Applying an exterior wood stain to outdoor furniture, decks, and window frames can help to protect your wooden items against mold, algae, and rot. It can also provide a waterproof coat that will prevent water damage.
Exterior wood stain can be applied to almost any outdoor wooden items, but a common problem is waiting for the stain to dry between coats. People are unsure of how long it will take to completely dry the stain before adding a second coat.
Stains and Drying Times
As there are a variety of different exterior wood stains, it would not be surprising that there should be a range of drying times.
Some thick stains, which penetrate the wood and form a seal, are dry on the top in a matter of hours. In general, for a penetrative stain, allow one to two days drying time, and then test.
Alternatively, thinner, non-penetrative stains can take weeks to fully dry against the wood. For these non-penetrative stains, leave for a week or more before applying a second coat.
Latex stains will probably take even longer, maybe even two or three weeks.
Note: Drying times are also affected by humidity, the amount of stain applied to the wood, and whether there is any rain during this period.