As the winter months approach, there are some considerations to be thought about when it comes to staining and finishing. There are obvious thoughts such as, “Don’t let the water-based finishes freeze,” or, “The house is too cold for applying finish.” However, there are other factors that are not as apparent that can affect the quality of your finished product.
- Temperature of finish: Most manufacturers recommend that your environment be between 60 and 80 degrees. This temperature range holds true for your finish, also. Taking a gallon of finish, be it oil or water, from your 40-degree garage, putting it in your cold truck and taking it to a job site for immediate use is not a good idea. Cold can affect the intended flow, leveling, and dry times. As a side note, I remember putting a five of oil poly in a bathtub of hot water to warm it up before using it.
- Relative Humidity: With cold weather comes dry air. Whether it’s new construction or an existing home, low relative humidity can affect your staining and finishing process. When staining, there will be a greater chance of lap marks. On larger projects, working in smaller sections and taping the floor off at doorways, large and small, can help eliminate the problem. Remember, drips and spills may show up if not attended to promptly. When finishing with water-based or oil polyurethane, be sure to apply the finish as per the manufacturer’s suggested coverage rate. Applying the finish too thin in a dry environment can result in it drying too quickly. The result can be roller stop marks, brush marks and a textured finish.
The moral of this is to acclimate your stains and finishes, as well as apply them in the best climate as possible. With a little bit of forethought and planning, you can have nothing but positive results.
Stay warm this winter!
This blog is sponsored by Canlak Coatings, where Mark Dittmer is Midwest Sales Manager. For more from Canlak, click here.