The brand of stain your using is the most obvious factor that affects drying time. Avoid unattractive lap marks by applying stain from an unpainted area back into the last wet stain. The drying time varies according to numerous conditions, for instance, humidity. Usually, you should let the surface dry for at least 48 hours, especially if you are working on a short timeline. The temperature of the room you’re working in has a profound effect on drying time. Sand the Surface. If you apply the polyurethane by brush, the layers will be thicker than if you spray it on or if you’re applying it and then wiping it off (a technique used in woodworking). Raw, sanded wood will absorb the first coat and will shorten the dry time. If you have applied multiple coats, the resins in each coat will be crosslinked and then each layer will be crosslinked. Gizmoplans.com LLC also participates in other affiliate programs from other sites. NEVER SHAKE. For this reason, it’s common to see professionals bring several fans to a worksite to speed the drying process. Some add oil and possibly other solvents. Let the wood air dry fully before staining. Every project is unique. Since external factors like temperature, humidity, and air circulation have such a pronounced effect on drying time, it’s difficult to provide a simple answer to this question. Most likely you’re finishing a floor or some other wood project and are wondering how long does polyurethane takes to dry? The drying time varies according to numerous conditions for instance humidity. When you apply polyurethane to the floor, you’re applying a layer of polyurethane resin in a liquid solvent, to the floor. 2. The can says let dry after final coat for 24 hours, but from what I've read on this forum it sounds like oil-based finishes can take weeks to dry fully. We hope you find something here that inspires and helps you to DIY! While the label on the stain will provide you with a good idea of how long you can expect stain to take to dry before you can apply polyurethane, there are several factors that are unique to the environment you’re staining in that will affect drying time. If you need to/want to put them on sooner, then 2 weeks is another good benchmark, but 30 days is better. Gizmoplans is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. So, how long to let stain dry before polyurethane can be applied? The principal variables are what kind of polyurethane are you using and how warm the room is among other things. Well, an oil-based polyurethane requires 24 hours to dry while its water-based counterpart needs 6 hours to dry to touch or slight traffic that allows you to go ahead … Gizmoplans.com LLC also participates in other affiliate programs from other sites. In some cases, applying poly over wet stain can reduce the bonding ability of the poly, which will end up ruining your finish over time. Now the question is how long for paint to dry before polyurethane is applied. The first phase is the “drying” phase. After 24 hours can walk on the floor with shoes. Switching from water to oil-based systems, it is recommended waiting only 24 hours. If you apply poly before the stain is adequately dry, you’re going to end up with stain mixing into your poly, poly that takes forever to dry, or worse. Like most simple questions, the answer is a bit more detailed. When applying over an existing finish, dry time increases. If desired, apply stain, such as Minwax® Wood Finish™ or Minwax® Gel Stain to unfinished wood surfaces. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. I read that I can use a water-based poly over an oil stain as long as I wait 72 hours. Conversely, a cooler temperature on a wet day could extend the drying time by as much as half a day. Painting your finish on will require a longer dry time. The stain was color matched to our new hickory floors, which are stained a medium-dark true brown (no yellow). As the moisture evaporates into the atmosphere, the stain begins to dry. I’ll be sending you the URL of my poly article, so you can see how it’s done. Curing time is the recommended length of time before using it. Your choices will not impact your visit. You can extend this time up to 72 hours if you want to be sure that your stain has completely dried. The times stated above are based on a 70°F (21°C) day and 70% humidity. Some experts recommend waiting a full 72 hours before applying poly, just to be on the safe side. Besides fans, open all of the windows in the room to increase air circulation further. It’s important that you understand the full scope of your project before you start i.e. Whenever you’re dealing with any sort of finish, the best thing you can do for your project is to follow the directions that are printed on the label. So if you’re wondering how long should stain dry before polyurethane coating can be applied, you are probably looking at a good solid day or two. Stain. Since the two of us have pretty much been self-employed our entire lives, we have a lot of experience designing and creating all sorts of DIY projects for businesses and homes—projects that have helped us make money or save money through the years! 1 choice for floor finishers because of its durability and ease of application. before applying poly, however you should at least wait 6-8hrs. I finished it with Minwax polyurethane satin. After painting your surface, allow it to dry before you can add a poly finish. 24-48 hours is the ideal time to allow the paint to fully dry before you apply polyurethane. If you are using one type of polyurethane with the same kind of solvent or oil, the chemical reaction turns out to be straightforward without a lot of mitigating factors. