How Long Does Thompson’s Water Seal Take To Dry?

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Reviewed by
Eral Kadrija

Tony Adams

Thompson’s water seal takes around 2 hours to dry between coats and around 21 days to cure.

To speed up Thompson’s water sealer dry time, increase the solvent evaporation rate, increase the air circulation, apply thin coats, and wait for the right drying conditions.

The drying time is determined by the number of coats, coat viscosity, and room temperature and humidity levels.

How Long Does Thompson’s Water Seal Take To Dry Between Coats?

How Long Should Thompson’s Water Seal Dry Between Coats?

Thompson’s water seal takes around 2 hours to dry between coats. The exact dry time depends on the number of coats, coat viscosity, room temperature, and humidity levels.

Don’t wait for the Thompson’s water seal finish to dry fully before re-coating it. If the Thompson’s water seal dries fully, its finish becomes water-resistant and won’t accept additional coats unless you sand or remove its topcoat.

It’s recommended to apply a new coating before the sealer fully dries to get better adhesion.

How Long Does Thompson’s Water Seal Take to Cure?

One (1) Thompson’s Water Seal coat takes around 21 days to cure, while two (2) coats take around 30 days. Once the Thompson’s Water Seal cures, it reaches its maximum durability, strength, and adhesion.

You must wait until the Thompson’s Water Seal coat cures before exposing its finish to water, moisture, or cleaning it. If you clean the sealer too soon, you can remove or damage it.

How To Speed Up Thompson’s Water Seal Dry Time?

To speed up Thompson’s Water Seal dry time, do the following.

  1. Increase the Solvent Evaporation Rate.
  2. Increase the Air Circulation.
  3. Apply Thin Coats.
  4. Wait for the Right Drying Conditions.

1. Increase the Solvent Evaporation Rate

Use A Hairdryer

Since Thompson’s water sealer dries through solvent evaporation, increasing the evaporation rate makes the sealer dry faster. To increase the solvent evaporation rate, increase the heat around the coating with a hairdryer or heater.

The tools you need for this project are listed below.

  • A hairdryer
  • Heater

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Use a hairdryer at a medium temperature.
  2. Move the hairdryer over the coating for 5 minutes.
  3. Wait 30 minutes.
  4. Use the hairdryer over the sealer coating for 5 minutes.
  5. Allow the sealer to dry naturally.

Tip: Use this method immediately after applying the sealer. Also, don’t dry the sealer fully with a hairdryer as it causes it to dry too fast, which creates a weak and non-protective finish.

2. Increase the Air Circulation

Use Fans To Speed Up The Dry Time

Increasing the air circulation increases the solvent evaporation rate, and makes the Thompson’s water sealer dry faster.

To increase the air circulation to make the sealer coating dry faster, do the following things.

  1. Open all doors and windows for ventilation.
  2. Turn on the fans in the room.
  3. Open the air vents.
  4. Leave the fans on for hours until the sealer begins to dry.

Tip: Direct the air current from the fans at the sealer coating.

3. Apply Thin Coats

Apply Thin Coats

Thin Thompson’s water sealer coats dry faster than thick coats because there are fewer solvents and additives to evaporate from the surface.

While the manufacturers advise against thinning Thompson’s water sealer, you can use a sprayer to apply thinner coats without affecting its qualities.

4. Wait for the Right Drying Conditions

Apply The Thompson’s Water Seal In The Right Drying Conditions

A Thompson’s water sealer coat dries faster if the temperature is higher than 50°F (10°C) and the humidity levels are lower than 50%.

Use a heater to increase the room temperature and a dehumidifier to decrease the room humidity before applying the sealer.

Why Isn’t The Thompson’s Water Seal Drying?

Thompson’s water sealer isn’t drying for the following reasons.

  1. Too Many Coats.
  2. Bad Drying Conditions.
  3. Water Exposure.
  4. Re-coated Too Late.

1. Too Many Coats

Thompson’s water sealer takes longer to dry or doesn’t dry at all if you apply too many coats of it. The extra coats will increase the dry time as there’s more solvent (oil or water) to evaporate from the coating.

If the sealer remains wet for too long, it will get contaminated or can peel off.

2. Bad Drying Conditions

If the temperature is lower than 50°F and the humidity level is higher than 50%, Thompson’s water sealer takes longer to dry.

3. Water Exposure

If the Thompson’s water sealer coating is exposed to water too soon or is applied over a wet surface, the sealer takes longer to dry, won’t dry at all, or can peel off.

It’s recommended to wait until Thompson’s water sealer cures before exposing it to water and applying it over a dry surface.

4. Re-coated Too Late

You must re-coat Thompson’s water sealer before it dries fully. If the sealer dries fully, the finish becomes water-resistant and doesn’t accept additional coatings.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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