Asked on Feb 15, 2020

How do I remove a tacky sticky stain from a wood table?

BrandyMaura WhiteKmdreamer
+10

Answered

I have a wood coffee table (lighter brown) and wanted a darker wood color, I didn’t sand and I didn’t think it had a gloss on it prior, last night I stained it, and it’s not drying... sticky and tacky (although the bottom shelf seems a lot better then the top ... help

After

Before

13 answers
  • Britt Zelmer
    on Feb 15, 2020

    I’m trying to avoid sanding 😩 it hasn’t been 24 hrs yet either, and I did two coats right away without wiping excess off (like I’ve read to do) maybe I should stain again and wait a few minutes and then wipe off? Or will it eventually dry?

  • Em
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Some times stains take days to harden. I redid my bathroom cabinet and it took almost a week before the stain hardened to where there was no amount of tacky feeling to the touch.

  • Morgan McBride
    on Feb 15, 2020

    I would sand it off and do it properly. The table had some kind of protectant coat on it. That keeps it from absorbing spills but also kept it from absorbing the stain.

  • Redcatcec
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Time is your best friend, let it dry, this will take time.

  • Cynthia H
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Hi Britt! Odds are, any time you have sticky, tacky residue after staining, it's excess pigment from the stain. Gel stain is especially bad if you don't wipe it quickly enough. Stain needs to absorb into the wood. If the stain can't adhere into the wood, it sits on the surface. For regular, liquid stain, you need to be down to bare wood. That means cleaning, stripping and sanding. Gel stain sits more on the surface, but you aren't going to get a result you want if you haven't prepped the surface. Paint needs prep, too, only it doesn't have to be bare wood to apply. It's not just a glossy finish that's a problem, it's oil from your hands, household dust, wax, etc. that builds up in any home. Clean it up and start over. Mineral spirits could be used, but, honestly I would strip it down and start over. I'm sure you will get various advice, but, remember your finished surface will only last and look good if you do the important prep.

  • Robyn Garner
    on Feb 15, 2020

    I agree with Cynthia - proper prep is key to every project in order for it to look good, last, and be the right use for your materials. I would use my "go-to", Citri Strip. Pretty much odorless and can be dripless unless you're always messy like me!


    Give the top and sides and nice thick coat and cover it with plastic. Garbage bags, shopping bags, a plastic drop cloth - whatever works for you. Wait until the morning and set a lined garbage can right next to the table. Peel off the plastic, throw it away, and use a plastic putty knife or scraper to scrape the gunk. Dump it right into the garbage can. If it seems too dried up you can put a little bit more on or spritz it with a little water. It should scrape pretty easily. Be careful not to gouge the surface!


    Clean it all up at the end mineral spirits and 000 steel wool. You might have to sand the open grain with 120 then 220 sandpaper. Wash it down or use tack cloth to get all the dust off. Then wipe down with either some alcohol or mineral spirits. After that don't touch the surface of the table so you don't get fingerprints!!!


    From there apply your chosen finish. It's not as bad as it sounds and you will be so proud of your table once you've finished! 😎

  • Dee
    on Feb 15, 2020

    If it is humid where you live or if you stained on a rainy day it could take a long time to dry. If it is warm, put the table out in the sun to dry. If it does not dry unfortunately you will have to sand it down enough to get the stain off then restain.

  • Simple Nature Decor
    on Feb 16, 2020

    I use krud kutter

  • Unique Creations By Anita
    on Feb 16, 2020

    It sounds like you stained over polyurethane. It will not dry, you will need to sand all the old sealer off first the stain and seal again.

  • Vimarhonor
    on Feb 16, 2020

    Hello I would check with the jar of stain that you used and contact the helpline associated with this product products manufacturer. These lines are very helpful and often can give you the solution that you need. If there’s ever a case of the product is faulty—they often replace it or give a refund.

  • Kmdreamer
    on Feb 18, 2020

    You could go over it with varnish

  • Maura White
    on Feb 20, 2020

    Try lemon essential oil and a microfiber cloth!

  • Brandy
    on Feb 22, 2020

    WD40 ,PB Blaster spray just the spot that needs to be cleaned a little elbow grease and all should be good. It works to get road tar off cars and roof tar off wood floors.

Your comment...