How Long Does It Take Linocut To Dry?

Linocut printing is a beautiful art form, especially if you’re looking for a consistent print or pattern. You can use oil-based paints or acrylics depending on the finish you are going for, but oil paints and water-based paints have different drying times.

Linocut takes up to a week to dry if you’ve used oil paint. Water-based paints dry faster, but it is best to leave them to dry for at least a day or two. This way, you ensure that the linocut is fully dry before moving it.

Let’s explore how long it takes Linocut to dry in further detail and look at ways to speed up the drying process.

How Long Does It Take Linocut To Dry?

If you’re making a Linocut print for something specific, give yourself about a week for the paint to dry completely. Your Linocut print can take anywhere from two days to a week to dry. Some paint brands dry faster than others. Other factors that influence the speed at which the Linocut dries are the weather, how thinly you apply your paint, and the colors you use. 

Oil paints dry slower than acrylics or water-based paints but are worth the wait. The colors are deep and vivid so if that’s what you are going for, factor in a few extra days for the paint to dry and use oil paint rather than acrylic. 

Tips to Dry Your Lino Cut Print Faster

While it really is a waiting game that requires a bit of patience, there are several things you can try doing to speed up the time it will take for your Linocut Print to dry. 

  • Apply your paint thinly and evenly.
  • Add a dryer to the paint.
  • Make sure your environment is warm and dry.
  • Ensure there is proper ventilation. 
Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Fast Drying Medium - 250ml bottle
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Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Fast Drying Medium - 250ml bottle
  • This fast drying medium smoothes brushwork and increases the gloss and transparency
  • It is excellent for glazing and producing fine detail
  • Is resistant to yellowing

Last update on 2022-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How you apply your paint will affect how long it takes to dry. For a quicker drying time, apply a thin layer of paint to the Linocut and apply an even amount of pressure when you press it onto the paper or canvas. If the paint is applied evenly, the whole paper or canvas will dry simultaneously. You don’t want an uneven layer of paint, where one part of your paper or canvas is dry while the other is still wet. 

Many oil-based paints already contain dryers which are chemicals that speed up the drying time. You can also add dryers to your paint if you have some. There are two types of dryers: cobalt and manganese. 

Dryers are toxic, so always wear protective gloves when you work with them. You only need to use a little bit, so don’t go overboard.

Oil paint drys best in warm, dry environments. Let your Linocut prints dry in a room that gets a lot of sunlight if possible. If you live in a place with a cooler climate, switch a heater on. Ty to ensure that the room is as dry as possible because a humid environment will slow down the drying process. A dehumidifier will keep the air dry, so if you have one, switch it on.  

Lastly, make sure there is adequate ventilation. Open a window to let natural fresh air circulate but if this is not an option, switch a fan on. The movement of air will help the paint to dry faster. It also helps to air out the room and reduces the smell of paint and dryers, which can be overpowering. 

How To Dry Your Linocut Prints 

Once you’ve completed your Linocut prints and gotten your room ready by ensuring it is warm, dry, and well ventilated, you have two options of how to let your prints dry.

The first option is to leave your prints on a flat surface like a table or countertop. Remember that it will take a few days to dry, so preferably leave them on a surface that you don’t need to use.

The other option is to hang them up on a line. You can make your own drying line by tying a piece of string between two chairs or other pieces of furniture. Another option is to use a wire clothes horse. Use clothes pegs to hang your Linocut prints onto the string or clothes horse.

Keep Your Linocut Prints Free From Dust by Drying Them Indoors

Always keep your Linocut prints indoors to dry. You might be tempted to put them outside, especially if it’s a warm, sunny day, but don’t. Little dust and dirt particles can easily get stuck in the paint and are a nightmare to remove. Trying to remove these tiny bits of dust will likely result in the paint getting smudged, which will ruin the print.

Use a Hairdryer With Caution

If you are really impatient and want to speed up the drying time, you can blast your Linocut prints with a hairdryer in short intervals. To do this, aim the hairdryer towards the back of the paper or canvas (the side that’s not painted). Be sure to keep the hairdryer nozzle a fair distance from the paper or canvas; if it is too close, it could result in uneven drying. 

This way, you won’t risk blowing dust particles onto the wet paint. You also ensure that the paint dries from the bottom layers to the top. If you do it the other way, the surface layer will dry, but the paint underneath might remain damp. This could cause the top layer of paint to crack. 

WATCH – Finding How Long It Takes For Paint To Dry

Griffin Magleby

Final Words

Linocut prints can take anywhere from a few days to a week to dry, depending on the type of paint you use, the brand, the colors, and how you apply the paint.

The weather conditions and environment play a role in how fast your Linocut print will dry. For the fastest possible drying time, leave your Linocut print in a warm, dry room that is well ventilated. Always keep your Linocut prints indoors when they’re drying to avoid them being damaged, and if you must use a hairdryer to dry your prints, use it with caution. 


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Ines is a self-taught artist based in the UK. Originally from Caracas, she has dabbled in the world of arts and crafts in a diversity of ways participating in city intervention projects, sustainable practices’ open exhibitions, and her illustrations being featured in anniversary editions of literary magazines.

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