Polyurethane wood sealer that dries in 24-48 hours and takes up to 30 days to cure. An oil-based polyurethane, however, requires up to 24 hours to dry. Surface. 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. Once the solvents or thinners evaporate, the curing process begins. The cooler temperature may slow down the drying speed. Besides, higher humidity in the air will make the period lasts longer. You can direct the fan’s wind on to the surface or open windows to boost the ventilation and speed up the drying. Polyurethane Curing and Drying Time. Water-based polyurethane takes less time to dry and harden. The two, however, have a similar curing time of 3o days. Cool temps in the shop will slow the dry time significantly. 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 . The best method to use if you want to speed up the drying process is to heat the surface or increase the airflow. There are two types of polyurethane; oil-based and water-based. 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. 1 choice for floor finishers because of its durability and ease of application. 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). Water-based polyurethane, a more recent development than the solvent-based variety, dries more quickly, thus making single-day floor finishing feasible. Is it too humid? Get the piece to a … Drying: When compared to other water-based brands, the water-based polyurethane takes more time to dry. This duration may vary depending on the type of polyurethane sealer used, nature of the wood, humidity and temperature. This type of topcoat is designed for items not requiring a lot of protection. Slight ambering may be experienced when Polyurethane … Even so, the standard drying time for a water-based polyurethane is 6 hours. Higher temperatures can speed up the drying process, while lower temperatures will slow the drying time by half a day. Don’t confuse dry time with curing time which can take up to 1 month depending on conditions. I mentioned in my last post how I put off finishing because it takes over my shop while the finish is drying. This is where oxygen combines with the finish to make it hard. The same applies to humidity. Oil-based polyurethane dries in two phases. It can take up to 30 days to cure, depending on what you painted and how many layers you used. To make matters worse you can’t add any spirits or solvents to speed up the drying time. The gel topcoat would probably be the quickest way to go for a faster drying poly, due to how it's applied and sits on top of the wood. This is also why I don’t use oil finishes as much because the drying time is so long. Note: Above dry times are based on good ventilation, temperature of 77°F and 50% relative humidity. Lower humidity speeds the drying time and vice versa. Most stain brands require users to wait 12 to 24 hours before adding the polyurethane finish. Since polyurethane coatings were first introduced in the 1950s, polyurethane has become the No. Type of polyurethane. More recent development than the solvent-based variety speed up polyurethane drying time dries more quickly, thus making single-day floor finishing.... 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