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. The basic rule for getting good results with any wood stain is to apply a wet coat and wipe off the excess before it dries.You can use any tool – rag, brush, paint pad, roller or spray gun – to apply the stain. If you are applying and then wiping off, or spraying, dry time is less. You can even dip the object into stain or pour the stain onto the wood and spread it around. GizmoPlans.com LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Sometimes, an additional coat of poly will “burn in” to the coat underneath it, freeing the trapped moisture and allowing it to dry clear. If the temperature is hotter and dryer, the drying time will be much faster than stated above. Below, we’ll cover some of the factors that can affect stain drying time. If using oil-based polyurethane, consider having a fire extinguisher handy. Most polyurethane can be applied from anywhere from 50-90 degrees. Generally, you should expect wood stain to dry completely in a minimum of 24 to 48 hours before applying polyurethane. Before using ANY chemical, read the instructions and pay particular attention to the safety precautions! Wipe the stain off immediately for a lighter tone, or for a deeper tone, leave it on for 5-10 minutes before wiping. Pay attention to how long you leave the stain on the wood before wiping off any unabsorbed … Woodworking When You Live In An Apartment. how many coats of polyurethane do you plan to apply, or do you expect to sand the floor? Note: Paper with a … Polyurethane takes hours, not minutes, to dry; that's a lot of time for dust to settle or bugs to land on the surface, marring the final product. Apply a second coat if you want a darker look. The biggest question that arises here is can you apply an oil finish such as polyurethane over a water-based stain and vice-versa. Stir Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane before and during use to eliminate settling on the bottom of the can. Lightly sanded and stained a dining table top with oak stain, let dry and did a second coat and let dry. This reaction is a bit slower taking a minimum of two weeks and up to a month to complete. If you’re hoping to shave off some drying time without sacrificing the integrity of the stain or poly, adding some fans to the room can have a big impact. Water-based polyurethane, a more recent development than the solvent-based variety, dries more quickly, thus making single-day floor finishing feasible. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. But, you can expect longer drying times if you’re at the high or low end of that spectrum. https://www.popularwoodworking.com/editors-blog/the_7_myths_of Last update on 2020-12-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. But, if you follow the directions on the stain and poly you’re working with, and account for the external factors we discussed when calculating your drying times, you should be well on your way to a perfect project. *. Brush the stain. Before staining wood, ask yourself why you want to change its color. Here are some more rules of thumb: Hey, this is Brian and Gene Luoma. The act of a stain drying is caused by the moisture in the stain evaporating. Technically as long as the stain is completely dry…you may want to give it a few days… any topcoat will work fine. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Does not raise the grain, eliminating the need for additional sanding. 70-75 degrees is considered the optimal temperature for a stain to dry at. Once the floor is fully cured, there is no further cause for concern. The next coat can be added now if needed. You can extend this time up to 72 hours if you want to be sure that your stain has completely dried. Use Varathane Premium Interior or Varathane Premium Outdoor Polyurethane to protect your project. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Don’t confuse dry time with curing time which can take up to 1 month depending on conditions. You can get stains to add color and the list goes on. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Oil-Based Stain Traits Requires 72 hours or more to dry. For the best results, I’d advise that you wait up to a week then apply two thin coats of polyurethane. Keep in mind that each manufacturer produces a range of finishes each with a secret recipe with different additives and chemicals affecting the application, the behavior of the product while you’re applying it, and the result. Are you wondering how long to let stain dry before polyurethane can be applied? Each subsequent coat consists of applying one layer over an existing layer of polyurethane and will take longer to dry. Allow Varathane Premium Gel Stains to dry a minimum of 8 hours before applying an oil-based finish, and 24 hours before applying a water-based finish. When you’re planning how you’re going to approach your project, keep in mind that the “rules of thumb” listed above are affected by a host of variables: Mixing polyurethanes is complex. It takes oil-based polyurethane 24 hours and water-based polyurethane 6 hours to dry enough to be able to walk on it in socks and proceed to the next step of the application process (sanding or applying the next coat). Some manufacturers add drying agents. It takes oil-based polyurethane 24 hours and water-based polyurethane 6 hours to dry enough to be able to walk on it in socks and proceed to the next step of the application process (sanding or applying the next coat). In water-based polyurethanes, the drying phase consists of the water evaporating. Your email address will not be published. So, is using polyurethane safe? The point of waiting is to ensure the first coat is completely dry before introducing a solvent that may not be compatible with the previous coat. The final