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jsbduncum
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎12-30-2009
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Red Oak Stair Treads

  I am making  red oak treads, risers and skirting for a client and used minwax golden oak stain and clear gloss poly (at the customers request- to match existing trim)  I stained everything and let them sit for 8-10 hours. All the parts looked and felt "dry", so I applied 1 coat of poly with a foam brush. Today, after 12 hrs, I started sanding with 320g, and noticed some of the boards were "tacky". I'm guessing the stain wasn't fully dry, and now it has a coat of poly. Do you guys think it will still be able to dry?? or will I have to strip the poly or what?  HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thanks...........JD

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Howard Acheson
Posts: 1,173
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
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Re: Red Oak Stair Treads

Did you use Minwax stain?  If so, did you thoroughly wipe off all the excess stain after letting it set for 15 minutes?

 

It sounds like the stain was not wiped.  If the excess is not wiped off, the stain will not dry properly and any finish put on top will not dry properly either.  Not wiping the excess stain is a very common problem for folks who use an oil/pigment stain.

 

In spite of what Minwax says on its label, eight hours is not enough time for stain to dry on oak.  The deep pores in oak will cause stain deep in the pores to be very slow to dry.  I would allow 48 hours if overcoating with an oil based finish or 5 days if overcoating with a waterborne finish.

 

The best way to fix the problem, if the stain was not wiped, is to use a chemical paint remover containing methylene chloride and remove the finish.  Then start over carefully following the directions on the labels of the products you use.

Howie..............
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ynoT
Posts: 10,833
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
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Re: Red Oak Stair Treads

Did you sand between the layers?

 

You may need to strip it now and start over, as Howard mentioned.

 

Tony

 

"Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you."
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Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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How old was the poly...

[ Edited ]

 

JD;

 

...and when was it last used?

 

Steve

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Veteran Contributor
jsbduncum
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎12-30-2009
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Re: How old was the poly...

Thanks guys for trying to help........

 

  The stain was applied with a rag and wiped off almost immediately. I have usually top coated after 4-6 hrs without issues. The exact age of the poly is not known. I purchased the can approx. 6-7 months ago and used it on a project and when I opened the 3/4 full can this time, it appeared the same as when "new". If age or bloxygenation was an issue, I would think that it would affect all the boards and not just some. Just my opinion. I checked the boards again and 2 out of the 13 seem to be dry. 16 were ok from the beginning.  Maybe another couple days will help??..........JD

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Howard Acheson
Posts: 1,173
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
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Re: How old was the poly...

>>>>  I have usually top coated after 4-6 hrs without issues

 

That may be but the manufacturer's instructions call for 8 hours before overcoating.  In my opinion and experiance that is not enough particularly with a deep pored wood like red oak.

 

What has been the temperature and humidity?

Howie..............
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jsbduncum
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎12-30-2009
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Re: How old was the poly...

Howie,

 

  That may be the biggest issue.......It's been rainy and in the 50's.  Shop is heated, set at 64. A couple more boards have now "dried".  Your logic about the deep pores of red oak make total sense, but to the naked eye, a couple wet ones look the same as a couple dry ones, grain-wise.  Thanks for the help......................JD

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Howard Acheson
Posts: 1,173
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
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Re: How old was the poly...

Exactly which Minwax clear poly did you use?  They have a couple of them.  Their "Fast Dry" poly has a problem drying unless the finish is applied in a very thin coat.  Minwax emphasizes "THIN" in their label instructions.  Too thick a coat and over coating before the prior coat has dried is a frequent problem reported on the Minwax site.

Howie..............

 

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