Hardwood floor finishing problems

Hey all,
I'm new to this group, but I was very hopefull I might get some advice here. I've been looking though a number of groups but haven't found an answer.
I installed new hardwood floors in the past weeks. I used unfinished brazilian cherry. The installation went well enough, then I went to finishing them. Sanding went well, took the floor down level and smooth. I applied a natural stain which brought out the beautiful color in the wood. Now comes the problem:
I installed the floor on my upper and main floor. The upper floor looked great and after 2 days was dry and I applied a water based finish to it. 4 coats later I have a lovely floor that is done.
The main floor had some area where I didn't apply enough stain and needed another coat. I went to two stores and couldn't find the same stain I used (Minwax ) so I grabbed another brand of natural colored stain ( Watco ) thinking it would work fine. Both are oil based although the Minwax is recommended for floors and the Watco is not which I know now but not then.
Where the first coat dried and was ready for a finish in 2 days, it has now been over a week since I applied the 2nd coat and it is still sticky. I did a test area 3 days after the 2nd coat of stain, but the finish dried cloudy and very badly. After a week and no improvement I tried some mineral spirits to help clear up the 2nd coat of stain. That may have been a bad idea, but either way it seemed to help at first, but a few days later the floor is still to sticky for the finish.
I finally decided to try and sand it down again and start over, I have to get this done. As some of you may have guessed that doesn't work because it doesn't take any time for the sandpaper to get gummed with the sticky wood up then start ripping. I went through several papers and got very little floor taken down.
Feel free to say that any approach I've taken is just stupid, I just need to know what to do. If anyone has any ideas or can point me to a post that might help, I'm about to put a shovel through my floor out of pure frustration, and my wife has been very patient, but I don't know how much longer she'll put up with our furniture in the garage and our kitchen out on the porch. Thanks,
Trock
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What exactly did you use? AFAIK, Watco does not make a stain, but does make various finishing oils http://www.watco.net/brand.asp?frm_brand_id#&SBL=1
If you used a Danish oil, it will look nice, but, not being a stain, will not cure the same way. I don't know of any cures aside from time, but you are beyond normal time. a.. A surface coat is not necessary over WATCO wood finishes, however if a clear finish is desired, use Varathane Professional or Interior Diamond Wood Finish. These products may be applied 72 hours after applying a WATCO wood finish or Rejuvenating Oil. If no one here can help, try http://www.woodanswers.com /
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You are right. I used a Watco Danish finish oil. I don't know if the previous Minwax coat is preventing the drying, would a couple of area heaters make quick work of this?
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Don't burn down the house.
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Trock wrote:

Follow label instructions, which usually include temp and humidity limits. Drying surface too quickly, as in hot sun, traps solvents below the surface film because the film formed too quickly.
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Trock wrote:

Oils never "dry" in the way you mean...they dry but the result is a soft, gummy material. Your first coat of oil soaked in and dried (which is what they are supposed to do) which prevented the second coat from doing much more than sitting on top of the surface.
Oils are meant to be applied, allowed to soak in for a while then wiped off as per instructions on the can. *ALL POSSIBLE* wiped off. Did you do that? If you didn't, neither time nor anything you do will make the residual oil dry any harder than it already probably is...the only ways to get rid of it are to physically or chemically remove it. A scraper will work much better (initially) than sandpaper to remove it physically.
The sad thing is that you could have achieved what you wanted and avoided all hassle simply by not using the "stain" (oil) and using oil based urethane rather than water based.
--

dadiOH
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You say you never stained it right or finished, I would then remove the finish or it will never look right. You might need to sand it all out. What does Watco recomend to removre the oil, a circular buffer with pads should work easily to remove it, A pro would do it quick and right, consider one. Your floor is no place to learn, dont think finishing is any easier.
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Thanks for the advice all.. Good to know I shouldn't try to bake it in, because I'm at a point to try just about anything. Unfortunately I didn't wipe down the floor after applying the 2nd finish, I have several times since learning that is needed.
Oh so many things learned in this experience, and yea, all of this could have easily been avoided had I just got it right from the start. I hate learning this way.
Trock
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The advantage is you remember it oh so much better.
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