Stain/Poly - Safe to Apply Indoors?


Old 05-01-18, 05:22 AM
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Stain/Poly - Safe to Apply Indoors?

I am new to wood finishing. I built a nice work bench in place in my basement and am looking to stain and seal the top. Will water based stains/sealers give off fumes similar to their oil base counterparts? Will my house forever smell of solvents if I do this job in my basement? I could move the L-shaped bench outdoors or to my garage, but It will be a considerable PITA.

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Old 05-01-18, 05:56 AM
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No oil based and water based products have different volatile solvents. Oil based products use a hydrocarbon (oil) based solvent while water based use water as a solvent. That doesn't mean that water based is odor free it just means that the solvent that evaporates away is different. Generally oil based products do have more smell. Both smells will dissipate over time. The big issue is how sensitive you are to it.
Old 05-01-18, 03:20 PM
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The big issue is how sensitive you are to it.
That is it in a nutshell!

After the poly has tacked up you might want to use a window/fan to exhaust the odor out of the basement.
Old 05-02-18, 12:55 PM
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I have applied oil based poly (I don't use water based) many times inside my house and getting the smell out quickly has never been a problem.

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