Polyurethane Dry Time Between Coats

Q: Can you walk on oil-base poly during second and 3rd coats to apply them? How soon can I walk on them while working on it? I’m wary about the polyurethane dry time between coats. Varathane instructions say you can re-coat in 4 hours.

Do I just walk in and start re-coating or will I ruin the floor? Thank you sir. Much appreciated; I’m a bit nervous.

A: Drying time listed on the label for any finish is only a guideline. It really depends on environmental conditions in the home. If it is dry so you can walk on it then it is likely dry enough to buff and coat. Unless the finish is a water born urethane (which usually can be recoated within a certain number of hours after the last coat without buffing) you will need to abrade each coat with fine sandpaper or equivalent to create a mechanical bond.

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