How long does it take poly stain over the paint job to dry?

by Dee
The stain will not dry. After 48 hours and it's still really sticky. Any suggestions? Should I just continue to wait for it to dry or do I have to start over?? Thank you so much
  7 answers
  • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on Aug 20, 2014
    I'm thinking you should have primed it and painted it and then marine finished it. Dries in an hour to touch. What exactly did you do and use which products?
    • Dee Dee on Aug 20, 2014
      @Barbara Turner I put 1 coat of Kilz 1-2-3 primer, 2 coats of semi-gloss paint, and 1 rub down of stain with polyurethane in it. It's been really humid and that may be why it's taking so long to dry - it's inside the house.
  • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on Aug 20, 2014
    Oh, ok, well, you really should have stopped at the semi-gloss paint (That's why it is called that) and MAYBE just sprayed a clear poly on top of it. The chemicals are reacting to each other. Now, that said, because you used it on a utility piece, I'm not sure if you may just have to start over and strip it. I would not have put the stain with poly on top of all that other chemicals. And the humidity is not helping, that's for sure. Hope it works out. Let me know.
  • Shari Shari on Aug 20, 2014
    Stain is intended to be used on bare wood, or wood that has been previously stained with no top coat. It soaks down into the wood to enhance the grain. If you have primed and/or painted first, there is nowhere for the stain to go except to sit on top of the paint. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I believe it probably won't ever dry sufficiently and sorry to say, I think you are going to have to start over. :( Or at least you are going to have to use a stripper type product to remove at least the layer of stain. If you tell us what you were trying to achieve when you applied the stain, maybe we can help you chose the right product for the look you want. Did you want to give the cabinet an "antique" look? Or were you just trying to put a protective top coat over your paint?
    • See 2 previous
    • Shari Shari on Aug 21, 2014
      @Shari I had another thought regarding glaze. The containers of glaze I have seen in Lowes are fairly large so if your project is small, you will probably end up with far more glaze than you need. Craft stores like Michael's and Joann's carry smaller bottles of glaze in the craft paint aisle. Depending on how much glaze you need, that might be a more economical way to go.
  • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on Aug 20, 2014
    Stain over flat seems to dry. Darn that gloss.
  • Dee Dee on Aug 20, 2014
    I wanted to give the cabinet sort of an antiqued look And Protect it from scratches. I guess I really messed up unh? If I use mineral spirits to remove the sticky stain will it also remove the paint
    • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Aug 21, 2014
      @Dee I haven't tried this technique but from what I have read on this site it appears that people use a type of was to get that look. I think your best bet is to strip and start again, will be less trouble in the end and will look great. You can search for furniture was on this site. Here is the search I did -
  • Sheila Sheila on Nov 23, 2015
    I have done the stain over paint technique many times. Use chalk or flat paint so your stain has something to "sink" into. You can try this: wipe back the stain with mineral spirits really well-try to get as much stain off as possible. Make or buy some chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint) or buy a quart of good quality flat paint. Sand lightly with 220 grit paper, clean well. Apply 2 coats of paint, let dry 48 hrs. Wipe stain on with a lint less rag, then right away wipe off with a clean rag. Do this again if it's not dark enough for you.