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