how long does it take for puffy paint to dry

One favorite activity of children, especially craft enthusiasts, is painting. They love to color their world in different hues and shades.

But what if their painting could come to life? Well, that’s exactly what puffy paint does!

What is puffy paint?

Puffy paint is a special type of paint that expands when it dries, giving the puffy paint drawing a three-dimensional effect.

Unlike acrylic paint, which dries when the water evaporates, puffy paint contains an agent that makes it rise as it dries. This 3D effect is what makes puff paint so popular among children.

While you can certainly buy puffy paint from any art supply store, it’s actually very easy to make your own at home.

Not only is it more economical to make your own, but you also have greater control over the ingredients. This means that you can avoid any toxic chemicals that may be present in store-bought brands.

Steps on how to make homemade puffy paint

The DIY puffy paint recipe is very easy to follow and doing it can be great fun for both you and your kid!

1) Prepare the materials you need.

  • 1 cup of white Elmer’s glue
  • 3 cups of shaving cream
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Food coloring
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Zip packets or squeeze bottles (optional)

2) Mix the ingredients.

In a large bowl, mix together and stir carefully the glue and shaving cream. Be careful though not to over mix them as the air bubbles must stay in the shaving cream to retain the puffiness. Once that’s combined, add the flour and food coloring to the desired color.

3) Transfer puffy paint to a squeeze bottle or a zip packet.

This step is optional, however, it is recommended to place the paint in a squeeze bottle or a zip packet to make it easier for use.

If you decide to use a zip packet, make sure to cut a small hole at the bottom corner to appear like a nozzle so you can squeeze out paint easily.

That’s it! Super easy, right?

The shelf life of your homemade puff paint can last up to a week if placed in a container similar to the ones you use for storing slime.

But if you notice that your paint is starting to separate, simply give it a good stir and it should be fine to use.

Now that your puff paint is ready, it’s time to start painting!

This paint can be used on any surface including paper, cardboard, glass, fabric, and many more. This is where the magic happens!

Once you’re done painting, set your artwork aside and leave the puffy paint to dry.

How long does it take for puffy paint to dry?

Craft projects that use puffy paint can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to dry and completely cure. This may vary depending on a few factors, such as:

Layer thickness

The thicker the layer, the longer it will take to dry.

Thick layers of puffy paint usually take around 24 hours to completely dry.

A thin layer, on the other hand, may take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to dry.

Material used

Your painted item or the type of material where puff paint will be used can also affect the drying time. Below are some of the estimated times for each painted surface:


One of the easiest surfaces to work with, puffy paint dries quickly on paper. It usually takes a few hours around 4-8 hours for the paint to dry on paper.


Puffy paints are also often used as fabric paint even if it isn’t considered one of the fast-drying fabric paints. This is because of the effect it creates that makes it an ideal choice for fabric applications.

One of the most popular options where it is commonly used is on clothing items like t-shirts, jeans, shoes, and even hats!

Fabric paints like these can take around 12-24 hours to dry.


Puff paint on glass is also a common sight as it can add a nice decorative touch. Painted glass items usually take around 16-24 hours to dry as well.


A favorite among children, puffy paint can also be used to add designs to your squishies. It usually takes around 24 hours for the paint to dry and be ready to play with.


Puffy paint can also be used on wood surfaces like picture frames or wooden signs. It usually takes around 24 hours for the paint to completely dry on wood.

Temperature and humidity

The temperature and humidity of your area can also affect the drying time of puffy paint.

Paint always dries faster in warm temperatures.

If it’s too cold, the paint will take a lot longer to dry. On the other hand, if it’s too hot, the paint might start to crack.

With all these things taken into consideration, 

I know, it may not sound like much fun for kids who are eager to see their artwork come to life.

But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to speed up the drying process.

Here are some of the most common questions on puffy paint and a few tips on how you can shorten puffy paint dry time.

Is puffy paint a quick-drying paint?

Puffy paint is not quick-drying paint and it can take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours for the paint to dry and cure completely.

How long does puffy paint take to dry on fabric?

Since fabrics have a porous surface, it can take a little longer for the painted fabric to dry.

Puffy paint usually takes around 12 to 36 hours to dry on fabric. However, letting the fabric sit by the window exposed to the heat of the sun should help shorten the drying time.

Can you dry puffy paint with a hair dryer?

Yes, you can use a hair dryer or a blow dryer to speed up the drying process of your puffy paint. This comes in really helpful, especially on a rainy day!

Be sure to hold the hair dryer about 6 to 8 inches away from the surface to avoid melting the paint. Also, make sure to set it on low heat to avoid damaging the painted surface.

Can you expose your puffy paint project in direct sunlight?

One of the most effective ways to make puffy paint dry quicker with the least effort is to leave it exposed to the heat of the sun if you’re in a sunny location as it will help to naturally dry the paint faster.

However, you should not expose your project to direct sunlight as this will cause the paint to crack. You can instead place it near a window where there is indirect sunlight.

Just make sure to bring it in once it’s dry to avoid the painted area from color fading.

Is high heat recommended when drying puff paint

No, you should not use high heat when trying to make puff paint dry faster.

This will only cause the paint to crack and might even damage the painted surface.

Can you put puffy paint in the oven to dry it?

Yes, you can but this is not recommended as it may damage the paint and your project.

One thing that you also need to consider is the painted surface as not all materials can withstand high temperatures.

It’s always best to let your puff paint project air dry.

Does a fan help puffy paint dry faster?

As an alternative to your hair dryer, you can also use a fan to help dry your puffy paint project.

This can also serve as an alternative to a blow dryer as the moving air will help the paint to dry faster.

Just make sure that the fan is set on a low fan speed or placed too close to the painting as this might cause the colors to run.

Can you use a heat gun in drying puffy paint?

Another tool that can be used to make the puff paint dry faster is a heat gun.

Similar to a blow dryer, you must hold it several inches away from the painting to avoid high heat and move it about slowly to ensure that it dries evenly.

These are some of the most common questions when it comes to drying puffy paint. Additionally, I’d also like to share with you some painting tips that we follow to help the paint dry faster.

What are some painting tips to make puffy paint dry faster?

There are a few things you can do to make your puffy paint dry quicker:

1) Paint in thin layers.

It helps the paint stick better as you allow each layer to dry before adding another. This way, each layer will also dry faster and you won’t have to wait too long for the entire painting to be done.

A thick coating will obviously take longer to dry so it’s best to avoid this if you’re in a hurry.

Another thing to note is that with thick layers, your painting may already appear dry on the outside but not the interior.

If you want to add thick layers, it’s best to do so in small areas.

2) Avoid painting in a humid room.

As much as possible, try to avoid painting or drying your project in a humid room as this can contribute to excess moisture which may mean a longer drying time for your painting.

If you’re painting indoors, it’s best to do so in a well-ventilated room or near an open window.

Another option is to keep a dehumidifier or an air conditioner turned on so you can control the humidity in the room.

Final words

I hope you found this helpful and that your projects turn out great!

With these tips, you can now enjoy creating your own puffy paint masterpieces without having to wait for too long!

Just remember to be patient as you wait for your artwork to dry completely and have fun.

While waiting for your puffy paint masterpiece to dry, you can check out other fun activities to try here.