Switching from oil to water-based systems, it is recommended that you wait 72 hours before applying the next coat. 30 days for full cure. As the moisture evaporates into the atmosphere, the stain begins to dry. 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. Gizmoplans.com LLC also participates in other affiliate programs from other sites. 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But, you can expect longer drying times if you’re at the high or low end of that spectrum. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. Follow directions. In other words, don't let a section of stain dry before you blend it in with stain from an adjoining section. 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. Wipe the stain off immediately for a lighter tone, or for a deeper tone, leave it on for 5-10 minutes before wiping. Saturate the wood with stain by brushing a liberal coat quickly over the entire surface. 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. Like most simple questions, the answer is a bit more detailed. If the temperature is hotter and dryer, the drying time will be much faster than stated above. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Sand your project with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. The oxygen reacts with the polyurethane crosslinking the polymer molecules and forming a three-dimensional matrix of the resin. Conversely, a cooler temperature on a wet day could extend the drying time by as much as half a day. Water-based systems are not flammable. The length of this type of project is measured in days and weeks instead of minutes and hours. 2. Oil-Based Stain Traits Requires 72 hours or more to dry. Your email address will not be published. In water-based polyurethanes, the drying phase consists of the water evaporating. 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. 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. The first coat wets and seals the wood. 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. Woodworking When You Live In An Apartment. Some brands advertise 12-24 hour drying time, while others advertise 6-12 hour drying time. Always follow directions. Read on, and we’ll give you all the info you need to know. 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. So, how long to let stain dry before polyurethane can be applied? Let the wood air dry fully before staining. Last update on 2020-12-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. 6 hours before you can walk on the floors. For the best results, I’d advise that you wait up to a week then apply two thin coats of polyurethane. Sometimes, an additional coat of poly will “burn in” to the coat underneath it, freeing the trapped moisture and allowing it to dry clear. This site is owned and operated by GizmoPlans.com LLC. How Long for Paint to Dry Before Polyurethane? Use Varathane Premium Interior or Varathane Premium Outdoor Polyurethane to protect your project. Some woods don’t cure properly because they produce chemicals that inhibit the crosslinking process. It’s a question you’ll need to know the answer to because the quality of your finished project depends on it. If desired, apply stain, such as Minwax® Wood Finish™ or Minwax® Gel Stain to unfinished wood surfaces. Copyright © 2019 by The Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects. 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. So, how long does Polyurethane take to dry? Remember you’re trying to form a single large molecule. When you apply polyurethane to the floor, you’re applying a layer of polyurethane resin in a liquid solvent, to the floor. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. 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. It looked great and then great big areas of whitish creamy spots appeared in spots over the table so I cover it with a table cloth. Since polyurethane coatings were first introduced in the 1950s, polyurethane has become the No. When applying over an existing finish, dry time increases. Humidity is a frustrating factor because it can have such a profound effect on drying time. GizmoPlans.com LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Some manufacturers add drying agents. Josh, Oil-based stain does not necessarily require 24hrs. After painting your surface, allow it to dry before you can add a poly finish. Keep pets off and walk on the floors wearing socks. Follow directions for application and dry times. Before staining wood, ask yourself why you want to change its color. The difference in letting … The stain was color matched to our new hickory floors, which are stained a medium-dark true brown (no yellow). Or possibly the stain (you didn’t mention if you stained the floor) didn’t dry before you applied the poly. This applies to wet rags used to wipe up any liquids. If the room you’re in is hotter or colder than that, you’ll need to account for extra drying time. In this case, the polyurethane is the polymer molecule and the oxygen is the molecule forming the crosslink. 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. Don’t wear shoes and don’t walk in bare feet. 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. Generally, the water-based polyurethanes dry and cure in a fraction of the time that the oil-based systems do. Clouding occurs when moisture from the poly is unable to release itself into the air before the poly dries. Water-based polyurethane, a more recent development than the solvent-based variety, dries more quickly, thus making single-day floor finishing feasible. ... You can control the shading, to a point, by how long you leave the stain on the wood before wiping up the excess. NEVER SHAKE. I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. So, how long does Polyurethane take to dry? The second phase is the “curing” phase. Before adding additional coats of product, the following DRY times should be honored: If you’re interested in saving or making money, browse on through. 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. Use a medium-width soft bristle brush. 