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Stain / Woodwork help....


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So...I'm making a cute lil foot stool for my mom.

Put the kit together, sanding it down...cleaned off all the dust and let it dry.

Yesterday, I applied walnut stain outside. Let it sit for a few hours and then put on another coat.

Last night, it was still "tacky" so I wiped off the gunk with a clean towel. Then, this morning...I reapplied another coat of stain.

Question - Will that "gunk" ever dry up? Can I put the cleat coat on top of the "tacky" stain or should I completely towel off that "gunk" and let it dry prior to the clear coat.

The stain directions really didn't mentioned anything about the tacky stuff, so I'm at a loss of how to proceed.



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It depends on the product you're using but typicaly you want it to dry completely. Otherwise the top coat could cause the pigment to redistribute in the wood and may result in an blotchy finish or worse if the solvents in the stain are not compatible with the top coat. The type of wood you are finishing would have an effect on the outcome as well.

What wood is it and what brand of stain?

Have you tried contacting the manufacturer?

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If you were using a pigment type stain, which I assume you are since you used a "walnut" stain, instead of a paint like colored stain, then you need to wipe off any excess stain once you get the desired color. Those type of stains usually are not meant to be left until they dry on their own. I do all of my own woodworking and have an addition that is completely finished in wood. You can vary the color of the stain by the amount of time you leave it on wet before wiping it off. Once its been wiped it should completely dry within 24 hrs and then you can topcoat it. If you put it one wet you can get the problems that dingbat mentioned, as well as not getting the type of protection that the topcoat is supposed to give. At this point just wipe off the gunky stuff real well and let it dry overnight and you should be good. You can tell its dry enough if you rub it with your fingers and it doesn't feel "oily" anymore.

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Thanks for the tips...

It "dried" to the point where it was still tacky, but didn't press onto my finger (but it did leave a finger print). Is this normal?

On one side, there was a bit of "gunk" which I wipe off with a towel, but it took much of the walnut off as well. Oh no!

Perhaps I didn't prep enough. I have no clue of the wood as I bought the kit from the hobby shop (foot stool).

I still wouldn't call it "dry" as it's more tacky. How do you know when it's dry?

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