How Long for Deck Stain to Cure and Dry? 5/5 (3)

This post was updated on January 18, 2023

Deck Stain Curing vs Deck Stain Drying?

Curing time and drying time to touch is not the same thing and can vary based on the stain being water-based or oil-based. Curing time is often referred to as the time the deck stain takes fully settles into the surface of the wood, dries, and sets its final color. Drying time for deck stains is different compared to curing and based on how quickly the stain dries to the touch and cannot be rubbed off.

Deck Stain Drying Time

When a deck stain is dry to the touch you can have light foot traffic and typically can take light rain.

  • Oil-Based deck stain drying time is typically 4-72 hours
  • Water-Based deck stains drying time is shorter. 2-12 hours is normal

Deck Stain Curing Time

The curing of a deck stain can take much longer. We do not suggest putting furniture or having heavy traffic on your deck until the stain has fully cured.

  • Oil-Based deck stains curing time is typically 24 hours and up to a week.
  • Water-Based stain curing time is shorter. 12-14 hours is normal for most scenarios.

Other Deck Stain Curing Factors

There are many things that can speed up so slow down the drying and curing of your deck stain. Temperature and humidity will play a key role. The lower the temperature, the longer it will take to cure and dry. The higher the humidity, the longer it will take to cure and dry. The solid content of your stain can also play a key role in how long the stain will take to dry and cure.

Any questions on the curing and drying of a particular deck stain that you are using? Please ask in the comments below.

More Info on Deck Stain Curing Time

For more info, see our Deck Stain Facts section with over 150 simple Q&A articles that answer all the questions that you have regarding deck staining, cleaning, and prep.

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