Wait Time Between Coats

A finisher with a rush job to complete gets advice on dry and cure times between coats. August 21, 2006

I have a cherry job I've got to get out the door. How long should I wait between wiping stain, wash coat, glaze and Krystal coats? Could I at least get to the glaze seal coat in one day?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor M:
It would depend on the wood stain. Some wood stains can be coated in less than 1 hour, whereas other stains take overnight drying. Check the label on your can, or call the supplier. If it's the fast drying stain, yes, you probably could, but then again, it depends on the glaze. Some can be coated over when you complete the brushing out, while other glazes require overnight drying. (Check the label, or call the company.) You really ought to get into the habit of making up start to finish samples before you start your projects. It's the right way to learn finishing.

From the original questioner:
I have been doing start to finish samples, but in going over each previous treatment, I'm not sure it's all good to go. I'm just doing it fast and need to know if I'm doing it right. I will be using a fast drying wiping stain. Here's what I think the process will be…
Diluted dye stain
5% WW vinyl wash
Campbell's wiping stain
5% WW vinyl wash

Glaze (my mix of linseed oil, mineral spirits and Hulls 844 burnt umber)
WW vinyl sealer, full strength
Two coats Krystal
Can I do this in one day with a helper?

From contributor R:
If you are using a Campbell system, then for glazing I would only use the C100-25 vinyl sealer. Lightly scuff the 5% washcoat that you apply over the dye stain (ScotchBrite or Mirlon pad). Over the wiping stain, I would apply a 3-4 mil wet coat of the C100-25 unthinned. Wait 1-2 hours and then glaze. If you glaze too soon, you will find that the glaze bites into the sealer and won't wipe off clean, which might not necessarily be a bad thing depending on the look you are going for. Within 6 hours, apply a 10% washcoat of the C100-25 vinyl. Better to apply the vinyl too soon rather than too late. I have recoated the glaze in as little as 1 hour. It all depends on how much glaze you leave on the surface. Topcoat with 1 to 2 coats of Krystal. Always sand between coats.

Is it possible to do in 1 day? I would say it depends on the job size. A couple of cabinets with a couple of doors and drawers, sure. An entire kitchen with 20+ doors and drawers, probably not. Follow contributor M's advice and always make stepped samples. It is well worth your time and effort. Look at samples as an investment. Better to spend a little time now making a sample rather than a lot of time later re-doing a project.

From the original questioner:
Thanks, contributors M and R. Good advice. And contributor R, your booklet is the finishing bible to me.