Epoxy is a great way to seal wood. It’s strong, waterproof, and UV resistant—so it’ll protect your house from rain and sunlight alike.
But if you want the best results from epoxy, you should know how long wood needs to dry out before applying it. So here’s everything you need to know about drying time for your project:
How dry does wood need to be for epoxy?
To ensure that your epoxy will adhere to the wood, it’s important to make sure it’s dry enough. Not only does the wood need to be dry enough so that the epoxy doesn’t soak into it and cause blisters, but also so that the resin won’t shrink as it cures. So how do you know exactly how damp or dry your wood is?
Dryness can be measured using a moisture meter; this tool works by measuring electrical resistance in wood (the higher the resistance, the more moisture).
If your project calls for a lot of small pieces of wood like I did with my DIY birdhouse kits, then you might want to take a look at our article on “How To Use A Moisture Meter On Small Projects.”
Table of Contents
- How dry does wood need to be for epoxy?
- What moisture content should wood be for epoxy?
- Can you seal wet wood?
- Does epoxy soak into wood?
- Will epoxy keep wood from splitting?
- What should the moisture content of wood be before sealing?
- Does epoxy expand and contract with wood?
- How long does a wood slab need to dry?
What moisture content should wood be for epoxy?
When it comes to wood, moisture content is a big deal. As you might imagine, the amount of water in your wood is going to have some impact on how well an epoxy will adhere.
The general rule of thumb is that you should make sure that the wood has a moisture content below 20%, preferably less than 18%.
The lower the better. This means that if you’re working with damp wood and need to use epoxy on it, you’ll probably want to dry it out first (we’ll get back to this).
Can you seal wet wood?
The answer to this question is a simple “no.” Epoxy won’t bond properly to damp or wet wood, so you’ll end up with an uneven surface and a lot of wasted money.
It’s also important to note that epoxy isn’t as strong when applied over wet surfaces, which means it can crack or chip away more easily than if it had been applied dry.
So how do you keep your wood from getting too wet? The best way is by storing your lumber in a well-ventilated space with plenty of airflows.
If you’re working outside, try covering the pile with tarps or plastic sheets so rainwater will run off instead of pooling on top of the woodpile.
If you absolutely must seal it now, try using polyurethane instead—it’s designed for use as an exterior finish product (sometimes called paint), so it’s much more weather resistant than epoxy and won’t crack like other types would under similar conditions
Does epoxy soak into wood?
Epoxy does not soak into wood. Epoxy is a liquid when applied, but cures to a solid. It’s made of two parts: an epoxide resin and hardener.
When these are mixed together, they form a chemical bond that makes the epoxy more rigid and glossy than it was when you first combined them.
The epoxide can penetrate into the wood grains but is not absorbed by the fibers themselves, meaning it’ll only reach the outermost part of your piece of lumber or other construction material before stopping there (like how water will seep through ground coffee beans if you leave them open in their bag for too long).
Will epoxy keep wood from splitting?
Epoxy is a coating, not a wood preservative. It will not prevent the wood from splitting or cracking. If you don’t want to replace your deck but you want to protect it from further damage, then using epoxy may be worth considering.
The only other option is to let go of the old boards and start over with new ones—but this may cost more than fixing the current ones because you’ll have to pay for labor costs as well as materials like new treated lumber and screws (you could also opt for bolts).
If your goal is simply to preserve what exists, then I would advise against using epoxy paint on damp or wet wood—the result will likely look messy due to uneven application and awkward brush strokes leftover from brushing too soon after application.”
What should the moisture content of wood be before sealing?
It’s important to properly maintain the moisture content of your wood before applying epoxy. The ideal moisture content for most hardwoods, including oak and maple, is between 5% and 20%.
If you’ve ever heard that it’s best to let your wood sit in a dry environment for a few weeks before using it, it’s because this will help reduce the amount of water in the wood.
If you have access to air conditioning during this drying period (which many people do these days), then that’s great—it’ll help speed up the process by removing extra moisture from inside the pieces while they’re still attached together as one piece of lumber.
On the other hand, if you live somewhere without much humidity during winter months (I’m looking at you, Colorado), then don’t worry about letting your pieces sit around for too long before sealing them—you can seal them right away!
Does epoxy expand and contract with wood?
Epoxy will expand and contract with the wood. This is a good idea if you are going to be setting up your project in a place that is exposed to weather.
If you are going to be installing it in an area that has frequent exposure to water (like near your faucet or sink), then we don’t recommend using epoxy.
How long does a wood slab need to dry?
There are a few things that you need to be aware of when considering the drying time of a wood slab. First, you need to know how long it takes for a piece of wood to dry.
To determine this, look at the type of wood you have and its thickness. This will help you determine if your piece is ready for epoxy primer or not.
A good rule of thumb is: If your piece is less than 1″ thick or has been air-dried for more than 3 months, then it’s probably safe to prime with epoxy.
However, if it’s thicker than 1″ and hasn’t been air-dried for at least 6 months (or longer), then we recommend waiting until the end of winter before priming so that there’s less opportunity for moisture damage from snowfall/rainwater runoff on top of wet surfaces during this period.
For example, Pine needs about 6 months; Douglas fir takes about 8 months; Black locust takes 10 years!
That is a great question. Epoxy can be used on damp wood, and it actually works better than other adhesives when working with wet or even partially-dry pieces of lumber.
The reason for this is that epoxy doesn’t cure as fast as other types of glue so there is less chance of having clumps and bubbles form during the drying process.