Parts of newly stained floor are sticky and tacky

Q: I recently stained my wood floors, some parts of the floor are sticky and don’t feel dry..

A: When you applied the stain, did you stain a section, let it soak for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess with a clean cloth? If you didn’t this could explain why it is slow to dry. You might be able to remove some stain sitting on the surface of the floor by wiping it down with mineral spirits. Make sure to properly dispose of all stain and solvent soaked rags. I would open the windows and ventilate the area well.

Related Q: We had floating engineered hardwood floor placed in a rental house about 1 year ago. The previous renters unfortunately damaged the house as well as scratched up the hardwood flooring pretty bad. The contractor we hired to do all the repairs poured hardwood stain on small areas of the floor and rubbed in the stain on all the areas to stain in the scratches. 3 Days later the floor is very sticky. We tried mopping, but it hasn’t helped a lot. Is there anything we can do to wipe off the excess stain without ruining the existing finish on the floors? Thanks!

A: I would dampen a cloth with mineral spirits and wipe off as much of the excess stain as possible. Don’t leave that cloth sitting around after. Soak it and put it in a none flammable container.

Similar Q: We put minwax floor stain on the floor last night at 6 p.m., and today at 1 p.m. it is still very sticky. I now have 3 fans trying to dry it as well as a humidifier. Any suggestions? The can said it should have dried in 6 hours.

A: What the instructions say on any can is only a general guide, and is meant to reflect ideal conditions. High humidity conditions, low temperatures, poor ventilation, or too heavy stain application, or failing to wipe off the excess stain, will all slow drying considerably. It could take up to 48 hours for Min Wax stains to dry. Keep doing as you are and open some windows. Don’t apply any finish until you can rub a white cloth on the stain without getting any transfer.