Should I seal this stained wood?
February 12, 2015 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Staining some wood, should I apply a sealant?

I'm working on a decorative wall hanging and I've been staining the wood with Minwax Polyshades. I'm worried about breathing in the fumes because even staining it outside it actually affects my voice somehow. Part of me assumes that it will be totally fine when it dries, but it kind of makes me nervous somehow to have it in our bedroom once it's done.

I'm wondering if it makes sense to apply some kind of sealant, and if so, what kind. I've used acrylic sprays before, but don't know if/how they'd react to the stain. I was also tempted to just brush Mod Podge over it, which we have.

Another concern is that I kind of made a mess of it on my first coat and there's stain all over the back of it, so I'm worried that it'll bleed onto the wall over time.

I could just go to Home Depot and ask what they think, but they're the ones that pushed the Polyshades on me in the first place (it's not highly regarded on the internet) and I figure I can save myself a trip if you all tell me I'm overthinking this.

Any advice? (You Are Not My Woodworker?) Thanks in advance
posted by cali59 to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
It's going to vent for a few days/weeks, depending on temp, humidity etc. I'd go against sealing it, because that may interfere with the polyurethene in the stain curing..

But, if this is a wall hanging that you don't expect to get banged up, aren't planning to nick/scuff/etc, then sure you could seal it. What do you want the final finish to be ? Satin, gloss, don't care ? Shellac would be a simple sealer that's easy to do, seals well, but doesn't necessarily give you a great finish (unless you want to do multiple coats and sand at the end, etc)
posted by k5.user at 9:43 AM on February 12, 2015

Polyshades (yes, it's lousy stuff) is stain and topcoat in one. It doesn't need another film on top of it. It will offgas while curing, and then be done.
posted by jon1270 at 9:47 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd just give it plenty of time to cure before bringing it into the house. It may take longer than the manufacturer says it will, but it'll stop offgassing eventually. Once you can take a good, up-close sniff of the wood without being able to smell any of the stain, I'd say it's fine to bring inside.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:25 AM on February 12, 2015

The product you're using claims it contains sealant already. Just let it cure and off gas outside of the home and bring it in after it no longer smells.
posted by quince at 11:58 AM on February 12, 2015

The "Poly" in Polyshades is polyurethane. So, yeah, sealant built in.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:34 PM on February 12, 2015

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