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Every venture is completely different. Should you’re planning a wooden venture, it’s possible you’ll be questioning how lengthy does stain take to dry? It’s a vital consideration as a result of the drying time impacts how lengthy your general venture takes to finish.

On the whole, most stains take between 24 and 48 hours to dry totally. However it’s possible you’ll want to attend longer, round 72 hours or extra, earlier than you possibly can apply the polyurethane and full your wooden venture. Dry occasions differ primarily based on the model, stain kind, and environmental circumstances.

Studying: how lengthy does stain take to dry outdoors

On this article, we’ll clarify the components that go into stain drying time that can assist you pinpoint how lengthy your venture might take. We even embrace a listing of the particular drying occasions of 20 high manufacturers in the marketplace right this moment.

How Long Does Stain Take to Dry

How Lengthy Does Stain Take to Dry?

On common, stains take round 24 to 48 hours to dry. Some manufacturers or stain sorts might take longer or as much as 72 hours. Many components go into the drying time. Double-check the directions on the label for the precise dry time. Nevertheless, the producer’s ideas may nonetheless differ relying in your circumstances.

The Precise Drying Time of 20 Stains

The drying time will differ between merchandise and types. You’ll discover the highly effective stain manufacturers and their common drying occasions within the desk beneath. Use the knowledge for comparability.

BrandStain TypeDry Time Miniwax PolyShades Semi-TransparentOil-based8 hours Behr Superior Formulation Wooden StainOil-based12 hours Osmo Decking Oils Pure Exterior Wooden FinishesOil-based12 hours Cabot Wooden Toned Deck & Siding StainOil-based24 hours Miniwax Gel StainOil-based, gel24 hours Miniwax Water-Primarily based Wooden StainWater-based3 hours Olympic Elite Woodland StainOil-based24 to 48 hours Olympic Elite Wooden Stain and SealantWater-based24 to 48 hours Basic Finishes Wooden StainWater-based3 to 4 hours Varathane Premium Quick Dry Wooden StainOil-based1 hour SamaN Inside Wooden StainWater-based24 to 48 hours Prepared Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer for WoodOil-based48 to 72 hours Defy Excessive Semi-Clear Wooden StainWater-based3 to 4 hours Varathane Premium Gel StainOil-based, gel4 hours #1 Deck Wooden Deck Stain and SealerWater-based4 hours Varathane One Step Wooden Stain and PolyurethaneOil-based3 hours Krylon Exterior Semi-Clear Wooden StainOil-based, aerosol2 days Tried and True Wooden StainOil-based3 days Basic Finishes Dye StainWater-based1 hour Basic Finishes Gel StainOil-based, gel24 hours

Components That Impression Stain Dry Time

Essentially the most essential issue that impacts the dry time of the stain is the sort. Nevertheless, different components like your environmental circumstances alter their drying time. Contemplate the floor you’re portray and the air flow, temperature, and humidity while you select to finish the venture.

Kind of Stain

There are various sorts of wooden stains, together with:

  • Water-based
  • Oil-based
  • Varnish
  • Lacquer
  • Gel-based
  • Dye stain

The kind of stain you employ determines the dry time. For instance, water-based usually dries a lot quicker whereas gel-based takes longer than different sorts. Nevertheless, water-based can also be affected by environmental circumstances like humidity extra. Oil-based stains are the preferred selection in the marketplace right this moment. They add safety to the floor and are sometimes fast-drying.

Stains additionally differ primarily based on the use. They’re break up into both inside or exterior paints primarily based on the place you apply them. For instance, many exterior wooden stains are for decking. Inside stains are frequent with furnishings or cupboards. Exterior stains usually take extra time to dry and are increased altered by the climate.

Nevertheless, probably the most vital determinant of dry time is the model. Manufacturers differ, and so do the merchandise underneath the identical model. Examine the label to seek out the precise drying time of your stain.

Kind of Wooden

The floor or wooden kind may additionally play a task within the drying time. Porous or softwoods might soak up stain inconsistently, which may make them take longer to dry. These woods embrace fir, pine, maple, spruce, aspen, and alder. You possibly can deal with them with wooden conditioner to stop imperfections within the stain. Gel stains are one other wonderful possibility for tough woods.

Air flow

Air flow or air circulation is essential when working with stains. The extra air you will have circulating as you’re employed, the higher the stain locks into place. The airflow permits moisture to launch from the paint, which is very useful with water-based stains. Nevertheless, all stains will dry quicker with added air circulation.


