How Long Does Polyurethane Take to Dry? [5 Speed up Tips]

One thing that causes delays in projects is underestimating drying time. When person asks, “ how long does polyurethane take to dry? ” they normally want to know how hanker does it take for polyurethane to cure .
consequently, when you are planning a new wood project, it is crucial to get the timing right, or it could cost you money and your repute .
After all, cipher wants to be the contractor who promises to deliver a piece in a few days, alone to show up a calendar month later .
In this article, we ’ ll hash out

  • How long does it take polyurethane to dry
  • How long does water based polyurethane take to dry
  • How long does oil based polyurethane take to dry
  • How long does varathane polyurethane take to dry
  • How long for polyurethane to cure
  • How to speed up polyurethane drying time

Let ’ s dive mighty in ;

How Long Does Polyurethane Take to Dry?

Polyurethane takes 2 to 24 hours to dry, and cures in 30 days. The dry time is determined by the type of polyurethane you use. For case, Water-based polyurethane dries in about 2 hours while oil-based polyurethane needs about 8 hours to dry .

What is the Difference Between Drying and Curing Time of Polyurethane?

Drying time is the menstruation between coats of polyurethane, while the cure time is when the wooden surface is ready for function .
When polyurethane dries, it means it has stopped being tacky and is now dry to the touch. You can then apply another coat or more as required .
After the final coat has dried, you can walk on the wood surface with socks on, but you shouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate put heavy things on it as it isn ’ metric ton however potent enough to support a bunch of pressure .
You besides shouldn ’ metric ton spill any fluent on it, or it will seep through to the sanded wood, and you ’ ll have to start all over. In other words, it is not yet durable, water-proof, or useful .

How long does water based polyurethane take to dry

Water-based polyurethane dry ing time can be equally fiddling as 1 hour. After this, you can touch the surface. Within three days you can start using the surface. But, it could take up to 21 days for water-based polyurethane to wholly cure .

How long does oil based polyurethane take to dry

Oil-based polyurethane dry time is about 4 hours for fast dry formula. But some polyurethane finishes might dry within 24-48 hours. As for bring around, you need 30 days to cure properly. The surface is ready for consumption after 4 days or more .
In comparison, early primers need 12-24 hours to reach the dry process .

How Long Does Polyurethane Take To Cure

When the polyurethane is cured, it means that it has dried completely. You now have the finished merchandise that will easily support your furniture, treat foot traffic, and defy scratches for the future few years .
The curing time is as follows :

  • Water-based polyurethane takes 3 days to 21 days. 
  • Oil-based Polyurethanes lasts for 21 and 30 days. 

Brands such as General Finishes recommend that you wait the fully 21 days after applying the final coat of the water-based topcoats before active voice function .
We ’ ve created a polyurethane cure fourth dimension mesa therefore that you don ’ thyroxine lose your solitaire, as some might take up to a calendar month, depending on the prevailing weather conditions .

Water-based Poly Oil-based Poly
Time between coats 8 hours 24 hous
Dry to touch 24 hours 48 hours
Ready to place things 2 days plus 4 days plus
Completely Cured 20 days 30 days

Factors Affecting Polyurethane Drying

respective factors affect how soon polyurethane dries. They range from the base it ’ south made of to the conditions they are applied under. Some of these factors are :

1. Type of polyurethane finish

There are two major types of polyurethane finish going by their base composing, and they affect their dry time. They are :
How Long Does Polyurethane Take to DryImage courtesy of Homedepot a ). Oil-based polyurethane: this type of polyurethane uses petroleum products, mineral, and liquid solution as the base, making it quite dense and durable .

Oil Based Polyurethane Curing Time

Oil-based polyurethane takes anywhere from 4 hours to 24 hours to dry, depending on the formula. It requires at least 30 days to cure fully .
Fast-drying polyurethane might cure in 21 days, but weather conditions might delay it. besides, woods like rosewood or aromatic cedar may cause project delays due to their natural oils that slow the procedure .
bacillus ). Water-based polyurethane: as the name suggests, this type of polyurethane is chiefly comprised of water. The result is you get thinner and lighter coats than oil, the drying phase consists of the water system evaporating which means it dries immediate, having a short cure clock time .

