20 Hours after applying, sealer is still tacky

Q: We sealed our refinished pine floors last night. It’s been 20 hours and sealer is still tacky. We used Polyplaz. On the stained oak floor the sealer is very damp.

What could cause this? We have heat at 70, it is raining here, it has been for weeks.

A: I’ve used Poloplaz Primero for years and have only had drying issues twice. High humidity can certainly slow down drying. You need warmth which you appear to have. You need ventilation. Fresh air coming in after the finish has set is important. What is underneath these floors? If it is just a crawl space and is cold that can be a big culprit too.

Also, how thick did you apply the coating? How big is the floor area and how many gallons did you use? You should get about 500 sq. feet per gallon.

Follow-up Q: We used 1.3/4 of two gallons over about 1200 square feet. Two rooms are drying but the stained area is still very tacky. It’s over a crawl space. It has rained almost everyday over the last month here. The grounds are very soggy.

We are very concerned about putting poly down and the drying time. We need to get moved in by next weekend. Do you have any suggestions? Fans and what degree to set heat?

A: I would definitely have fans blowing air across the floor. Even warm air would be good. My hunch is also that the stain itself may not have been really dry. Not much else you can do but wait. Air moving across will certainly help.

Any time I’ve done a floor on concrete/or plywood over dirt or crawl space I know there can be an issue with slow drying. Right now ventilation and heat are your best friends.

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