Tacky minwax - old product?

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ruggedruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
462
I'm messing up the refinishing of my old Stevens 311. I sanded it down awhile back, and after killing myself studying a thousand different opinions on how to finish a stock, I decided that since I've got a birch stock, just go ahead and get it done with Minwax and TruOil. I tried out some different stains on some birch I had nearby, and was surprised to find that "Jacobeam" actually looked pretty good.

I applied it with a clean cotton rag, and continued to wipe it on until it seemed even. I do not think I wiped it down, per se, with a different clean cloth. If I recall, it seemed to dry nicely, and I applied a 2nd coat four hours later. However, that coat did not dry, and remained tacky. (fwiw, I dried the stock inside my house with central air conditioning).

I used paint thinner on a clean rag, and wiped the stock down lightly. It did remove some of the finish, lightening it in color. However, it was almost immediately dry.

I figured I had not wiped enough of the stain off the stock after applying it. I also know that I was using some OLD OLD minwax. However, I went back to it, stirring it really well, and applying a 3rd coat. Now, it was getting to the color I desired. However, it too, was still tacky this morning.

I plan on wiping it down with pain thinner once again, but this time leaving it for a longer time, to see if it really does dry well. If it is significantly lighter in color, I'm either going to go with another coat of minwax, OR I'm going to buy a new can (which I should've done to begin with).

Anyone have experience with this, or made a similar mistake (discovery!)?
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
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1,409
Location
Pennsylvania
Sounds like varnish, or boiled linseed oil. Perhaps take a cup or so of your minwax and add some Japan drier to speed the process up a bit. Your hardware store or Lowes or Home Depot, etc should have the Japan drier, and it should have some directions on how much to add.
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
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Location
Milo Maine
Stain is not meant for multiple coats what does not get absorbed NEEDS to be wiped off!

If darker color or more color is desired use a darker stain! Too much stain on the surface also
will hide the figure in the wood. Boils down to wipe all excess stain off. ps
 

ruggedruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
462
Sorry, ps, I didn't know that you are only to apply one coat of stain. I inadvertently followed the instructions by Minwax on their website, which says that multiple coats are allowed.

I have finished many a woodworking project with Minwax stain over the years, and have had wonderful results. When I applied this stain, it was applied sparingly and in my book, I felt the excess had been wiped away, although I did not intentionally return to the piece to do so. In other words, I did not soak it with stain, and leave it. It was wiped on such that it appeared to be fine.
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
7,408
Location
Milo Maine
YMMV multiple coats may be allowed It is just not what I'm accustomed to. Stain is basically
just colors or shades the wood, excess wipes off. When dry apply finish! I'm usure why you would stain it more than once! Good luck :) ps
 

ruggedruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
462
I am using the regular oil Minwax finish. I am not an expert by far, and admit that I'd rather be following some other method. I am too busy to pursue these things, and darn it, everything costs money. I had the stain, and I tried to use it. I did wipe it down this morning with some mineral spirits, and it was dry shortly afterwards. When i got home this evening, I checked it, and it was not tacky at all. I'd still like it a little darker, but we'll see what it looks like in the daylight tomorrow.

Now, IF this stock was WALNUT, then I wouldn't be staining it most likely. Since it was birch, this is what I opted for.

I am reading up on some mods for the 311 - ones that allow it to fall open - far enough to eject the shells without having to hold the barrels down. We'll see if I attempt that before I reassemble.
 

Chuck 100 yd

Hunter
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
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3,251
Location
Ridgefield WA
I often repeat the stain process with a second or even third coat. BUT, the excess of each coat needs to be wiped off and be sure to let the stain dry completely. I usually let it dry at least 24 hours.
 

buckeyeshooter

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
750
Location
Ohio
my guess is the tackiness was caused by 'solvent trapping'. meaning the stain and/or minwax was applied too heavily and not allowed to dry. Then you get a dry top and wet underneath with no way for the solvent to escape. A longer period between recoats solves this problem initially. removing and redoing is the solution once it occurs.
 
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