Water based Polyurethane Drying Time

Water-based polyurethane is dry and ready for the following coat in 2 hours in optimum conditions. It can besides amply remedy in 3 days, but then many factors such as how many coats can delay this action, so you should estimate at least 3 weeks .
It is always better to finish a project ahead of clock time than to ask for more time. Don ’ triiodothyronine you agree ? Moving on…

2. The Temperature

The irregular most authoritative factor influencing how cursorily polyurethane dries and cures is estrus or the temperature .
The ideal temperature for polyurethane to dry is between 70 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is much lower, it can extend the dry time by a few hours or even a few days .
That is why most manufacturers tell you the optimum polyurethane drying temperature for applying the finish. If the temperature is in the mid-50s, they might tell you not even to bother applying it .
What about high temperatures? Higher temperatures will make the poly dry quicker, but that international relations and security network ’ thymine necessarily good. It might crack if the out surface dries besides flying, which might flush be worse than a behind dry clock time. Hence, take caution when you apply estrus .

3. Ventilation

When you apply polyurethane and other coverings on publicize wood, it is effective practice to keep the windows shut thus that dust doesn ’ thyroxine figure. however, given the strong odors from some finishes, chiefly oil-based polyurethanes, you should leave the windows open .
You besides need adequate breathing for the polyurethane stopping point to dry on clock. Yes, there is the gamble that the dust might come flying back in. If that happens, sand the coat and apply it again .
A fan is an excellent way of boosting public discussion and getting rid of polyurethane smell without risking angstrom much dust. In my experience, this has rarely been a problem .
You should be okay if it isn ’ t a long-winded day .

4. Humidity

here is another essential gene, which goes hand in handwriting with the temperature. The ideal humidity for water-based polyurethane to dry is 50 % and 70 % for oil-based polyurethane. Of course, brands and products differ .
however, what is consistent is that when it is excessively humid, the polyurethane will take much longer to dry, and the opposite is besides true .
now, you ’ re probably concerned that high temperatures in the summer besides mean high gear humidity in some areas, and you ’ re right.

Read more : Smoked Pork Shoulder

In that case, you can control the indoor timbre using three devices :

  • A humidifier
  • Dehumidifier.
  • HVAC system

You credibly need these devices in your base anyhow, so this shouldn ’ thymine add to the project ’ s monetary value. But if you don ’ t want to buy them, wait for better weather conditions .
Related: How to Fix Polyurethane Mistakes

5. The Thickness of the Coat

The rule when applying polyurethanes is to constantly use thin coats. Thin coats dry faster and more evenly. Plus, they are easier to amend if there is a problem .
When the coat is excessively thickly, it will take well longer for the polyurethane to dry. You need to be patient and not try to enhance it using a blow-dryer, or the inner coat might cake .
That is why many professionals often advise against the triple-thicker coat of poly or one coat poly. even though they much claim to dry cursorily, they rarely do .

6. Application 

Polyurethane finish can be sprayed on , brushed on or wiped on. If you choose a method acting that does not allow you to control the amount you ’ ra applying by rights, you could end up putting besides much, which slows the work .
When you use a spray or wipe-on poly, the finish will dry much quicker than when you use a brush or a roller. That is because the multiple coats are flimsy and lighter with the former lotion methods. Remember to wear protective equipment to avoid reach with volatile organic compounds .

7. The Type of Sheen

There are four main types of shininess, from lowest to highest :

  • Matte (labeled as flat)
  • Satin
  • Semi-gloss polyurethane
  • Gloss (sometimes referred to as high gloss) 

Gloss and semi-gloss finishes take marginally longer to dry for both types of polyurethane .

8. Condition of the Wood

Polyurethane finish dries faster on natural woodwind. If there is already a eat up on it, it will take a lot longer to dry, particularly if you apply water-based polyurethanes over an oil-based merchandise or frailty versa .
If you applied a tarnish and it hasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate cured, it will besides delay the dry time of the polyurethane .
Oil-based polyurethane is dry when you can no long smell it, and the surface is no long tacky. Water-based polyurethane is dry when the surface is not cold to the touch. At this point, you can apply the second coating ( after light sanding, of run ), apply the third coat and then reprise in the subsequent finish processes .
How well you sand the wood may besides affect the dry time, specially if it was previously finished .

9. The Formula of the Finish

ultimately, the most important gene determining the polyurethane ’ s dry and curing process is the intersection you are using .

  • Fast-drying variants of oil-based polyurethane dry in a third or even a sixth of the cure time it takes regular oil-based finishes.
  • Fast-drying formulae with water-based polyurethane tend to be half the time.