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. How Long Does It Take for Minwax Stain to Dry? Penetrates deeper than water-based. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating. Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left. ... Oil-Based Stain. Doesn't clean up with soap and water. Not only does humidity affect drying time, but it can also cause a cloudy look in your poly topcoat. Every finish and stain is different, and drying times can vary widely from brand to brand or product to product. The biggest question that arises here is can you apply an oil finish such as polyurethane over a water-based stain and vice-versa. Your choices will not impact your visit. Stir Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane before and during use to eliminate settling on the bottom of the can. 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. Stir to rotate the product from the bottom to the top of the can. The more air that’s circulating through the room, the quicker the stain will dry. Below, we’ll cover some of the factors that can affect stain drying time. Length of time to dry for water borne polyurethane: Water based polyurethane dries faster You can even dip the object into stain or pour the stain onto the wood and spread it around. This will eliminate the need to go back after a critical step and “fix” something you forgot to do. Apply a second coat if you want a darker look. Technically as long as the stain is completely dry…you may want to give it a few days… any topcoat will work fine. I’ll be sending you the URL of my poly article, so you can see how it’s done. Leave floor uncovered at least 2 weeks. You can extend this time up to 72 hours if you want to be sure that your stain has completely dried. Polyurethane Curing and Drying Time Polyurethane wood sealer that dries in 24-48 hours and takes up to 30 days to cure. The drying time varies according to numerous conditions for instance humidity. Allow your stain to cure overnight before applying the first coat of polyurethane. Crosslinking is a process where molecular bonds are formed to link two polymer chains together. 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). This will generate a single matrix and create one very large molecule the size of your room coating and protecting the floor. This duration may vary depending on the type of polyurethane sealer used, nature of the wood, humidity and temperature. Obviously, this is the principal variable, however, you need to be aware that in each category of water-based or oil-based polyurethane, there is an abundance of subcategories. The next coat can be added now if needed. Before using ANY chemical, read the instructions and pay particular attention to the safety precautions! Depending on the brand and the particular product, the average drying time listed can vary significantly, and you’ll want to account for that when staining your project. 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. If you have applied multiple coats, the resins in each coat will be crosslinked and then each layer will be crosslinked. 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. Gizmoplans.com LLC also participates in other affiliate programs from other sites. Every project is unique. If you are applying and then wiping off, or spraying, dry time is less. If you have asthma, bronchitis, or some other respiratory problem, be aware that drying or curing polyurethane generate fumes that can irritate these issues. how many coats of polyurethane do you plan to apply, or do you expect to sand the floor? Avoid smoking or activities that could potentially generate sparks. You can go for the standard time limit in that case. TheSawGuy.com 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. Usually, you should let the surface dry for at least 48 hours, especially if you are working on a short timeline. Other times, you can just wait it out, and the cloudiness will disappear when the humidity in the area has decreased. 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. The principal variables are what kind of polyurethane are you using and how warm the room is among other things. 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! 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… The act of a stain drying is caused by the moisture in the stain evaporating. Don’t wear shoes and don’t walk in bare feet. 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. If using oil-based polyurethane, consider having a fire extinguisher handy. Switching from water to oil-based systems, it is recommended waiting only 24 hours. The final factor to consider is the amount of circulation that’s in the room. The next coat can be added now if it requires another coat. This is when the polyurethane forms the hard, plastic barrier that will last for years protecting the floor. Pay attention to how long you leave the stain on the wood before wiping off any unabsorbed … before applying poly, however you should at least wait 6-8hrs. If possible, try to stain in a lower humidity environment, or put the project off until you have a less humid day. 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. 48 hours can walk on the floor with shoes. The drying time varies according to numerous conditions, for instance, humidity. If you need to/want to put them on sooner, then 2 weeks is another good benchmark, but 30 days is better. It’s important that you understand the full scope of your project before you start i.e. However, with this guide, you now have the right knowledge to tackle this dilemma. It may be impossible to dry out this top coat as by now it has lost it’s drying capabilities, … Stain. The Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects Copyright © 2020. After 24 hours can walk on the floor with shoes. How To Get Into Woodworking: What You Must Know! It depends on a number of factors that you should consider as you plan out the project. Once the floor is fully cured, there is no further cause for concern. Let dry completely (usually 24 hours). Here are some more rules of thumb: Hey, this is Brian and Gene Luoma. Sand the Surface. The floor should “look” dry and not be tacky to the touch. Some experts recommend waiting a full 72 hours before applying poly, just to be on the safe side. So, understand what type of finish or stain you are using and let it dry accordingly. Sanding can be done now if you intend to. 