Why Do You Need a Hair Dryer for Painting Classes?

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I usually ask paint and sip party hosts to tell their guests to bring a hair dryer with them to the painting party. This gets some pretty strange looks, but I have very good reasons for making this request.

To make a painting have depth, it should be painted in layers. A paint and sip class is generally no longer than about three hours.

So, to make sure that there is plenty of time for each layer to dry and still have a painting completed in this amount of time, a hair dryer is a good tool to have.

Rather than investing in a couple of dozen hair dryers, I just ask painting party guests to bring their own. I have a few that I bring along, but not enough for each guest.

Today we are going to talk about why I ask painting party guests to bring hair dryers with them. 

Are you curious about this? Keep reading to learn more.

Painting in Layers with Acrylic Paints

For a painting to have plenty of depth, it is necessary to paint in layers. Acrylic paint dries quickly, but it still takes at least 10 to 20 minutes for each layer to dry.

Since paint and sip party guests only have a short window of time to create their art, using a paint dryer is a great way to speed up the drying process.

I get each guest to use the hair dryer after painting every layer. Then, they can take a quick break to enjoy some wine and snacks, and then get back to painting the next layer.

It is important to make sure that you don’t have the highest heat setting, and that you don’t hold the hair dryer too close to the painting. After all, you don’t want the paint to burn and bubble.

I always tell paint and sip guests to hold the hair dryer about a foot or so away from the painting. This way, the heat isn’t as powerful, and the layers will dry without burning.

Using a Hair Dryer on Watercolor Paintings

Watercolors dry even faster than acrylic paints, but they still may not dry quickly enough if you are in a hurry to finish your painting. Again, I use my go-to, my trusty hair dryer for this purpose.

When I teach watercolor painting techniques at sip and paint classes, I always show students how to paint in layers. Watercolors are transparent, so the more layers, the more intense the color is going to be.

When painting in layers, just as with acrylics it is important to dry each layer before beginning the next layer. The only time you don’t want to dry the layers is if you are using the wet-on-wet technique for color blending.

If a lot of water has been used on a watercolor painting, it will tend to pool. If you use a hair dryer, you will need to tilt the paper in various directions as you are drying the paint. 

Otherwise, the paper will tend to warp and buckle. It is going to do this anyway, but the quicker you can dry the paint, the less warping there will be.

Using a Hair Dryer for Paint and Pour Parties

Paint and pour parties are just as popular as parties where people paint an actual picture. Paint and pour paintings are abstract and you can create some pretty neat effects by moving the paint around.

Some people pick up the canvas and tilt it in various directions to move the paint. This looks cool, but you can get some even cooler effects by using a hair dryer.

When you use a hair dryer, you can direct where you want the paint to go. This gives you a bit more control than if you simply move the canvas around.

I like to begin by pouring white paint all over the canvas. Then I start adding other colors, right on top of the wet white paint.

Once there are a few colors on the canvas I bring out the paint dryer. I aim the hair dryer at the paint and use the air to push the colors around.

I always tell paint and sip party guests to use the cool setting when moving paint around. The hot setting will cause the paint to begin drying, and you don’t want that to happen until you have completed the painting.

Here’s a great video with using hair dryer blowout acrylic pours:

Another Option for Drying Paintings: A Heat Gun

You can also use a heat gun to dry paintings, either when they are finished or between layers. This can be a bit tricky because you don’t want to aim too much heat at an acrylic painting.

Using a heat gun is ideal for working with watercolors, and it is great for speeding up the drying process for paint and pour projects.


Most people don’t realize that a blow dryer is an important tool for artists. It is especially important to have one around when you are painting in layers, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time watching paint dry.

Believe me, this can get really boring after a while. The last thing any paint and sip party host wants is for their guests to become bored.

As I mentioned, if you are hosting a paint and sip party, ask your guests to each bring a hair dryer with them. Don’t tell them why. Let it be an interesting surprise for them to learn at the painting party.

See more: How long does oil paint take to dry?

*image by frantic00/depositphotos