I've been working with a piece of walnut and wanted to get all the dust out of the pores before sealing. I used tack cloth to remove the dust from the piece.

The issue is that now there is a sticky residue left over that hasn't gone away after sitting for a week. I could probably sand it off but I don't want to ruin some of the carved details. Will the residue cause any problems with my finish?

  • Can you remove the residue with a solvent like mineral spirits? That will dry off the wood surface and leave it pretty much pristine.
    – grfrazee
    Jul 31 '15 at 19:51
  • 1
    For what it's worth, microfiber dusting cloths, dry, work pretty well as a replacement for tack cloths. If you have an air compressor, a blast from that can also work.
    – keshlam
    Jul 31 '15 at 22:12

Sorry to hear about your problem, something like this cropping up just before you're about to start finishing is the last thing anyone wants to deal with. And needless to say this shouldn't happen.

Will the residue cause any problems with my finish?

It depends on your finish. But for security I would want to remove it personally, regardless of what I was about to use.

The sticky residue should be partially-cured varnish, and acetone or another strong organic solvent should wipe it away easily. You should try just wiping with mineral spirits/white spirit first though, as that might just do the trick.

Previous question that you might like to look at: How to remove dust after sanding before applying paint/oil/glue?.


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