Stain/Poly - Safe to Apply Indoors?

Old 05-01-18, 04:22 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 239
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
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.

Old 05-01-18, 04:56 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 28,133
Received 1,564 Votes on 1,406 Posts
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, 02:20 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,243
Received 674 Votes on 597 Posts
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, 11:55 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 20,166
Received 1,165 Votes on 1,123 Posts
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.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: