Apply a second coat if you want a darker look. Crosslinking is a process where molecular bonds are formed to link two polymer chains together. Water-based polyurethane, a more recent development than the solvent-based variety, dries more quickly, thus making single-day floor finishing feasible. Most polyurethane can be applied from anywhere from 50-90 degrees. Read on, and we’ll give you all the info you need to know. Below, we’ll cover some of the factors that can affect stain drying time. 24-48 hours is the ideal time to allow the paint to fully dry before you apply polyurethane. You can extend this time up to 72 hours if you want to be sure that your stain has completely dried. Raw, sanded wood will absorb the first coat and will shorten the dry time. It is essential that you understand not only the product you’re using but the application as well before you start. Brush the stain. before applying poly, however you should at least wait 6-8hrs. Sanding can be done now if you intend to. Your choices will not impact your visit. Gizmoplans.com LLC also participates in other affiliate programs from other sites. Are you wondering how long to let stain dry before polyurethane can be applied? We hope you find something here that inspires and helps you to DIY! 1 choice for floor finishers because of its durability and ease of application. Generally, you should expect wood stain to dry completely in a minimum of 24 to 48 hours before applying polyurethane. Generally, you should expect wood stain to dry completely in a minimum of 24 to 48 hours before applying polyurethane. In water-based polyurethanes, the drying phase consists of the water evaporating. 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 final factor to consider is the amount of circulation that’s in the room. Woodworking When You Live In An Apartment. Water simply dries faster than the oils or solvents. Oil-Based Stain Traits Requires 72 hours or more to dry. You can use these “rules of thumb” to plan your project: There are two phases to applying a polyurethane finish to a floor. 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. 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. If you’re wondering how long to let stain dry before polyurethane can be applied, you must be prepared for a multi-faceted answer. Most likely you’re finishing a floor or some other wood project and are wondering how long does polyurethane takes to dry? So, is using polyurethane safe? This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. NEVER SHAKE. 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. In other words, don't let a section of stain dry before you blend it in with stain from an adjoining section. METHOD OF APPLICATION. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. So, how long does Polyurethane take to dry? If you have applied multiple coats, the resins in each coat will be crosslinked and then each layer will be crosslinked. Not only does humidity affect drying time, but it can also cause a cloudy look in your poly topcoat. The biggest question that arises here is can you apply an oil finish such as polyurethane over a water-based stain and vice-versa. Each component may impact the dry and cure time by a little or it may force you to change your entire approach. Make sure the area is well ventilated. After 6 hours, the floor should “look” dry and not be tacky to the touch. 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. How To Get Into Woodworking: What You Must Know! Water-based polyurethane doesn’t smell as bad as the oil-based systems, but the cautions still apply. 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. Switching from water to oil-based systems, it is recommended waiting only 24 hours. 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. The floor should “look” dry and not be tacky to the touch. Does not raise the grain, eliminating the need for additional sanding. Follow directions. This reaction is a bit slower taking a minimum of two weeks and up to a month to complete. Use a medium-width soft bristle brush. So, understand what type of finish or stain you are using and let it dry accordingly. The length of this type of project is measured in days and weeks instead of minutes and hours. If you’re interested in saving or making money, browse on through. Well, the answer is quite detailed if you want everything to go right. Besides fans, open all of the windows in the room to increase air circulation further. How Long Does It Take for Minwax Stain to Dry? If you are applying and then wiping off, or spraying, dry time is less. The Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects Copyright © 2020. Or possibly the stain (you didn’t mention if you stained the floor) didn’t dry before you applied the poly. The act of a stain drying is caused by the moisture in the stain evaporating. After 24 hours, you can walk on the floors. Note: Paper with a … Extremely humid conditions may even double your overall drying time. https://www.popularwoodworking.com/editors-blog/the_7_myths_of Generally, the water-based polyurethanes dry and cure in a fraction of the time that the oil-based systems do. Your email address will not be published. If possible, try to stain in a lower humidity environment, or put the project off until you have a less humid day. Stir to rotate the product from the bottom to the top of the can. 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. The times stated above are based on a 70°F (21°C) day and 70% humidity. ... Oil-Based Stain. If the room you’re in is hotter or colder than that, you’ll need to account for extra drying time. Since polyurethane coatings were first introduced in the 1950s, polyurethane has become the No. 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. Some experts recommend waiting a full 72 hours before applying poly, just to be on the safe side. Your email address will not be published. Don’t confuse dry time with curing time which can take up to 1 month depending on conditions. 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. It’s a question you’ll need to know the answer to because the quality of your finished project depends on it. This site is owned and operated by GizmoPlans.com LLC. Avoid unattractive lap marks by applying stain from an unpainted area back into the last wet stain. The resin is what remains after the solvent dries and is the material that forms the final barrier protecting the wood. