Sticky stain not drying on hardwood floor

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Q: We stained our hardwood floors in the living room. The can of stain said it takes 24 hours to dry. It has been 3 days now and our floors feel sticky. How do we fix stain not drying on hardwood floor?

A: When you applied the stain, did you remove the excess with a clean cloth?

You could try wiping the floor down with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits to remove heavy stain residue sitting on the surface. Make sure you allow good cross ventilation to aid in drying.

Similar Q: I have sanded a floor and stained it, but the stain is sticky after 3 days. What do I do?

A: A couple of questions: what is the name of the stain? Who makes it? How did you apply it? I apply one row of a manageable width at a time with a rag and after a few minutes I go over it with another rag and wipe off the excess. If you did not do this and basically applied it like paint you may have to get a pile of rags and a basin of mineral spirits. Dampen the rag and see if you can remove the sticky stain sitting on the surface. It would be a good idea to open windows and have a fan blowing. The only other reason I can think of that would cause a stain to dry slowly would be a cold floor and a confined space with no air movement.

Follow-up: That’s funny because I did the thing with mineral spirits at 8:30AM today and just opened your email at 8:30PM requesting I try mineral spirits. And it worked.

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