If you are having trouble with woodworking, you may wonder how long to let stain dry before polyurethrane? You may be wondering how much time you need let stain dry before you can apply polyurethane. This is a crucial step to consider since it has a significant effect on the quality of your end product. If the stain is not well dried and you make a mistake of applying poly, then you will end up with stain mixing which takes forever to dry. It can also ruin your finish.
The time it takes for a stain to dry depends on the type of stain used. Different stains take vary in the duration they take to dry. Here is how long you should let different brands of stain dry before applying polyurethane.
Let’s find out more about how long to let stain dry before polyurethrane now!
How Long to Let Oil-Based Stains Dry Before Polyurethrane?
When it comes to how long to let stain dry before polyuethrane, we need to distinguish oil-based and water-based so that we can know exactly the time the ywill get dry
- Minwax oil-based stain typically dries in 12 hours,
- Varathane stains take a minimum of 8 hours to dry before applying a topcoat.
- Behr stain usually takes 72 hours to completely dry, and
- Cabot stains take at least 24 hours to dry.
- Osmo stains can take more than 12 hours to fully dry.
How Long to Let Water-Based Stains Dry Before Polyurethrane?
- Minwax water-based stain – it takes approximately 3 hours to dry.
- General finishes wood stain, which takes around 3 to 4 hours drying time.
How long to let stain dry before polyurethrane with the wood stain is in a minimum of 24 to 48 hours before applying polyurethane.
If you want to be extra certain that your stain has completely dried, extend the drying time up 72 hours. The amount of time it takes for water-based stains vs oil-based stains varies, as does the drying time according to conditions such as humidity.
Minwax Oil-Based Stains
- Minwax offers oil-based stains in liquid, consol, and gel form. There are also standard and performance stains.
- All of Minwax’s oil-based products – including the standard and performance stains – have the same drying time recommendation.
For all types of wood, the minimum time before being able to recoat it is 8 hours. However, after recoating, the time will depend on both the brand and type of product used; this ranges from 2 hours up to 12.
To speed up drying times, you can seal the wood with dewaxed shellac like Zinsser’s seal coat after only 2 to 3 hours have passed. Afterwards, apply a water-based polyurethane.
Minwax’s gel (oil-based) stains take even longer to dry; at least 24 hour are required before you can recoat them.. When using these gel stains, you’ll need anywhere from 8 to 10 hours in between coats.
Cabot Oil-Based Stains
Cabot has a lot of different types of oil-based stains, and most of them have similar drying time frames. Most of the stains will dry after 24 hours, but some may take between 24 and 48 hours to completely dry, like their Australian Timber Oil.
Behr Oil-Based Stain
All Behr wood stains in how long to let stain dry before polyurethrane have nearly the same recommended drying time frames.
The standard time for all of them is 1 to 2 hours until the stain is dry to touch. It is at this point that a recoat can be applied if you want to.
For the stain to completely cure, it requires at least 72 hours.
Varathane also offers different stains like Minwax. They have a standard stain(liquid), a gel-based stain and an aerosol.
Varathane gives the dry times of their stains a controlled environment of between 70 and 80 degrees and humidity of 50%.
Varathane Standard Stains
They refer to it as their premium stain. It takes 2 hours to dry and after recoating it is handled and dry enough to touch in 1 to 2 hours.
Varathane Gel Stains
This stain requires at least 8 hours to dry before applying polyurethane (2 hours to dry, 1-2 hour recoat, and 2-4 hour drying time after application).
Osmo suggests that the stain should dry for 12 hours under conditions of 73.4 degrees (F) and 50% humidity; however, if the temperature is lower than 73.4 degrees or humidity is higher, it will take longer than 12 hours to dry completely.
With this high quality wood stain, your deck will be cured and ready to use again within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the starting moisture level of your deck and the type of wood it is made from.
Water Based Stain
General Finishes Wood Stain
Under ideal conditions of humidity (70%) and temperature (70 degrees), it takes this brand of stain 3-4 hours to dry. Take note this when you learn about how long to let stain dry before polyurethrane.
However, cooler temperatures and higher humidity will lengthen the amount of time needed for the stain to dry, while air movement and higher temperatures tend to speed up the drying process.
Minwax Water-Based Stain
The stain will be dry and ready to touch in two hours, at which time a second coat can be applied. However, if the application is heavy, done in high humidity or low temperatures, this dry time may be pushed forward. Polyurethane can only be applied once the stain is completely dried up.
How Long to Let Stain Dry before Polyurethane: Interior vs Exterior?
Let’s discuss how long you should wait for a stain to dry before adding a coat of polyurethane, both inside and outside. The drying time will differ because of the differences in their environment.
- For interior stains, the air is warmer indoors and can be controlled with a lower humidity level—but this entirely depends on where you live. It generally takes 6 to 24 hours for an indoor stain to dry.
- Outdoor stains take longer to dry; from my experience, it usually takes 24 to 72 hours total.
The temperature fluctuations and humidity outdoors can vary significantly from indoors, which is why outdoor running is often more difficult.
How Long Does It Take a Wood Stain to Dry?
- There are two primary types of exterior wood stains: penetrative and non-penetrative.
- Penetrative stains are very thick and work by penetrating the wood to form a seal. They typically dry on top fast but can take 1-2 days before drying completely.
- Non-penetrative wood stains, which are thinner, can take weeks to dry against the wood thoroughly. For best results, experts recommend waiting a week or two before applying a second coat.
- Latex stains can take up to 3 weeks to dry. If you’re wondering how long you should let the stain dry before adding a polyurethane coating, that is the answer.
To conclude, remember that latex stains will take significantly longer to dry than regular paint or other types of stains. That’s all for how long to let stain dry before polyurethrane, let’s jump into the FAQs for some side information now!
Can I both stain and polyurethane on the same day?
Most stains take between 12 and 24 hours to dry completely. When applying a polyurethane coating, it is best practice to wait 24 hours after the stain has been applied.
What happens if I apply polyurethane over wet stain?
Polyurethane applied over tacky stain will result in both finishes being ruined. If you apply the stain throughout the wood, it will penetrate through the pores of the wood structure. The excess stain remaining on top of the surface will change its color.
How long should I clear the coat after staining ?
To be on the safe side, you should wait 24-48 hours for the stain to dry before applying polyurethane. If you’re unsure or think it might not be completely dry, give it an extra day.
What reasons make my second coat of stain sticky?
Most likely, your wood stain didn’t dry because you applied too much. Traditional oil-based wood stains contain dyes and pigments for color as well as solvents to keep the liquid form.
How to tell when the wood stain is dry?
You’ll know the stain is dry when it’s not tacky to the touch. If it feels slightly sticky, give it a few more hours to dry. You can also tell if the surface is cool to the touch.
You should always learn how long to let stain dry before polyurethrane. Otherwise, you run the risk of mixing the two together and getting a poor finish. The drying time for stains varies depending on several factors: water-based vs oil-based, interior vs exterior wood, etc.
That’s all about how long to let stain dry before polyurethrane. Thank you for reading at Woodworking Skills and see you in next articles.