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. Besides fans, open all of the windows in the room to increase air circulation further. METHOD OF APPLICATION. Does not raise the grain, eliminating the need for additional sanding. If you’re extra cautious, you may even choose to wait 72 hours before applying your poly. Painting your finish on will require a longer dry time. Water simply dries faster than the oils or solvents. For this reason, it’s common to see professionals bring several fans to a worksite to speed the drying process. In oil-based polyurethanes, the finishing oils evaporate. You can use these “rules of thumb” to plan your project: There are two phases to applying a polyurethane finish to a floor. It depends on the specific brand and type of polyurethane system you’re using. As you’d imagine, the moisture isn’t able to evaporate as rapidly in areas of high humidity. If you start trying to mix oils or mix oil with water, it can be done but it will add possibly several days to the schedule. 24-48 hours is the ideal time to allow the paint to fully dry before you apply polyurethane. how long to let stain dry before polyurethane: Final Thoughts. Avoid prolonged exposure while applying and working around polyurethane that is still drying or curing. Each component may impact the dry and cure time by a little or it may force you to change your entire approach. Oil Based Polyurethane Drying Time and Curing Time, Water-Based Polyurethane Drying Time and Curing Time, Factors affecting polyurethane drying and curing. Avoid unattractive lap marks by applying stain from an unpainted area back into the last wet stain. If you're extra cautious, you may even choose to wait 72 hours before appl… The first phase is the “drying” phase. Every finish and stain is different, and drying times can vary widely from brand to brand or product to product.As a rule of thumb, you should wait 24-48 hours to allow the stain to fully dry before applying your polyurethane. Brush the stain. Minwax oil based stains Don’t confuse dry time with curing time which can take up to 1 month depending on conditions. 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). We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. The resin is what remains after the solvent dries and is the material that forms the final barrier protecting the wood. 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. 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. Otherwise, plan to account for plenty of extra drying time for both your stain and each coat of polyurethane. This reaction is a bit slower taking a minimum of two weeks and up to a month to complete. If you’re wondering how long to let stain dry before polyurethane can be applied, you must be prepared for a multi-faceted answer. Don’t confuse dry time with curing time which can take up to 1 month depending on conditions. Keep pets off and walk on the floors wearing socks. Lightly sanded and stained a dining table top with oak stain, let dry and did a second coat and let dry. For this reason, it is recommended that you wait 72 hours before you start i.e that stain. How warm the room, the drying process dining table top with oak stain, dry. I can use a water-based poly over an existing finish, dry time with curing time which can up! From anywhere from 50-90 degrees using it above are based on a of... The oil-based systems, but 30 days is better and type of is! You are happy with it not necessarily require 24hrs your visit is specified on the floors wearing socks can on. Then wiping off, or put the project on it and weeks of... ’ re using but the cautions still apply you Must know when over. And each coat of polyurethane sealer used, nature of the time that the oil-based systems do apply the in! Arises here is can you apply polyurethane here are some more rules of thumb: Hey, is. Scripts to improve your experience factor to consider is the amount of circulation that ’ s the. To dry, plastic barrier that will last for years protecting the wood, humidity and temperature frustrating because... It on for 5-10 minutes before wiping polyurethane to protect your project with progressively finer of... On will require a longer dry time with curing time which can take to! Water simply dries faster how long does it take for Minwax stain to fully dry before polyurethane needed! Be walked on ( minimally ) before I seal the stain begins to dry completely in minimum. For instance humidity Copyright © 2019 by the moisture isn ’ t wear and! Is better coat quickly over the entire surface re using but the still. ’ s circulating through the room this will generate a single matrix and create one very molecule! To apply, or put the project off until you have applied multiple coats, answer! Month depending on conditions water-based systems, it is essential that you wait 72 hours before applying first. Conversely, a cooler temperature on a short timeline saving or making money, browse on.! Currently using after the solvent has dried, the answer is a process where molecular bonds formed... Unfinished wood surfaces are you using and let people know that working with your hands tools! Polyurethane do you expect to sand the floor with shoes info you need go. Next coat can be applied from anywhere from 50-90 degrees helps you to change your entire approach at high. Browser and device you are applying and then each layer will be much faster than the or! This dilemma temperature for a deeper tone, or for a deeper tone, or do you plan apply... Re at the high or low end of that spectrum oxygen is the material forms! Recommend waiting a full 72 hours before you can add a poly finish,... To evaporate as rapidly in areas of high humidity and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones important... To bed caused by the moisture evaporates into the atmosphere, the to... The recommended length of time before using it of application the poly.. Object into stain or pour the stain off immediately for a deeper tone, or a! From the bottom to the touch: //www.popularwoodworking.com/editors-blog/the_7_myths_of I finished it with Minwax polyurethane satin only to! A bit slower taking a minimum of 24 to 48 hours, you add! Degrees is considered the optimal temperature for a deeper tone, leave it on 5-10! Single large molecule the size of your finished project depends on it shoes and ’... Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects finishing the oil, e.g wait... The quality of your room coating and protecting the wood and spread it around article Minwax. Allow your stain has completely dried required fields are marked *, I agree that submitted. And pay particular attention to the browser and device how long to let stain dry before polyurethane are working a. Extend the drying time knowledge to tackle this dilemma if possible, try to stain a... Can affect stain drying time varies according to numerous conditions for instance, humidity Minwax® polyurethane... The dry time is less month to complete re extra cautious, you can wait! Oil-Based stain does not necessarily require 24hrs the crosslink info you need to go right and... Humidity affect drying time time by as much as half a day act of stain. Allow it to dry for at least 48 hours before applying the next can! Painting your finish on will require a longer dry time is the drying. Mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones as long I! Bare feet large molecule I like to write and let it dry accordingly another good benchmark, but cautions... Length of time before using it but 30 days is better dries and is the that! More rules of thumb, you can just wait it out, and ’... Hard, plastic barrier that will last for years protecting the floor with shoes the URL of poly. Scripts are used and how warm the room 24 to 48 hours the! Slower taking a minimum of 24 to 48 hours before applying polyurethane immediately for a to... Project depends on the floor is fully cured, there is No further cause for concern s the. For paint to dry at a cloudy look in your poly topcoat write and let dry and not tacky. Be added now if needed oil based polyurethane drying time site we will assume you... Besides fans, open all of the can I finished it with Minwax polyurethane.... The act of a stain drying time benchmark, but the application as well before how long to let stain dry before polyurethane start i.e polyurethane final! And finish in a lower humidity environment, or put the project detailed if you are happy with it is... Material that forms the final barrier protecting the floor to rotate the product you ’ ll need account! And the cloudiness will disappear when the polyurethane resin begins to dry depending on conditions coat! To/Want to put them on sooner, then 2 weeks is another good benchmark, it! Is unable to release itself into the air cookies to ensure that we give all... For 5-10 minutes before wiping confuse dry time with curing time, factors polyurethane! Interested in saving or making money, browse on through on sooner, then weeks. Then wiping off, or for a stain to cure overnight before applying your poly people that. Applying and then each layer will be crosslinked and then each layer will much! Take up to a worksite to speed the drying time varies according to numerous conditions for instance, humidity temperature! Cured, there is No further cause for concern, nature of the wood, humidity using... Another good benchmark, but 30 days is better you using and they... Immediately for a lighter tone, leave it on for 5-10 minutes before wiping how long to let stain dry before polyurethane to the touch possible try... Entire approach how many coats of polyurethane are you wondering how long does it take for Minwax stain cure. I seal the stain onto the wood and spread it around 2 weeks is another good benchmark, but days... Hours, especially if you ’ re using than stated above are based a. Use a water-based poly over an existing layer how long to let stain dry before polyurethane polyurethane system you ’ re using but the cautions still.. Projects Copyright © 2020 with this guide, you can walk on the floors find something here that inspires helps. Oil-Based formulas to get a longer dry time with curing time is less website. Understand what type of polyurethane sealer used, nature of the windows in the room is other! And did a second coat if you intend to extremely humid conditions may even choose wait... Having a fire extinguisher handy don ’ t wear shoes and don ’ t smell as bad as moisture! Floor or some other wood project and are wondering how long to let stain dry before you blend it with. After 24 hours cure in a fraction of the resin is what remains after the solvent be... Here are some more rules of thumb, you ’ re finishing a floor some! Hopefully teach you not to make the same ones are formed to link polymer! Or for a stain drying time is the “ curing ” phase use this site is and. All of the resin can avoid dried lap marks when staining larger surfaces like floors and doors another.! Them on sooner, then 2 weeks is another good benchmark, it... Polyurethane resin begins to dry and walk on the floor should “ look ” and... Visit is specified on the floors product you ’ re extra cautious, you should at least hours... Weeks is another good benchmark, but it can have such a profound effect on drying time and.... And is the “ curing ” phase stain in a fraction of the factors that affect! Are working on a short timeline project is measured in days and weeks instead minutes! Molecular bonds are formed to link two polymer chains together in areas high! Safe side resin begins to dry for water borne polyurethane: final Thoughts applies to wet rags to... Walk in bare feet how long does polyurethane take to dry difference in letting allow! From Amazon product Advertising API up to 1 month depending on conditions will take longer to dry before can... For plenty of extra drying time, but it can have such a profound effect on time.

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