View Full Version : Getting Open Acrylics to Dry?

10-08-2014, 10:10 AM
Anyone been able to get the Golden Open Acrylics to dry faster? I know the point is that stay wet; But I did some work and it was not thick at all. It was still tacky-wet the next morning and seemed sort of dry 24 hours later. When I went to add another later, the paint seemed to reactivate and come off and the work was lost.

I really like the extra blending time, but it would be nice if I could paint on top it the next day. I tried a hairdryer and it didn't seem to do much, anyone try a heat gun? I don't have one but could get one but I don't know if it would work or be too much and would melt the paint or something.

10-09-2014, 12:47 AM
Mine dry very quickly and I have a tough time keeping it humid enough even for Open Acrylics. If you can find a portable dehumidifier that might be the best option. You can also try mixing Open pigments with regular acrylics.


10-09-2014, 06:29 AM
According to the Golden web site, it takes 14 days to lock down the colors. The other manufacturer may have a locking medium. Have you considered that?

10-09-2014, 10:44 AM
According to the Golden web site, it takes 14 days to lock down the colors. The other manufacturer may have a locking medium. Have you considered that?

Holy smokes! Another reason not to use that stuff, that's worse than oils and without having the benefit of opacity. I have some tubes of Open but with all the horror stories I've read I'm not tempted to use them. Though I'll admit in the dry Utah climate I'm unlikely to have those issues.

If you want blendability I've been experimenting with something that seems to work pretty well. I use only Liquitex heavy body and paint like I normally do using transparent layers to start but that's not important. Once I get an area near to a finished level I then get out the Liquitex heavy gel medium and mix that with the paint, it extends the drying time considerably and with the added benefit of leaving impasto brush marks if you like. It's a bit like painting with oils over acrylic except it will tack up much quicker allowing layering in the same session but not so fast that you can't blend. And it will never lift on you!


10-09-2014, 01:15 PM
Open acrylics will take several days to dry, as they are designed to work like oils but clean up like acrylics. You can always mix open with regular heavy body to speed up drying, but it sounds to me like you didn't research the paint before using it.

Charlie's Mum
10-09-2014, 01:37 PM
I sympathise! It's the reason I don't like my Atelier Interactives!

10-09-2014, 03:43 PM
I prefer to use only the Golden Open Gel Medium with my regular acrylics (both fluid acrylics and heavy body). That way I get the benefit of more blending time but they dry pretty quickly and will not lift up once they are touch dry. There is never any problem with them still being tacky or non-workable by the next day.


10-09-2014, 09:33 PM
The only times I've had trouble with Opens not drying fast enough were when plein air painting in cool or humid conditions. I'm mainly an oil painter, so perhaps I'm more used to working wet on wet than most acrylic painters. Be sure you're using medium instead of water for thinning the paint. Don't overbrush the layers too much, and remember that you can always use a traditional medium (like Polymer Medium, instead of the Open Mediums) to speed up the drying. Or as Beverly says, the reverse is also an option --- traditional acrylics with Open medium to extend drying time a bit.

10-10-2014, 09:44 AM
Well this was my first stab at the open acrylics. Sadly golden does not have a locking down chemical for thier open products. Though I have been trying to add a clear medium layer over it once it tacks up and seems to work, even if I know it's not "best practice".

I have also begun to experiment with mixing the open medium in the regular acrylics and what ratios give me more blending time but is still generally dry the next day.

I do have the Litquex slow-dri medium and it is good stuff, I just was looking for maybe 25% more belending time tops. I picked up from of the W&N slow dry medium for a test yesterday too.

I know there are retarders but I don't like them much. Glazing liquid is nice too but dies fast. I generally paint in thinner layers hence why is dries fast.

Anyways I am sure I'll find the right mix for the speed I am looking for. It is wonderful to have all these options. I must have 30 jars of various mediums and additives. hehe

I can also see that Golden Open would be great for a particular style of painting that perhaps I need delve into, maybe I am just too stuck on layers.

10-10-2014, 02:25 PM
I work with the Golden Open Gel Medium with my regular acrylics in different ways depending on the results I want. Sometimes I mix a bit of it into my paints before applying them. Sometimes I spread a thin layer of the medium on the painting surface and then apply the full-strength paint into it, blending as needed. In either of these two techniques, however, I also often pre-wet the painting surface with just a bit of water before the paints or medium. I often work with watercolor paper, so the pre-wetting step was necessary to overcome the absorbency of the watercolor paper. However, I found it useful also on a gessoed surface, as well. I don't like to use a water spritz on the painting while I'm blending the paint. I know others do but it always caused problems for me because water droplets would always mess up the paint surface. I think that depends a lot on your techniques and the size of your painting and the brushes you use. It just never served me very well.


George Servais
10-10-2014, 10:25 PM
Use a blow dryer.