I finished a table using miniwax and tung oil. After three layers of tung oil, I lightly sanded and then used a tack cloth to remove the dust. The top is now sticky. How do I remove the stickiness without harming the finish?

  • 1
    Hi Susan, welcome to StackExchange. The basic answer is to use mineral spirits and give the surface a quick wipe down, but we need some additional detail here to get a fuller picture. Was there any stickiness before you started sanding? Did you get fine, white dust and no clumping during sanding? Last but not least, are you actually using tung oil (will usually say pure tung oil on the container or something like it) or do you have instead "Tung Oil Finish"/ The second is a very misleading product name as it generally contains no tung oil at all.
    – Graphus
    Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 6:30
  • For future reference, many woodworkers no longer use tack cloths. Not because of this problem (although worries about leaving some residue can be one reason) but mainly because it's not necessary. You can remove dust quite effectively just by brushing the surface off with a soft brush, even just by wiping with a clean towel. But one of the most effective ways and now very popular is to use a microfibre cloth.
    – Graphus
    Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 6:33
  • Secondary to the comment from @Graphus, how much time did you leave between Tung oil coats, and did you experience tackiness in these stages? Pure Tung oil can take several days (depending on the climate) to be “dry” enough for the subsequent coat.
    – PhDeadlift
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 15:39


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.