Stain dry time

Old 04-04-21, 01:27 PM
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Stain dry time

I am building a fireplace mantel. I have a 2"X8" piece of oak that I will use for the mantel shelf. I finish sanded the wood with 220 grit and brushed on a medium heavy coat of stain wiping off the excess after a few minutes. That was 24 hours ago. The stain is still wet. I moved the wood to a heated room (I stained it in the basement which was 60* at the time). It has been in the heated room at 80* for 6 hours and it is still not dry. Any ideas why?

All I can think of is that there is something wrong with the stain. I have always used Minwax but this time I bought a big box brand.
Old 04-04-21, 02:04 PM
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Oak is so porous that you probably left a heavy coat of stain in the pores of the wood. Oak is also prone to "sweat" the stain if you bring it from a cold room into a warm one. I've found that certain colors of Minwax stain are prone to do that, so maybe your box store brand is similar that way.

Just give it time, there isn't much you can do to speed evaporation other than warm temperatures and a fan. You definitely don't want to top coat it until it's absolutely dry.
Old 04-04-21, 03:16 PM
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I tend to agree. I hadn't thought aabout the temp change. I've stained a lot of oak and never had this problem. The oak is plain sawn and kiln dried. I've had it for a year or so and I wasn't too concerned about the grain, but it looks like the stain is coming up from the wide flame grain. It was cold when I brought it in to sand and stain it. I'll give it another couple of days in 80* + temps.
Old 04-05-21, 01:58 AM
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220 is a little finer than ideal for sanding prior to staining as it will somewhat close up the pores of the wood hindering the absorption of the stain. Time and warm temps should get it dry.

You could wipe it down with a thinner rag but that will lighten the color and could cause the color to be inconsistent. You can spray oil base poly/varnish over tacky stain. This works better with lighter stains than darker ones.

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