Temperature is a vital issue within the dry time of paints and stains. The very best temperatures for staining wooden are between 50 and 90 levels F, with 70 levels F as a great temperature.

Nevertheless, it’s greatest to verify your stain label. The temperature greatest on your stain might rely upon the bottom the model makes use of.


The ultimate essential factor to contemplate when staining wooden is humidity. Stain dries when the colour pigments soak into the wooden’s floor, and the paint’s moisture evaporates. Humid days or areas may considerably influence this course of.

Full your venture throughout a time of the day the place humidity is someplace between 50 and 70%. Keep away from rain. Any humidity degree that’s increased or decrease may alter the stain’s dry time.

How Lengthy Does It Take for Numerous Stains to Dry?

How long does it take for stain to dry

The first consideration to determining the dry time of wooden stains is the sort and model. Should you’re ever uncertain, verify the label on the bottle.

Oil-Primarily based Stains

Many oil-based stains are straightforward to make use of, making them a best choice in woodworking. Whereas some manufacturers can take a whopping 72 hours to dry, they’re primarily fast-drying. Well-liked oil-based stains like Osmo require over 12 hours to dry, whereas Cabot wants a minimum of 24 hours to dry completely.

Miniwax Oil-Primarily based Stains

Miniwax is a producer with varied oil-based choices that are available in both gel, liquid, or aerosol kind. In addition they embrace customary and performance-grade sorts, which require comparable dry occasions as different oil-based stains.

All Miniwax stains require a median of 12 hours to dry. You might reecoat after 8 hours. Nevertheless, the time it takes for the second coat to dry varies primarily based on the model. Some take two hours. Others should sit for a minimum of 12 hours.

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The Miniwax oil-based gel stains take probably the most time to dry. They require a minimum of 24 hours or extra, with re-coating after round 8 to 10 hours.

Behr Oil-Primarily based Stains

Behr is a widely known model within the trade. All of the wooden stains from Behr have the identical really useful dry occasions. Behr says the stains remedy totally in a minimum of 72 hours and really feel dry to the contact between 1 to 2 hours. You possibly can re-coat after a few hours if wanted.

Cabot Oil-Primarily based Stains

The producer Cabot provides many sorts of oil-based stains, which have comparable drying occasions. Most Cabot stains dry in 24 hours. A number of sorts take between 24 and 48 hours, such because the Australian Timber Oil.

Osmo Oil-Primarily based Stains

Osmo suggests comparable suggestions for all their wooden stains. The corporate says the stain dries in 12 hours on a 73.4-degree F day in 50% humidity. If the temperature or humidity is increased or decrease than these numbers, the drying time may take for much longer.

Olympic Oil-Primarily based Elite

Olympic Elite is a high-quality wooden stain model for decking. Many of the choices require between 24 and 48 hours to remedy totally. Nevertheless, the moisture degree and wooden high quality can alter the dry time.

Water-Primarily based Stains

Water-based stains usually require a lot much less dry time than oil-based choices. Most wooden stains can dry utterly in 24 to 48 hours. Some, like Basic Finishes stains, might solely take between 3 and 4 hours. You possibly can then apply the polyurethane coating.

Nevertheless, for warning, it’s possible you’ll wish to wait 72 hours to verify it dries utterly. As a result of nature of the stain, humidity is a large issue within the drying time of water-based merchandise. Ultimate staining circumstances embrace 70% humidity and temperatures round 70 levels F.

Miniwax Water-Primarily based Stains

For comparability, most Miniwax water-based stains take roughly 3 hours to dry in the most effective circumstances. You possibly can contact the stain or apply a second coat in as little as 2 hours. Should you apply Miniwax too heavy or use it in excessive humidity or cool temperatures, it might take longer.

Basic Finishes

Basic Finishes have a big selection of stain sorts. Their water-based stains take between 3 and 4 hours to dry in excellent circumstances. You wish to use Basic End on a 70 diploma F day with 70% humidity. Decrease temperatures or increased humidity ranges will extend this timeframe. Nevertheless, you should use a fan or warmth supply to hurry up the method.

Varathane Stains

Varathane is a premium stain possibility. They arrive in a liquid, aerosol, or gel. Most Varathane stains require a minimal of 8 hours to dry earlier than you possibly can apply the topcoat.

