would always recommend that you go with a dye based printer ink but finding one that is able to mount to your printer model can be a total pain. There are some online printer ink companies that will specifically fill your required cartridges for your printer model with optimized ink for glossy paper that can dry within minutes but this does tend to be expensive.

Do You Need Special Ink For Glossy Paper?

This is a yes and no answer as technically, you don’t but specialise inks do tend to perform better and dry much quicker than non-speciallised inks. As we touched on above, historically, a dye based ink was better for use on glossy paper but modern pigment based ink formulas can perform well too. That said though, even some of the dye based ink formulas perform better than others with some drying in minutes and some taking upto an hour.

You can help your ink by using an optimized glossy paper too and thankfully, more and more high-quality glossy paper types have been released over the years to make it much easier for the user. For example, if you are looking for glossy paper for your printer then there is optimised inkjet glossy paper as well as optimised laser printer glossy paper to help each printer type perform better with the paper and get the ink to dry as fast as possible.

When it comes to writing with a marker or fountain pen on glossy paper, we would actually recommend that our readers avoid the high GSM glossy paper as the gloss effect actually detracts from the normal benefits of a higher GSM rating. Regular glossy paper tends to be a good middle ground for anyone who is wanting to write or draw on glossy paper with a fountain pen or marker so that would be our recommendation to our readers.

How To Dry Ink On Glossy Paper?

The best way to get your ink to dry on glossy paper is to ensure that you are using the optimal type of ink on the correct type of glossy paper. This is without a doubt the most common problem that we see time and time again and we have broken the best matches between ink and paper down above to help our readers get the fastest possible drying time when using glossy paper.

If you are using your glossy paper with your computers printer then be sure to select the glossy paper option in the printers driver settings. Depending on the specific model of printer that you are using, this may be listed as “photopaper” but making this quick and easy switch can help get your ink to dry on your paper within minutes rather than hours and is a common quick fix that many people take advantage of.

When it comes to getting your ink to dry on glossy paper when writing or drawing on them with a pen the drying time can range from minutes with something like the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner range all the way up to hours for some fountain pen inks. As we touched on earlier, it is always going to be a pain to have a fast drying time for your ink with a fountain pen when using it on glossy paper as the ink formula to get the ink to flow with a fountain pen is not optimal for use on glossy paper.

How Long Does It Take For Ink To Dry On Glossy Paper?

Depending on the type of ink, drying time can range from a minute or two all the way upto over an hour with some non-optimized inks taking almost a day to fully dry. This is due to the gloss effect on the paper making it hard for most inks to be absorbed into the paper and is one of the main reasons that older pigment ink formulas struggle so much and why dye based ink formulas tend to be better on glossy paper.

If you do optimize both the ink that you are using as well as the type of glossy paper that you are using, most people will be able to get their ink drying time down to a matter of minutes though. This should be fast enough for the majority of our readers and help you get your work done and your ink dry without having any major issues.

How Do You Keep Ink From Smearing On Glossy Paper?

The best way to prevent your ink from smearing on glossy paper is to ensure that you ink is actually dry before you touch it. We know that this may sound basic but it is without a doubt the best thing that you are able to do to prevent your ink from smearing or smudging.

We know that some people are in a hurry and will not have hours to wait for their ink to dry and this is why we try to stress that our readers should be doing everything that they can to match up their ink with a glossy paper that has been designed for use with it to minimize drying time. Although some people do spray their paper with chemicals after printing or writing on their paper to try and stop it from smearing, if the ink is not dry then this will do nothing and you will still have a smudge risk.

Does Glossy Paper Use More Ink?

Although different types of glossy paper do tend to use more ink than regular matte paper, depending on the specific type of glossy paper that you are using, the increase in ink used may actually be minimal. On the flipside of this though, some glossy papers, particular the older ones can take a considerable amount of ink to get the ink through the gloss effect and actually absorb into the paper.

This is why we always recommend that our used try to user a modern glossy paper that has been created with your needs in mind. As we touched on earlier in the article, you can get optimised inkjet glossy paper as well as optimised laser printer glossy paper for your printers that perform very well with the printer type they were designed to work with but perform poorly with the other printer types.


That brings our article going over how you are able to get your ink to dry faster on glossy paper to an end. Unfortinatley, there is no a one size fits all answer for this one and drying times can be as fast as a few minutes and as long as a few hours depending on all of the variables at play as we have covered in our article above.

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