How Long to Wait between Wood Fence Stain Coats

Maintaining a wood fence stain requires different attention than stains for indoor purposes. The drying time will depend on the weather, and the time between applications will also vary. If you are planning on using a wood stain for a fence, here is what you should know about drying times.


The weather will affect how long it will take for each coat of stain to cure. When you are working with more than one coat it is important to check the weather report before you begin. You want to try to pick a time when you will have dry weather and low humidity. Rain will obviously damage the finish if the stain hasn't dried, and excess humidity will increase the dry time.

Amount of Time

For clear, dry weather you will want to wait at least 12 hours between each coat of stain. In areas where the humidity levels are high, the dry time will be extended. For relative humidity of under 30 percent, the dry time between each coat won't typically need to be extended. Relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent can increase the amount of time to 24 to 36 hours. More than 60 percent isn't an ideal condition, it could take several days for the stain to completely dry.