Sticky stain not drying on hardwood floor

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 the 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.

The stain is sticky after 3 days

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 8:30 AM today and just opened your email at 8:30 PM requesting I try mineral spirits. And it worked.

Why is my stain not drying faster?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: Why is it taking so long for my stain to dry? It’s been several days.

A: Dry times with stain is the same as it is with any coating. If it was applied in excessive amounts and not wiped off, it will take much longer to dry. Also, cool temperatures, little or no air circulation and old contaminants such as wax left in the wood can all impact how stains and finishes dry.

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