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I refinished a softwood tabletop using Minwax Red Oak 215 stain and Circa 1850 Antique Danish Oil. I've waited over 6 months and the oil is still sticky/tacky! We're talking post-it note levels. I could probably hang this thing on the wall without fasteners. It's still giving off plenty of odour as well! What can I do to get this stuff to cure/harden and finish off-gassing?

I did one other project using the same finishing oil, but it was on bare wood; no stain involved. That one cured in about a month or two and ended up a really lovely finish with a semi-gloss look.

Is there something about the stain that is interfering with the oil?

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  • Hi, welcome to StackExchange. Thanks so much for including details of the products you used, you'd be surprised how often we don't get that! But we need to know exactly how you finished this; give as much detail as possible, from how you removed the previous finish through every subsequent step as any previous stage could have a bearing here. Unfortunately there is a chance that you did everything right and it's just the "Danish oil", bad batches of finish can occur from any maker (although the circa 1850 stuff has a good reputation).
    – Graphus
    Jul 2 at 5:43
  • A bad batch of finish aside, the cure time for the other project maybe suggests you didn't follow the directions as fully as you might think you did, and reading them at the link you provided they aren't as explicit as they could be about removing excess...... Typically a "Danish oil" will be cured enough that it's no longer tacky in only one, or at most two, days. But this is predicated on a really really thin coat of the stuff being left on the wood — because these products are generally an oil/varnish blend (which won't cure hard) the norm is to wipe away everything that will come off.
    – Graphus
    Jul 2 at 5:45
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    On the bright side, I do think you may have come up with a new solution for hanging small artwork on the wall! :) (Come on, you have to look for the bright side!)
    – FreeMan
    Jul 2 at 12:38
  • Although I haven't worked with danish oil, I've hardened slow curing finishes by putting them out in the sunshine for a few hours on a low-humidity, no-chance of rain day. Jul 15 at 0:28
  • Thanks all for the many good points! (FreeMan thanks for the laugh!) As Graphus points out, I definitely under-explained how I got to this point. I had plenty of trouble getting an even finish at all - some portions of the wood were way more absorbent than others and I finally rage-applied a fairly thick coat. That might be contributing to the eternal cure time. I think I'll try out @Henry's suggestion of sunshine treatment and see how that goes before breaking out the mineral spirits and starting over. Jul 16 at 17:29

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