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.
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.