How Long Does Puffy Paint Take To Dry? (+ Tips To Speed Up)

Puffy fabric paint can add a colorful and textured look to any outfit. However, puffy paint is thick, and to avoid smudging, it’s important for crafters to let the paint dry fully before wearing or washing clothing items with puffy paint.

Our puffy fabric paint guide will tell you how long does puffy paint take to dry and offer tips and tricks for your home crafting projects.  

Puffy fabric paint is a paint that has a “puffy” look meaning that it is dimensional and lifts up off of the surface. It can be used on a variety of surfaces, but puffy fabric paint is designed for fabric specifically.  

This paint comes in various colors and tends to be both vibrant and bold. Puffy fabric paint also has a strong adhesive, so it sticks well to fabric material and will "attach" itself to the fabric.

This strong attachment means that you do need to work fast with the paint once it has touched the surface. Puffy paint attaches immediately and will bleed onto the fabric if you try to move it around. The application needs to be delicate and then quick.  

It takes 48-72 hours for puffy paint to dry completely. We recommend waiting the full 72 hours before washing any fabric item with puffy paint. Puffy paint can be used on shirts, hats, socks, shorts and pants, plastic paper, wood, art canvases, shoes, and even glass.  

Puffy paint can dry as quickly as four hours on materials such as paper, wood, and art canvasses. It can be difficult to redo puffy paint items, however, so we recommend making sure that you allow each piece to fully dry before moving it.

Keeping the item in a warm place with access to sunlight can help it dry faster. Each puffy paint manufacturer has slightly different drying times, so it's important to check the directions on each bottle.  

Puffy fabric paint is a great option for crafters who want to create kid-based items because the fully dimensional paint creates a "puff" effect. Sometimes it's labeled as 3D fabric paint. This looks great with bubble letters, smiley faces, flowers, stars and moons, and animal faces.

Puffy fabric paint can also create a faux rhinestone with the right glittery color for shine. These paints also spruce up the home with cool decor options for pillows and blankets or throws. The possibilities are endless with puffy fabric paint.  

Multi Colored Puffy Paint

Factors That Affect The Drying Time Of Puffy Paint 

The factors that affect the drying time of puffy paint are the specific puffy paint brand that you use, where you let the item dry, and what fabric material is used.

Each puffy paint brand has different drying requirements and a set drying time length. We recommend reviewing the manufacturer’s instructions before beginning your project.    

When it comes to where you let the item dry, we recommend letting your puffy paint item dry in a hot room with access to sunlight. This will help remove moisture and allow the paint to dry more quickly with the lower humidity.

Thicker fabric material tends to hold onto the paint better but also may soak in more moisture, which will, in turn, need more time to dry completely.

Yet another factor is how much puffy paint is used on the piece. Lighter coats of puffy paint will dry faster than thicker coats. The more puffy paint you use in each coat, the longer you need to let it dry between coats.

How Do You Make Puffy Paint Dry Faster? (Tips & Tricks)

Using puffy paint can be a fun and enjoyable way to liven up your clothes, art, and home decor. It can be frustrating, however, waiting for the puffy paint to dry. How do you make puffy paint dry faster?

One of the best ways to make paint dry faster is to use a blow dryer. Position the blow dryer on the area that is drying the slowest. Then, gently move the blow dryer from side to side over the garment. This will not fully dry the paint, but it should make it possible to begin your second layer of puffy paint.  

For crafters using multiple layers of puffy paint, the blow dryer process can allow crafters to continue working on their fabric pieces without waiting the full 48-72 hours. Typically 30 minutes with a blow dryer is enough to continue using puffy paint on your piece.

However, even if you use the blow dryer to speed up the drying process, we recommend waiting a minimum of 48 hours before wearing or using your fabric item.

We also recommend waiting a minimum of 72 hours before washing your fabric item. If possible, let your puffy paint item dry in a hot location (such as a room with sunlight engulfing your item).  

Blow Dryer

Frequently Asked Puffy Paint Questions 

How long does it take for puffy paint to dry on a squishy? 

Puffy fabric paint takes roughly 12 to 36 hours to dry completely. The full time depends on the fabric of the squishy and the specific puffy paint brand used.

We recommend waiting the full 36 hours before moving your project, and 72 hours or more before washing or using the item. 

Can puffy paint be washed off?  

Washing puffy paint off of fabric can be frustrating, but it is not impossible. If you want to get puffy paint out of clothes or fabric, you want to first wash the piece of material using warm water as well as a soap-based cleaning solution.

Continue this process but add a small spoonful of detergent to the spot. Most puffy paint is water-soluble and by using primarily water, you can remove puffy paint from the material.

This will not work if your puffy paint has spent 72 hours drying and has fully hardened. We recommend fixing all puffy paint mistakes within a few hours of making them (by cleaning them off of your fabrics).  

Does puffy paint dry hard? 

Puffy paint dries hard and will typically begin to harden within four hours. If you are using puffy paint designed for fabric, it will set after 72 hours, and then it can be washed (without damaging the puffy paint).  

Can you make your own DIY puffy paint at home?  

Yes, you can make your own DIY puffy paint at home. However, DIY puffy paint typically doesn’t last longer than 5-10 days. It's not a good idea to use it for fabric, but it can be fun to use for painting.

To create DIY puffy paint, gather 1 ½ cup shaving cream, 1 cup glue, food coloring (to create the colors), and glitter (if you choose). Mix these items together and store them in a plastic container.  


Puffy paint is a fun DIY project for creating unique designs on shirts, hats, pants, pillows, and blankets. It typically takes 12 to 36 hours for puffy paint to completely dry, but we recommend waiting 72 hours before washing any fabric with puffy paint (to ensure it doesn’t wash off).