factor to consider is the amount of circulation that’s in the room. Keep pets off and walk on the floors wearing socks. how long to let stain dry before polyurethane: Final Thoughts. Water simply dries faster than the oils or solvents. This applies to wet rags used to wipe up any liquids. Keep in mind that beyond the baseline information the manufacturer provides on their label, drying times can still vary widely depending on the conditions you’re in. Use oil-based formulas to get a longer working time so you can avoid dried lap marks when staining larger surfaces like floors and doors. Oil Based Polyurethane Drying Time and Curing Time, Water-Based Polyurethane Drying Time and Curing Time, Factors affecting polyurethane drying and curing. Read on, and we’ll give you all the info you need to know. Extremely humid conditions may even double your overall drying time. It’s only important that you wipe off all the excess before the stain dries.If you let the stain begin to dry in spots before wiping off, you will get a type o… This is when the polyurethane forms the hard, plastic barrier that will last for years protecting the floor. So, how long does Polyurethane take to dry? Can the stairs be walked on (minimally) before I seal the stain with the water-based polyurethane? LEGAL INFORMATION This site is owned and operated by GizmoPlans.com LLC. Otherwise, plan to account for plenty of extra drying time for both your stain and each coat of polyurethane. If you’re interested in saving or making money, browse on through. Your email address will not be published. Don’t wear shoes and don’t walk in bare feet. 6 hours before you can walk on the floors. How Long Does It Take for Minwax Stain to Dry? 48 hours can walk on the floor with shoes. The length of this type of project is measured in days and weeks instead of minutes and hours. The Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects Copyright © 2020. Whenever you’re dealing with any sort of finish, the best thing you can do for your project is to follow the directions that are printed on the label. In conclusion, to answer this complicated question and have a clear enough result you should be prepared to factor in a lot of different parameters that contribute to the time needed for the stain to dry. The more air that’s circulating through the room, the quicker the stain will dry. Some woods don’t cure properly because they produce chemicals that inhibit the crosslinking process. Avoid smoking or activities that could potentially generate sparks. linseed, tung, or walnut oils. Always follow directions. Follow directions. The solvent can be either water or some type of finishing the oil, e.g. Water-based systems are not flammable. Stir to rotate the product from the bottom to the top of the can. Remember you’re trying to form a single large molecule. Both water-based and oil-based products give off strong fumes as they dry (although oil-based is decidedly worse), so proper ventilation is a must. So, understand what type of finish or stain you are using and let it dry accordingly. Before adding additional coats of product, the following DRY times should be honored: It depends on a number of factors that you should consider as you plan out the project. Rosewoods and some aromatic cedars are included in this category. If you're extra cautious, you may even choose to wait 72 hours before appl… Sanding can be done now if you intend to. Apply the finish in a clean, well-ventilated area. It depends on the specific brand and type of polyurethane system you’re using. Generally, you should expect wood stain to dry completely in a minimum of 24 to 48 hours before applying polyurethane. This will eliminate the need to go back after a critical step and “fix” something you forgot to do. Length of time to dry for water borne polyurethane: Water based polyurethane dries faster Switching from oil to water-based systems, it is recommended that you wait 72 hours before applying the next coat. Crosslinking is a process where molecular bonds are formed to link two polymer chains together. Not only does humidity affect drying time, but it can also cause a cloudy look in your poly topcoat. The next coat can be added now if it requires another coat. Use a medium-width soft bristle brush. Don’t confuse dry time with curing time which can take up to 1 month depending on conditions. It may be impossible to dry out this top coat as by now it has lost it’s drying capabilities, … Clouding occurs when moisture from the poly is unable to release itself into the air before the poly dries. The second phase is the “curing” phase. Every finish and stain is different, and drying times can vary widely from brand to brand or product to product. Each component may impact the dry and cure time by a little or it may force you to change your entire approach. Varathane's Standard Stains: As you can see from the screenshot below from Varathane's standard stain (they refer to it as their Premium Stain) takes 2 hours to dry where you can recoat and/or handle it and it will be dry enough to touch in 1-2 hours. It takes a full 30 days for the floors to cure, so it’s ideal to wait 30 days before putting area rugs on the surface. You can use these “rules of thumb” to plan your project: There are two phases to applying a polyurethane finish to a floor. This site is owned and operated by GizmoPlans.com LLC. You can go for the standard time limit in that case. So, how long does Polyurethane take to dry? I have two questions: 1. Considering that open windows and fans can also help reduce and remove toxic fumes from your work environment, there’s no downside to making sure your workspace has plenty of circulation. 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