Some manufacturers might solely want two hours to dry. For instance, the gel varathane stains take two hours to dry, then two hours after making use of the second coat. The venture may add as much as a minimal of 8 hours earlier than you’re prepared for the polyurethane.

It’s greatest to make use of varathane in a managed surroundings, the place the humidity is at 50%, and the temperature stays round 70 to 80 levels F.

Inside vs. Exterior: How Lengthy Does It Take for Stain to Dry?

Minwax 660910000 Gel Stain, quart, CoffeeThe drying time varies between inside and exterior stains. The explanation comes right down to environmental components. Inside stains can help you work in an space the place the air is hotter and managed. They usually have a decrease humidity degree, relying in your location. Comparatively, exterior stain takes longer as a result of outside environments fluctuate.

The temperature and humidity outdoors might change all through the day as effectively. In most areas, humidity ranges are increased within the early morning and night. Different areas might have temperature fluctuations of 20 levels or extra, making the stain take longer to dry.

On the whole, inside stains require a median of between 6 and 24 hours to dry, whereas exterior stains take between 24 and 72 hours.

How Lengthy Does Gel Stain Take to Dry?

Gel-bard wooden stains are newer to the market. They require you to stir them completely earlier than software. Nevertheless, many individuals assume they’re simpler to regulate and apply as a result of consistency. In addition they cover wooden flaws with out a lot of sanding.

The draw back is that gel stains usually require an extended drying time. Gel-based stains are the slowest possibility obtainable. Most gel stains take a minimum of 24 hours or extra to dry.

Methods to Make Stain Dry Sooner

There are 4 important methods you may make stain dry quicker: altering the airflow, humidity, temperature, or all three.

A simple technique for making your stain dry quicker is to concentrate on humidity. Staining when the humidity ranges between 50 and 70% is right, so choose to make use of a dehumidifier on 50% to hurry up the drying time.

One other wonderful strategy to velocity up the stain’s drying course of is airflow. You might work in a well-ventilated space or use a fan to assist the stain dry quicker. Heated air from an area heater is useful with slower-drying oil-based finishes. Should you’re working in a storage or workshop, strive opening the doorways and home windows if a fan is unavailable.

You may also improve the temperature above 80 levels F to hurry up the drying course of. Nevertheless, temperatures about 90 levels F will maintain the stain from penetrating the wooden’s floor and trigger issues.

Alternatively, you might additionally apply the stain in skinny coats to assist it dry quicker. Attempt wiping the surplus stain as your work utilizing a material or paintbrush.

How Lengthy Ought to Stain Dry Between Coats?

Most stains solely require a few hours earlier than you possibly can apply both a second coat of stain or polyurethane varnish. Relying in your venture and the supplies you select, some manufacturers might take between 8 and 24 hours. You may want to depart some stains to dry in a single day earlier than it’s protected to use one other coat to the floor.

How Lengthy to Let Stain Dry Earlier than Polyurethane

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On the whole, water and oil-based wooden stains dry 24 to 48 hours earlier than you possibly can apply polyurethane. If you wish to use warning, lengthen the time to 72 hours. Nevertheless, the fast-drying stain manufacturers additionally solely require a number of hours of dry time earlier than you possibly can apply polyurethane.

Oil-Primarily based Stain

Oil-based stains have broadly various dry occasions earlier than including polyurethane as a result of they arrive in aerosol, liquid, and gel kinds. Some manufacturers dry in as little as a number of hours.

Most oil-based choices require anyplace from a number of hours to 24 hours to dry. For instance, you possibly can re-coat Minimax customary and performance-grade stains after 8 hours, whereas the gel sorts take a minimal of 8 hours earlier than you possibly can re-coat and 24 hours earlier than including polyurethane.

Water-Primarily based

Water-based stains often take a shorter time to dry in comparison with oil-based ones. They will take anyplace from 24 to 72 hours to dry earlier than you possibly can add the polyurethane layer. Some Miniwax and Basic Finishes wooden stains solely take round 3 to 4 hours.

How Can I Gradual Down Stain Drying Time?

A stain that dries too quick can depart blemishes in appearances, akin to streaking and blotching. In case your stain is drying too rapidly, gradual it down by including a splash of paint thinner or mineral spirits to the stain.

Methods to Apply Wooden Stain

Stain dry time

Earlier than you begin making use of stain, take a second to organize your workspace. Wooden stains comprise solvents that evaporate as they dry, releasing risky natural compounds (VOCs) into the air. On your security, you need to concentrate on correct air flow.