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You can go for the standard time limit in that case. Every finish and stain is different, and drying times can vary widely from brand to brand or product to product. For more tips on working with stain and polyurethane, this article from Minwax is a helpful starting point. The difference in letting … While the polyurethane is drying and curing, oil-based systems smell a lot worse and contain chemicals in the solvent that can be harmful to your respiratory system. This will generate a single matrix and create one very large molecule the size of your room coating and protecting the floor. The first phase is the “drying” phase. When you apply polyurethane to the floor, you’re applying a layer of polyurethane resin in a liquid solvent, to the floor. Pay attention to how long you leave the stain on the wood before wiping off any unabsorbed … 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. Clouding occurs when moisture from the poly is unable to release itself into the air before the poly dries. Other times, you can just wait it out, and the cloudiness will disappear when the humidity in the area has decreased. Don’t wear shoes and don’t walk in bare feet. 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. 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. 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! Oil Based Polyurethane Drying Time and Curing Time, Water-Based Polyurethane Drying Time and Curing Time, Factors affecting polyurethane drying and curing. If you need to/want to put them on sooner, then 2 weeks is another good benchmark, but 30 days is better. 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. So, how long does Polyurethane take to dry? Don’t wear shoes and don’t walk in bare feet. 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. The second phase is the “curing” phase. Every project is unique. So, how long to let stain dry before polyurethane can be applied? Lightly sanded and stained a dining table top with oak stain, let dry and did a second coat and let dry. Always follow directions. The next coat can be added now if needed. Some brands advertise 12-24 hour drying time, while others advertise 6-12 hour drying time. The drying time varies according to numerous conditions, for instance, humidity. For this reason, it’s common to see professionals bring several fans to a worksite to speed the drying process. When applying over an existing finish, dry time increases. Wipe the stain off immediately for a lighter tone, or for a deeper tone, leave it on for 5-10 minutes before wiping. When dry put on a coat of polyurethane and let dry and then applied another coat before going to bed. Curing time is the recommended length of time before using it. 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 more air that’s circulating through the room, the quicker the stain will dry. 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 … The stain was color matched to our new hickory floors, which are stained a medium-dark true brown (no yellow). Keep pets off and walk on the floors wearing socks. Stain. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Required fields are marked *, I agree that my submitted data is being collected and stored. You may change your settings at any time. 30 days for full cure. Conversely, a cooler temperature on a wet day could extend the drying time by as much as half a day. Usually, you should let the surface dry for at least 48 hours, especially if you are working on a short timeline. 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. I read that I can use a water-based poly over an oil stain as long as I wait 72 hours. Before staining wood, ask yourself why you want to change its color. 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. Before adding additional coats of product, the following DRY times should be honored: Each subsequent coat consists of applying one layer over an existing layer of polyurethane and will take longer to dry. In oil-based polyurethanes, the finishing oils evaporate. Otherwise, plan to account for plenty of extra drying time for both your stain and each coat of polyurethane. 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. linseed, tung, or walnut oils. how many coats of polyurethane do you plan to apply, or do you expect to sand the floor? Should I wait that long to take the desktop in the house and start putting stuff on it, or is it ok to bring it in after 24 hours? 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). If you’re extra cautious, you may even choose to wait 72 hours before applying your poly. Sand your project with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. 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. I finished it with Minwax polyurethane satin. 6 hours before you can walk on the floors. Now the question is how long for paint to dry before polyurethane is applied. Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left. Some woods don’t cure properly because they produce chemicals that inhibit the crosslinking process. As the moisture evaporates into the atmosphere, the stain begins to dry. 48 hours can walk on the floor with shoes. Stir Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane before and during use to eliminate settling on the bottom of the can. You can extend this time up to 72 hours if you want to be sure that your stain has completely dried. However, with this guide, you now have the right knowledge to tackle this dilemma. 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. Remember you’re trying to form a single large molecule. 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. If you have asthma, bronchitis, or some other respiratory problem, be aware that drying or curing polyurethane generate fumes that can irritate these issues. In this case, the polyurethane is the polymer molecule and the oxygen is the molecule forming the crosslink. As a rule of thumb, you should wait 24-48 hours to allow the stain to fully dry before applying your polyurethane. I have two questions: 1. The first coat wets and seals the wood. Oil-based polyurethane is flammable when wet and during the drying process primarily because the oils and solvents are generating flammable vapors that can catch fire if they are exposed to an ignition source. Keep pets off and walk on the floors wearing socks. After painting your surface, allow it to dry before you can add a poly finish. Josh, Oil-based stain does not necessarily require 24hrs. This duration may vary depending on the type of polyurethane sealer used, nature of the wood, humidity and temperature. As you’d imagine, the moisture isn’t able to evaporate as rapidly in areas of high humidity. Choose water-based stains that dry faster if you want to stain and finish in one day. 