How Long Does Fabric Paint Take to Dry? Tips to Dry Quickly

Although you may not be in a hurry you want fabric and other paints to dry fast. That way they are less prone to be damaged and your artwork remains in better shape. Unfortunately, it is not always good to speed up paint’s drying time but it can be done.

How long does fabric paint take to dry? Generally, you are looking at spending 6 to 18 hours waiting for fabric paint to dry properly. The time frame depends upon the quality of the fabric paint. Quick-drying paint may not have the quality or staying power you want.

To learn more about how long it takes for fabric paint to dry, just continue reading our article. It has that information and more. The biggest tip we can give is to avoid using those cheaper brands. They rarely produce the results you want when you paint your fabrics.

Tip 1: Use your hairdryer on low fan speed and lowers heat to get a more thorough drying job. Sometimes this method only dries the exterior part of the paint and not the interior.

Tip 2: Find a window where the sun is shining through and let the fabric sit in the sunlight for a few hours. The heat should penetrate through the exterior and dry the interior paint molecules.

How Long Does it Take for Fabric Paint to Dry?


Sometimes it depends on which article you read or who you talk to that determines the drying time. We gave you one estimate above and a second opinion says double that time frame. You should wait between 12 and 36 hours before using the fabrics you painted.

In other words, you are going to have to play this by ear and do a little test or two before concluding your painting is dry. Whatever you do, don’t rush it. If you are not in a hurry and can wait, then give it 48 hours to be sure.

Then you can always read the label or the instructions that came in the box to see how long you have to wait. Remember quick-drying paints may save you time initially but they may also be low-quality paints that require more coats.

In the end, you don't save time.

Tip 3: Use a fan if you are painting on a rainy day or you do not have your hairdryer handy. Just don’t put the fan speed up to high and make sure the area is free of dust. You do not want to put dirt all over your new painting.

How Long Does it Take Puffy Paint to Dry?

You really have to be careful with the information you get on the internet. One person responding to this question says it will dry to the touch in an hour and be completely dry in 3. Unless you put a thick layer of paint on then according to that person it will 6 hours to dry.

It was a nice effort but no cigar. For quick drying puffy paint or dry to the touch count on at least 24 hours. For better quality puffy paint you should set your timer to 48 to 72 hours to be sure the paint dried all the way through.

If you are pressed for time, then use the many tips in this article to provide faster results. Those tricks and tips should make the drying time speed up so you can use the fabric sooner than later.

Tip 4: If the paint has dried enough so that it won't roll down your fabric, you can hang the fabric up instead of laying it flat. Hanging the garment provides it with better airflow and better airflow helps paint dry faster.

Will Fabric Paint Dry On Plastic and Glass?


Yes, fabric paint will dry but plastic and glass are not like wood, paper, and similar surfaces. You would need to prepare the plastic and glass surface first before painting. Then after you are done, you need to seal the paint so it will not flake or chip off.

Keep in mind that fabric paint is usually simple acrylic paint with a medium added to it. There are other brands of fabric paint that will be easier to apply than that paint option. Tulip makes one that works on plastic and glass.

Make sure you get the fabric paint that is made for all those different surfaces you want to paint on. Some just work best with cotton fabric and nothing else. Read the labels first as modern technology keeps improving everything including fabric paint.

Also, fabric paint may not come in a wide selection as regular paint, which is why people add a medium to acrylic paint.

Tip 5: Make sure to wash and dry those clothing items or other fabrics first before painting. Clean fibers accept the paint better and the paint adheres to clean fibers better.

Does Fabric Paint Dry On Paper and Cardboard?

One of the problems with using fabric paint on fabrics is that you need to heat set them to remain permanently on your clothing or other materials. Not so with paper or cardboard. You can skip this step when you combine those two artistic tools.

Also, fabric paint is a great way to draw your outlines or lettering in color. These paints can be very brilliant and vivid so they will help those outlines and letters stand out from the rest of the craftwork.

Then if you use glitter fabric paint, then you should be able to spice up your paper or cardboard crafts. Paper and cardboard are very receptive to paint and if you have spray painted anything, you will see that paint stick just as well to cardboard.

