poly won't dry

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  #1  
Old 07-31-12, 12:40 PM
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poly won't dry

I just finished about 10sf of red oak in a closet with some oil-based poly left over from another project. The trouble is, the stuff won't dry. It says "dries in two hours" on the label but it's still sticky after 24 hours. Weather is hot and relatively dry so that's not the issue. Does oil-based polyurethane have a shelf life? Any ideas about what to do now? Thanks.
 
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Old 07-31-12, 02:01 PM
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Generally if coatings have went bad, you'll know it when you open the can or try to use it.

The culprit might be lack of air circulation. Can you set up a fan where it will blow air thru the closet without kicking up any dust?
 
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Old 07-31-12, 02:10 PM
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I had some trouble once with Minwax polyurethane not drying and I never used it again. Applying too heavy of a coat could be adding to the problem... but air circulation will help. I'm sure you stirred the can, to mix it well. Its possible some of the solvents have evaporated, but like Marksr said, you can usually tell when you open the can (dry frisbee on the surface). When finishing wood floors, i would only use a poly that specifically says it is for floors... it will be the most durable.
 
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Old 08-01-12, 10:51 AM
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There was a "frisbee" when I opened the can, but I added mineral spirits and stirred well. After 48 hours I wiped the still gummy surface with lacquer thinner and when the lacquer thinner evaporated the floor was hard and dry. Will use a new can of poly for next coat. Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 08-01-12, 03:05 PM
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Paint or poly that has skimmed over hasn't necessarily gone bad. If the coating will strain and mix up ok, it's usually good. If it needs more than a tad of thinner - it may be problematic.
 
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