Staining my old desk


I stained my old desk with Home Depot's Minimax stain. It has been two days already and it's still a little damp.
What did I do wrong? I thought the stain would dry out overnight.
Is there anyway can I make it dry faster since I'm planning to put a couple of clear coat on it.
Your advice is sincerely appreciated. Angela
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you didn't tell us what you steps you took. did you follow the directions on the can? it is high humidity there? did you provide a good air flow over it?
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charlie wrote:

Not to mention I've never heard of "Minimax" stain -- I presume that was/is supposed to be "Minwax" which is a brand, not a specific product.
So, w/o knowing anything whatsoever about either the product or the application, it's pretty hard to give any advice that could be known to be applicable.
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Goog wrote:

This is oil base stain? If so, it isn't like paint...you brush it on, let it sit a bit and then wipe it off. Sounds like you didn't wipe it off. You can...
1. Wipe it down thoroughly with paint thinner to try to remove excess.
2. Do nothing and see if it dries (it will - eventually - but not hard).
3. Remove it and start over.
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dadiOH
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This may be a little simplistic, but did you sand your old desk first, or did you just apply stain to the existing finish?
Cindy Hamilton
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What is indoor humidity, is it humid or air conditioned .
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on 8/14/2009 5:14 PM (ET) ransley wrote the following:

Maybe it was a metal desk with a laminate top. :-)
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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I apologize for not providing enough info. I'm new to home repair.
1. The brand of the stain is Minwax (yellow can) from Home Depot. 2. It's oil base. 3. I lightly sanded the old desk before applied the new stain. 4. I used a rag to apply the stain but didn't wipe it out real real dry. 5. The desk is inside my condo and the temp is set at 78 degree.
I saw Home Depot sells some type of polyurethane (water based) and it said "quick dry".
1. Should I go ahead and apply the clear coat on (even the wood is still a little wet). 2. Or should I wait until it dries out completely completely before put the clear coat on?
Thanks so much to those who replied. I appreciate it.
I guess I just leave it alone and it will dry eventually as one of the posters suggested.
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"Goog" wrote

Thats ok! We all were at some stage and most of us know only some aspects, not all.

I've not used the brand but my husband has. He says it will be tacky for about a week then solidly dry. Just let it be for now is what he says. Anything else you do now, will muck it up.

This may be related to it. Don and I normally take it down totally to bare wood unless we want a slightly 'distressed look' to an old solid piece (in shich case a few minor bits of the old stain at the hard to reach spots works well).

Same here but used brush with thin coats (2).

If you can set it outside without mucking up the finish, it will dry faster but it's not hurting anything where it is. I'd leave it be for a week.

Relatively. Do not add this now, wait for the stain to hard seal.

Wait til it dries totally.
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cshenk wrote:

Again, "Minwax" is a brand; they have a large number of products and many (most????) of those are in various variations of yellow cans so _still_ if you want some answers that are pertinent to the actual case you need to provide sufficient information...
Chances are (but as noted not guaranteed) the product is the "Wood Finish" stain; at least the gel formulation is also in yellow, others might be as well, I don't recall otomh...

That undoubtedly is very highly related -- if there's finish left there's no place for the solvent to be absorbed into the wood pores so the entire process has to be from the surface. Depending on what the original finish was (varnish, poly, shellac, lacquer, ...) the solvent in the stain may well have dissolved/softened it and mixed leaving what is anybody's guess as to what the characteristics of that mixture are.
In general, such things lead to a gummy mixture that doesn't have very good drying properties so I'm not at all surprised in that case it hasn't dried quickly.

And that's a problem both from the drying and from a potential problem w/ the topcoat down the road. Oil stains are designed for the pigments to be absorbed into the pores in the wood, not to be left deposited on the surface like a paint or solid-stain. If there's a significant layer of pigment left on the surface likely one will have trouble w/ a topcoat in several ways--first, it will probably redissolve some of the pigments and carry them into the finish which tends to "muddy" the appearance and secondly since the product isn't designed as a paint layer the pigment doesn't contain binders to make it "stick". As such, chances are high that the topcoat surface will not adhere for long term.

And whatever you do, make sure it is listed as being compatible w/ the specific product you did use. Not all water-based finishes are recommended over oil and particularly w/ the (apparent) mixing you already have don't make it even more of a polyglot...
Here's a link to the Minwax site for some pointers...
<http://www.minwax.com/how_to/basics_of_wood_finishing/
I personally like the original Minwax products that includes the Wood Finish stain and the Antique Oil Finish; I'm not as fond of their poly's and definitely do not like the combination products.
What to use depends also on what kind of a surface you're after and what the actual wood is and the existing finish.
I'd suggest going to the Minwax site and reading the FAQ and usage guides, etc., for the specific product as a first next step.
Not being able to see it to judge, very specific advice is hard, but from the description if presented w/ the piece I'd venture my next step would be to take a rag and wet it with the stain and work on rubbing it out to remove the excess layer from the top and then see how that acts. It will be very hard to rub initially, but if you can salvage it, at one point all of a sudden it will work much more easily. If that doesn't work well after a go, I'd likely go to a thinned version using some thinner as lubricant. Either way, what you need to do is to get it down to the layer of what was absorbed.
At that point you'll have to judge whether the look is ok or not--if it's blotchy because of existing finish it's likely the only real solution will be to start over and sand it down to bare wood or at least to remove the existing finish uniformly.
--

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dpb wrote: ...

And, if the amount left was really quite heavy, as much as I hate steel wool for the mess it leaves behind, there's always the expedient of using 4-ought s-wool dipped w/ the stain or thinner...
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Goog wrote:

What were you sanding, wood or the old finish? Stain is meant to be applied to bare wood. ____________

It is "quick dry" only because it is water base. ______________

ABSOLUTELY NOT! ________________

Ther oil in oil based stain/paint/whatever is linseed oil. Linseed oil doesn't dry in the sense of liquid evaporating; instead, the oil cures. Even when cured, linseed oil isn't hard. Water - as in water base poly - and oil don't mix. Oh, you *can* apply water base poly after the oil is completely cured but in your case it is impossible to say when that might be - could be months - as no one knows how much stain you put on.
You *might* be able to put on oil base poly soon, again, depending on how much stain you put on. If you can dampen a rag with paint thinner and remove stain then you should not.
--

dadiOH
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