Asked on Sep 10, 2014

Stain is still sticky after over 24 hours.

by Cindy
I stripped and sanded the top of a dresser and applied stain. Not an all in one type with poly in it, just a plain stain. After 24+ hours the stain is still sticky. Any ideas??
  3 answers
  • Shari Shari on Sep 10, 2014
    I have always avoided working with stain whenever possible because it can be so finicky sometimes. I am assuming you applied the stain, let it sit for 10-20 minutes (whatever length of time the label suggests) and then wiped off any that didn't soak into the wood, right? If you didn't wipe away the excess then it's just sitting there, too much for the wood to absorb quickly. Weather, humidity especially, can play a huge roll in how well it dries or doesn't. Has it been rainy/humid in your area in the last 24 hours? If so, I'd give it some more time. A fan can speed up the process but it should dry eventually.

    • Cindy Cindy on Sep 10, 2014
      @Shari Yes, I applied the stain, waited 10 minutes and wiped away the excess. It was already sticky after 10 minutes and the excess was hard to wipe away. Wiped off what I could and am still waiting for it to dry. Humidity is always a possibility here but usually after this long it is dry. I'll just keep waiting. Thanks.

  • Z Z on Sep 10, 2014
    In my experience, you really shouldn't wait more than five minutes before wiping. Was the stain water or oil based?

  • When stains and finishes tend not to dry properly there can be a few things that are causing this. The biggest is humidity. Excessive moisture both in the wood and air can cause all sorts of havoc with drying. If the stain was an oil stain you may have left it on to long or put it on to heavy. If the need to leave it on a longer time was because it was not soaking in as you wished and the color was wiping off, you may not have prepared the wood properly. Use mineral spirits and clean off the surface and then try a lighter coat. If that fails to dry then its likely that the stain is no good. Try a new can.