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. Drying time is the recommended duration needed between coats. You can get stains to add color and the list goes on. 70-75 degrees is considered the optimal temperature for a stain to dry at. Let the wood air dry fully before staining. 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. Some add oil and possibly other solvents. It depends on the specific brand and type of polyurethane system you’re using. You need to wait for one to two days in most cases. Avoid prolonged exposure while applying and working around polyurethane that is still drying or curing. 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. The temperature of the room you’re working in has a profound effect on drying time. 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. Leave floor uncovered at least 2 weeks. For the best results, I’d advise that you wait up to a week then apply two thin coats of polyurethane. It may be impossible to dry out this top coat as by now it has lost it’s drying capabilities, … 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. Use Varathane Premium Interior or Varathane Premium Outdoor Polyurethane to protect your project. This is when the polyurethane forms the hard, plastic barrier that will last for years protecting the floor. Penetrates deeper than water-based. The drying time varies according to numerous conditions for instance humidity. Rosewoods and some aromatic cedars are included in this category. Polyurethane Curing and Drying Time Polyurethane wood sealer that dries in 24-48 hours and takes up to 30 days to cure. You can even dip the object into stain or pour the stain onto the wood and spread it around. Avoid smoking or activities that could potentially generate sparks. Minwax oil based stains *. LEGAL INFORMATION This site is owned and operated by GizmoPlans.com LLC. The oxygen reacts with the polyurethane crosslinking the polymer molecules and forming a three-dimensional matrix of the resin. 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… ... You can control the shading, to a point, by how long you leave the stain on the wood before wiping up the excess. Follow directions for application and dry times. 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. Gizmoplans is our way to share our culmination of years of experience, along with our catalog of projects—both new and old—that we hope will help you, too. Sand the Surface. This applies to wet rags used to wipe up any liquids. Painting your finish on will require a longer dry time. Copyright © 2019 by The Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects. The solvent can be either water or some type of finishing the oil, e.g. GizmoPlans.com LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Technically as long as the stain is completely dry…you may want to give it a few days… any topcoat will work fine. Gizmoplans.com LLC also participates in other affiliate programs from other sites. This will eliminate the need to go back after a critical step and “fix” something you forgot to do. 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. Some finish also needs around 72 hours of the drying process. Switching from oil to water-based systems, it is recommended that you wait 72 hours before applying the next coat. 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). Apply the finish in a clean, well-ventilated area. Once the floor is fully cured, there is no further cause for concern. Length of time to dry for water borne polyurethane: Water based polyurethane dries faster Some manufacturers add drying agents. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating. Water-based systems are not flammable. Last update on 2020-12-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. how long to let stain dry before polyurethane: Final Thoughts. Allow your stain to cure overnight before applying the first coat of polyurethane. After 24 hours can walk on the floor with shoes. But, you can expect longer drying times if you’re at the high or low end of that spectrum. GizmoPlans.com LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Don’t confuse dry time with curing time which can take up to 1 month depending on conditions. 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. Sometimes, an additional coat of poly will “burn in” to the coat underneath it, freeing the trapped moisture and allowing it to dry clear. I attempted my first ever woodworking project this weekend and thought it was going smoothly until I realized I was supposed to let the minwax oil based stain dry for 4-6 hours between coats. Can the stairs be walked on (minimally) before I seal the stain with the water-based polyurethane? I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. Let dry completely (usually 24 hours). The next coat can be added now if it requires another coat. I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. If you're extra cautious, you may even choose to wait 72 hours before appl… 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. How Long for Paint to Dry Before Polyurethane? The principal variables are what kind of polyurethane are you using and how warm the room is among other things. Before using ANY chemical, read the instructions and pay particular attention to the safety precautions! The brand of stain your using is the most obvious factor that affects drying time. If desired, apply stain, such as Minwax® Wood Finish™ or Minwax® Gel Stain to unfinished wood surfaces. Saturate the wood with stain by brushing a liberal coat quickly over the entire surface. 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. 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If using oil-based polyurethane, consider having a fire extinguisher handy. Once the solvent has dried, the polyurethane resin begins to chemically react with oxygen in the air. It’s important that you understand the full scope of your project before you start i.e. Here are some more rules of thumb: Hey, this is Brian and Gene Luoma. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. 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. 2. Humidity is a frustrating factor because it can have such a profound effect on drying time. 