While there are pros and cons to using the rapid alternatives, this is a significant advantage to consider when planning your next project .

How to Speed Up Polyurethane Drying Time?

The four most dependable ways of making polyurethane dry fast without damaging the intersection are :

  • Increasing the air temperature (70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal )
  • Lowering humidity by opening windows
  • Applying thin layers
  • Preparing the surface properly before application

If you are using a fast-drying alternative, don ’ thyroxine attempt to speed up the drying time unless the poly is taking much longer than advertised. otherwise, you might good ruin the beginning coat, and you ’ ll have to start all complete .

How long does poly take to dry

Oil-Based Water-Based Tips
Drying time between Poly coats 1 day 6 hours Don’t wear shoes nor allow pets
Walk with shoes after 2 Days 1 day
Furniture replacement after 4 days 2 days Use furniture legs or pads
Keep away rugs or mats for 14 days 14 days Sweep lightly
Cure time 30 days 30 days

Polyurethane Dry Time FAQs

How long does it take for water-based polyurethane to dry on hardwood floors?

Water-based polyurethane can dry on hardwood floors in angstrom little as 4 hours. After this, you may walk on the floor with socks. Within three days you can start moving furniture back on it. however, it may take up to 21 days for water-based polyurethane to fully cure .
If you ’ re finishing your step treads and rail, here are some of the best polyurethane for stairs that I recommend .

How long does it take for Minwax polyurethane to dry?

Minwax polyurethane dry time is between 4-6 hours. The fastest drying oil-based Minwax polyurethane is dry in deoxyadenosine monophosphate little as 4 hours, while the quickest water-based polyurethane is dry in 2 hours. even the Minwax first Coat dries in good 2 hours .

How long does polyurethane take to dry on wood furniture?

Polyurethane dry time on furniture is 2 hours when you have proper ventilation and the right field weather conditions. The polyurethane cure time is a lot longer at 21 days for water-based poly and 30 days for oil-based polyurethane .

How long does spray polyurethane take to dry?

Within 2 hours of lotion, spray polyurethane should be dry to touch. At this decimal point, you can add the second coat. You would need to wait overnight before it will be ready for light use and at least 3 days before it has amply cured. You can use at least three coats .

How long does Varathane polyurethane take to dry?

The fastest dry Varathane polyurethane takes 2 hours to dry. When applied with an aerosol, it can be dry in just 30 minutes. The finish open will be dry enough for light use after 24 hours and cured adequate for normal use in 3 days .

When can you walk on polyurethane wood floors?

When using water-based or fast-drying oil-based finish, you can walk on polyurethane wood floors with socks in 24 hours. After 7 days, you can put heavy things on polyurethane woodwind floors .
Read: How to Remove Polyurethane From Wood Without Sanding

How long does fast-drying polyurethane take to dry?

Fast drying polyurethane takes up to 4 hours for oil-based and 2 hours for water-based rule. It depends on the stigmatize of fast-drying poly you use, temperature, and humidity conditions. You can always speed up the dry process by using a hair dry or fan to circulate air around the polyurethane drying area .

How long does it take for polyurethane to cure?

Polyurethane takes around 30 days to cure in full. however, it will dry to the affect between 24 and 48 hours. sol, if you want to put a coat of polyurethane on your project, you can expect it to be ready in about a calendar month .

The best temperature to apply polyurethane

The perfect temperature to apply polyurethane range from -62°C to 93°C. If the temperature is besides cold, the polyurethane will become unmanageable to spread, and if excessively hot, the polyurethane will begin evaporating and become unmanageable to work with. Apply your polyurethane in conditions within this ideal temperature scope for best results .

Varathane water-based polyurethane dry time?

The dry fourth dimension for Varathane water-based polyurethane can last between 1 to 3 days. After 24 hours, the finish up will be dry for light use. however, to be sure, it ’ s advisable to wait for 3 days before resuming normal usage of your coat .
read : What happens if you apply polyurethane before a mark is dry ?

How Long for Polyurethane to Dry

As you have seen, there is a huge difference between drying times and curing times. Answering the doubt ‘ how long to wait for polyurethane to dry ’ is complicated because the exploiter fair might mean curing time.

But we ’ ve besides tackled how long for polyurethane to cure fully .
obviously, many factors affect drying times, indeed be indisputable to get conditions as close to optimal as possible .
While water-based polyurethane dries promptly, it takes about a long as oil-based polyurethane to in full cure.

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