Most stain brands require users to wait 12 to 24 hours before adding the polyurethane finish. You can direct the fan’s wind on to the surface or open windows to boost the ventilation and speed up the drying. This is also why I don’t use oil finishes as much because the drying time is so long. The best method to use if you want to speed up the drying process is to heat the surface or increase the airflow. Oil-based polyurethane dries in two phases. Type of polyurethane. Water-based polyurethane, a more recent development than the solvent-based variety, dries more quickly, thus making single-day floor finishing feasible. This duration may vary depending on the type of polyurethane sealer used, nature of the wood, humidity and temperature. Slight ambering may be experienced when Polyurethane … Water-based polyurethane takes less time to dry and harden. The cooler temperature may slow down the drying speed. Cool temps in the shop will slow the dry time significantly. Note: Above dry times are based on good ventilation, temperature of 77°F and 50% relative humidity. It can take up to 30 days to cure, depending on what you painted and how many layers you used. I mentioned in my last post how I put off finishing because it takes over my shop while the finish is drying. 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). This type of topcoat is designed for items not requiring a lot of protection. The same applies to humidity. To make matters worse you can’t add any spirits or solvents to speed up the drying time. However as I am building up coats of Arm-R-Seal on my Walnut table I am reminded how beautiful a good quality Oil/Varnish finish can be. Lower temperature, higher humidity, lack of air movement or application of thick coats will extend drying times. Each coat of polyurethane usually needs 24 hrs to dry and a stain will need 24 hrs to dry…but if it's a darker stain, it could take 36 or even 48 hrs for the stain to dry. Higher temperatures can speed up the drying process, while lower temperatures will slow the drying time by half a day. Drying: When compared to other water-based brands, the water-based polyurethane takes more time to dry. This is where oxygen combines with the finish to make it hard. Surface. So, in the case of a dark stain that needs 2 days to dry and if you apply 3 coats of poly, you are up to 5 days . Even so, the standard drying time for a water-based polyurethane is 6 hours. Polyurethane wood sealer that dries in 24-48 hours and takes up to 30 days to cure. Once the solvents or thinners evaporate, the curing process begins. Get the piece to a … An oil-based polyurethane, however, requires up to 24 hours to dry. 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