Sticky/tacky countertop troubleshooting.

This can be due to two basic reasons:

  1. Poor/Inadequate Ventilation. If the surface was tacky or sticky during the finishing process, this could be due to poor ventilation during the finishing process. Our products, like most varnishes dry through oxidation. A minimum of 24 hours dry time is recommended between coats, depending on cross-ventilation, temperature and humidity (review the drying, curing and ventilation product guide). If one of the coats never dried properly and was top coated with a new coat, which blocks additional oxygen from reaching it, it could still be uncured. The finishing process completed in a poor ventilation situation can also cause all coats not to dry and the finish to remain sticky or tacky for 6 months or more. 
  2. Incompatible Cleaners. If the finished surface has become tacky or sticky after it has dried and cured, this may be from using cleaning supplies with bleach and/or ammonia. Cleaning products based in ammonia or bleach can soften the film and make it tacky/sticky. Therefore, you will want to discontinue their use immediately.

To fix a tacky or sticky surface, clean the surface with vinegar and water (and a clear water rinse) and wipe down with mineral spirits. Next, buff the surface with 4/0 steel wool or 320 grit sandpaper and let the surface dry out for 24 - 48 hours in a cross ventilation situation. Next, top coat the surface with more Waterlox Original Tung oil finish.

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