tung oil finish not drying... what to do?


hi. i have been tung oiling the wood work in my home with great results. i also used the formby's high gloss on a desk and a few oher things. all look great. i mixed some minwax oil based walnut stain with some of the formby's tung oil finish and did the legs on an old table that we use in the dining room. i do not know what kind of finish was on it before. no way to tell that i know of. the table is probably 60+ years old. 18 hours later the finish is only now reached the tacky stage. one of the legs had been chewed on by a dog in the past. where the finish had beed chewed off the tung oil is compleyely dry. what do i do? wait and see if the rest dries out? strip it off and start over? what do i use to strip it off with? thanks james.
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If it looks good now, the finish matches and the colors are good, I would leave it. You answer is an easy one from the stand point of what is happening.
Where the dog chewed off the wood, it removed the old finish on the wood and exposed a new, pourous surface. The tung went right in in the wood with no problem.
But where the wood still has some finish on it, it makes the tung oil sit on top of the old finish without penetration, or maybe just a small amount of penetration. In your case, you are now waiting for the new finish (over the old) to catalyse by air exposure alone.
I would let it sit in the house where it is warm and presumable if it is cold outside, your heating system will be busy removing the moisture from the air. Again, if the finish matches, that is the most important thing. You may be waiting a few days for this finish to really harden up.
If you get impatient and try to remove it, you will probably dissolve/damage the old finish with and wind up refinishing the whole piece.
Robert
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One of the cardinal rules of using oil is printed right on the can. Wipe it on, allow time for it to soak or set (15-30 minutes) then wipe off the excess. If you don't do this last step it can take a long time to dry. I found out the hard way with a quilt rack a few years ago. Luckily I could move to rack to a sunny spot and it dried.
On these types of projects you might also try one of the wipe on poly's. They are a little more forgiving. You will need to sand lightly, wipe the surface with spirits, then after an hour or so, wipe on the finish. I have touched up some our oak cabinets and woodwork this way and its pretty easy.
RonB
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