Step 1: Sand the Wooden

Begin by sanding the wooden with 100-grit sandpaper. Transfer throughout the whole floor following the route of the wooden’s grain. Comply with up by sanding it once more with 150, then 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 2: Clear the Floor

Wipe the mud and particles from sanding. Use a store vac or lint-free material, as wanted. If the mud is difficult to take away, strive including just a little mineral spirit to the fabric earlier than wiping.

Step 3: Apply Wooden Conditioner

To forestall streaks and blotches, apply the wooden conditioner subsequent. Transfer the conditioner on the floor within the route of the grain. Enable your wooden conditioner to take a seat for quarter-hour to 2 hours. Wipe away any extra.

Step 4: Stir the Can

Open the can of wooden stain, stirring completely. Use a stick to combine the dye or pigment which will settle on the backside.

Step 5: Apply Stain

Use a high-quality brush or a rag to use the stain onto the wooden’s floor. Transfer the stain within the route of the wooden grain just like the earlier steps, wiping away any further with a clear material earlier than it dries.

Step 6: Enable to Dry and Apply Second Coat

The second coat of stain gives a darker hue. Depart the stain to dry, checking the suitable period of time earlier than making use of the second coat. You might want to attend in a single day.

Step 7: Apply Polyurethane End

A polyurethane topcoat gives long-term safety to lock in your stain. The end retains scratches, water injury, and stains from damaging the stain. Use a pure brush with pure bristles to use polyurethane for the most effective outcomes. Brush utilizing clean, lengthy strokes in the identical route because the grain. Enable the poly to take a seat till the floor not feels moist and sticky.

Methods to Inform if Stain Is Dry?

You possibly can decide if the stain is dry primarily based on the texture. Oil-based stains don’t odor or really feel cheesy to the contact in the event that they’re dry. Water-based stains develop into dry after they not appear cool. You’ll additionally discover a powder will kind on water-based choices when you calmly sand the floor.

Why Your Stain is Not Drying

Most stains dry laborious rapidly. You might have bother with a stain not drying when you use an oil stain, notably with an oil-based stain mixed with a dye stain. The combo is a regular possibility in oil-based merchandise, because the dye adjusts the colour of your remaining product.

Will Cheesy Stain Ultimately Dry?

Should you apply a wooden stain too thick, the floor will really feel cheesy to the contact and won’t dry correctly. The surplus is not going to dry ultimately. As an alternative, it redissolves and falls away, leaving solely the stain that would penetrate the wooden’s floor.

The stain may additionally stay cheesy when you expertise excessive humidity or wet climate. If so for you, permit extra dry time to see if the cheesy feeling goes away. If not, wipe the wooden utilizing mineral spirits to take away the stain’s high layers. Enable it to dry, then re-stain the floor utilizing a recent can of stain.

Finest Quick-Drying Wooden Stain

how long does wood stain take to dryThe very best fast-drying wooden stain obtainable right this moment is Rust-Oleum’s Varathane Quick Drying Wooden Stain. It’s a high-performance possibility with nano pigments that produce an intense coloration and spotlight the pure wooden grain. With solely a single coat, and the stain dries in as little as an hour. Use it for all of your wooden initiatives, from trim and flooring to furnishings and decking.

The very best half about Varathane, apart from the lightning-fast drying time, is that it doesn’t require a wooden conditioner. You possibly can cowl over 275 sq. ft of wooden with a quart of the stain. Plus, this product provides long-term sturdiness while you pair it with Varathane’s polyurethane.

Methods to Repair Staining Errors

Should you make a mistake whereas staining, you possibly can all the time repair the flaw. Attempt making use of one other layer of stain to cover an uneven coloration or use paint thinner for streaks, drips, or uneven shading. When you have blotchy wooden or the stain is just not penetrating the wooden, it’s possible you’ll want to start out over. Sand the stain from the floor to re-stain.


Most stains dry by 48 hours. Nevertheless, the dry time is dependent upon components just like the model, kind, and environmental circumstances. You possibly can count on most water-based stains to dry rapidly, whereas gel takes the longest. All the time verify with the producer for precise data in your venture.

Did our listing of the particular dry occasions of 20 completely different stain manufacturers assist you to plan your venture? Share your expertise within the feedback, and when you loved our article, please share our wooden staining ideas with your folks.

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