Tip 6: You can use your iron to help set the paint and make it dry faster but you can’t use the iron when the paint is wet to the touch. Plus, you should use a cloth to protect your iron from any wet paint. Don’t try to rub the paint but pick up your iron and set it back down carefully.

Will Fabric Paint Dry On Wood?


It is possible to use fabric paint on wood, just do not try to paint your wood fence or patio with it though. Wood can get moldy so you need to be able to choose the right places to use fabric paint when you need to paint some wood.

Your craft projects should be okay but be patient. It will still take hours before the paint is dry to the touch. Also, you may need to apply some drying oil to the surface of the paint while you wait for it to dry completely.

Depending on the type of paint you use and the brand, you can wait anywhere from a few hours to 3 days. It may not be quick but at least the paint will cure and dry completely through.

The only difference between fabric paint and regular paint is the medium that makes fabric paint washable.

Tip 7: Place your painted fabric in warm or heated linen or another closet. The heat inside will help the paint dry thoroughly and help keep dirt and dust off the painted area better.

Can You Make Fabric Paint Dry Faster?

Yes, you can dry fabric paint faster and you can use a variety of tricks to get it done. Just because the label says fabric paint does it mean that that type of coloring does not work like regular paint. Most of the methods you can use to help regular paint dry, you can use on fabric paint.

The key would be to be careful and still be patient. Even if you speed up the process, the paint still has to dry clear through. That means that if the surface of the paint is dry to your touch, it may still not be dry inside.

You should actually take your time when speeding up the drying process as you can end up ruining your hard work with one little mistake. Wait a few hours before testing the paint and if it is dry to the touch, wait a few more hours just to be sure.

Letting something dry overnight is not going to harm the paint or your design.

Tip 8: Avoid painting or drying your fabric in a humid room. The excess moisture will prolong the drying time. Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to remove that excess moisture and keep the room dry enough for the paint to dry.

How To Dry Fabric Paint Quickly


You have seen our tips so far and those are the best options you have available. Using heat is the best way to speed up the drying time of fabric paint but you still have to be cautious as it is very difficult to test the interior of the paint to see if it is dry or not.

Sometimes it is best not to speed up the drying time as the methods used can accidentally also ruin your work. You have to be careful and not let kids or pets get too close to the material while it is drying. Curiosity has ruined more than one piece of artwork.

Then when you use fans, etc., you can blow dust and dirt all over your nice new painted fabric. We cannot say it often enough, you have to be careful when you paint fabrics.

Can You Dry Fabric Paint With a Hair Dryer?

Yes, you can dry fabric with a hair dryer and again you should be careful when you use this hair care device. It is powerful enough to blow your wet paint all over the place. Use a lower speed than high to make sure the flow of air is not too powerful.

You can speed up the fan later when you see that the paint is dry on the surface and won't be blown around. High heat is okay to use but you may want to start on low till you get the technique down right.

Also, you should be careful about positioning the dryer. It is not hard for it to lift up loose dirt and grime. Especially when the power is on high. The good thing about using a hairdryer to dry your fabric paint is that you have lots of maneuverability. That means you can really dry that paint from all angles.

What to do When Fabric Paint Dries Up


2 methods you can try and both are easy to do. First, just put a little water on your brush and try to mix it into the dried up paint. it might take a few brushfuls of water to rejuvenate the paint but it is better than tossing it out.

Second, you can buy and use what is called an acrylic flow improver. Just add a little to the paint and start to mix it in. Keep adding and mixing until you get the consistency you want.

Either way, it should take only a few minutes to get the paint back to its normal self and ready to be applied. Just be careful as some manufacturers may say on their labels not to use water or other techniques.

But that may just be a ploy to get you to toss out the old paint and buy new.

Some Final Words

Watching paint dry is not any fun. Nor is it enjoyable waiting for it to dry. You can try to speed up the drying time but that does not always work, especially when you are not careful.

Test the many different methods listed in our tips section above. See which one will work the best for you. But be careful as it is always easy to make a mistake or have someone accidentally hit the paint too soon.

Leave a Comment: