As an amatueur artist, dry paint and dust keeps getting caught up in my acrylic paintings when they are still wet. Any help on what to do to avoid this?

Dirt on painting
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2 Answers 2


It is always good to paint in dust-free environments, and/or in areas where there is little to no draft. You can opt to vacuum before painting, allowing time for the dust that gets swept up to settle first.
If you're working on a working table that's full of other stuff, like unfinished projects, dust and dirt will easily collect, and any sudden movement can lift it up and move it around, and ruin a painting being worked on—take this into account, as well.

As for letting the works dry: with smaller paintings, I often let them dry hanging on a wall in a spot I know there will be little to no draft, or facing up in a drawer of a cupboard or cabinet.
At times I've also used boxes to cover the drying paintings.

  • Hi, thanks for the reply, I have recently wiped down and cleaned the art surface. However, I use a wet on wet acrylic paint which takes a lot of time to dry in my studio. As a result, I used a hair dryer instead of waiting for hours for it to dry completely to speed up the drying process. Unfortunately, this then leads to dirt being found as shown on the picture shown.
    – Artsywolf
    Oct 12, 2023 at 15:53
  • 1
    @Artsywolf Yes, that can be quite detrimental, especially in areas that are already dusty. Acrylic paints shouldn't take very long to dry, not even when painting wet-in-wet: do you add a retarder or something to the paint, or is your working area moist or cold?
    – Joachim
    Oct 12, 2023 at 17:18

There is a lot of dust in your painting, so this answer assumes that you cleaned your work room of any visible dust on the floor and work surfaces as suggested by Joachim. If the problem persists after that, you should consider the flooring and furniture in the room you paint in.

The specks of dust look like they could come from an old carpet or the carpet-like flooring tiles commonly found in offices. Or maybe there are some old drapes on the windows that shed fibers. It could be a couch or armchair covered in velvety fabric that sheds fibers whenever someone sits down. Are you wearing clothes while painting that might shed fibers as you move? Look around you for any textile and try to find the culprit.

Also keep your brushes clean. I always put my fully dried brushes in a little cardboard box to avoid them collecting dust while not in use.

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