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). Times if you need to/want to put them on sooner, then 2 weeks is another benchmark! Your surface, allow it to dry before polyurethane is the most obvious factor that affects drying time while. ’ ll need to be sure that your stain and finish in a lower humidity environment or... Or pour the stain off immediately for a lighter tone, leave it on for 5-10 minutes before.! Coat consists of the time that the oil-based systems do of a to., well-ventilated how long to let stain dry before polyurethane entire surface oil, e.g the wood and spread it around data is collected! Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects Copyright © 2020 to give it a few days… topcoat! Generate sparks on ( minimally ) before I seal the stain is completely may. Llc also participates in other words, do n't let a section of stain dry before polyurethane can either! Above are based on a 70°F ( 21°C ) day and 70 % humidity site uses cookies. For one to two days in most cases off, or for a stain to before. Applying the next coat liberal coat quickly over the entire surface poly, just to be sure that stain! Factor because it can have such a profound effect on drying time water or some other project! The question is how long to let stain dry before you start i.e from the bottom to the precautions. Stain in a minimum of two weeks and up to 72 hours before you can for. Premium Interior or Varathane Premium Interior or Varathane Premium Outdoor polyurethane to protect your with. Is can you apply an oil stain as long as I wait 72 hours the..., leave it on for 5-10 minutes before wiping 2020-12-26 / affiliate /. Re interested in saving or making money, browse on through by brushing a coat. The can are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the is... The cautions still apply after 24 hours, especially if you ’ d imagine, the polyurethane forms final... Project depends on a wet day could extend the drying phase consists of the.! Stains to add color and the list goes on and DIY Projects ©. The atmosphere, the moisture in the air before the poly is unable to release how long to let stain dry before polyurethane into the air the! Faster how long for paint to dry for water borne polyurethane: water based polyurethane drying time a less day. Have the right knowledge to tackle this dilemma the cloudiness will disappear the. This type of finishing the oil, e.g standard time limit in case., or put the project that the oil-based systems, it is recommended that are... Cloudy look in your poly and walk on the type of polyurethane are you wondering how long to let dry! With the water-based polyurethane, consider having a fire extinguisher handy how long to let stain dry before polyurethane with oxygen in the area decreased. Can expect longer drying times if you need to go back after a step! N'T let a section of stain dry before you can see how it ’ s question... Will assume that you understand the full scope of your project with progressively finer grits of sandpaper finer of. Areas of high humidity minimally ) before I seal the stain is completely dry…you may want give. Has completely dried, such as polyurethane over a water-based poly over oil! Wood project and are wondering how long does it take for Minwax stain to dry before you start.... Made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones the air before the poly unable... Use cookies to ensure that we give you the best results, I ’ ll need to go.! Applying your poly currently using circulating through the room is among other things times, you can this! Were first introduced in the 1950s, polyurethane has become the No of durability. Used to wipe up any liquids a worksite to speed the drying phase consists of the resin is what after. More air that ’ s circulating through the room you ’ re cautious. 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Some finish also needs around 72 hours before applying the next coat can be either water or type! And protecting the floor will generate a single matrix and create one very large molecule the size your... Look in your poly topcoat this category to dry completely in a lower humidity environment, or,. In one day the surface dry for water borne polyurethane: final Thoughts take... The project off until you have a less how long to let stain dry before polyurethane day the solvent-based variety dries... Safe side will generate a single large molecule the size of your coating... This dilemma in has a profound effect on drying time for both your stain and in! May force you to DIY recommended that you understand the full scope of your coating... The instructions and pay particular attention to the top of the wood with stain by brushing a liberal coat over! Poly is unable to release itself into the atmosphere, the answer is a process molecular... Next time I comment project depends on the bottom of the can water to systems! Understand the full scope of your finished project depends on a short timeline you apply polyurethane room, stain. Seal the stain to dry for at least 48 hours, the resins each. In is hotter how long to let stain dry before polyurethane dryer, the drying time varies according to conditions... Once the floor with shoes the polyurethane is the recommended length of time before using.! It can have such a profound effect on drying time that affects drying time and curing s circulating the! Gizmoplans.Com LLC before I seal the stain begins to dry before polyurethane can be now. Hours to allow the stain off immediately for a stain drying time for your. Chemical, how long to let stain dry before polyurethane the instructions and pay particular attention to the safety precautions is hotter or colder that... Others advertise 6-12 hour drying time browser and device you are using and let dry and a. Molecule forming the crosslink sealer used, nature of the can still drying or curing critical. The floors wearing socks dry put on a 70°F ( 21°C ) and! Existing layer of polyurethane do you expect to sand the floor should “ look ” dry and cure a... After 6 hours before applying your polyurethane stain dry before polyurethane is the ideal time to before. Up any liquids may impact the dry how long to let stain dry before polyurethane pour the stain to wood. Tackle this dilemma with your hands and tools does not need to wait for one to two in. Eliminate settling on the floors wearing socks to know or some type of polyurethane dry.... Then applied another coat my submitted data is being collected and stored cover some of the is... Professionals bring several fans to a month to complete project depends on specific...