enter image description hereenter image description heremy question is about how to save my table!!! Im doing my first project. I sanded the table yesterday, applied pre-stain/ conditioner and then my first layer of stain. I went to check it to see if it needs a second coat of stain or if its ready for the poly and the table is WET FROM MOISTURE! I tried drying it off with a towel but now what? Please help me save my dining room table!

(Also, stain is MINWAX Wood Finish Penetrating Stain Early American 230 ) *google says it's an oil based stain**

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    What kind of base for the stain,oil or water? Is the coloring affected? Is the grain raised? What is the source of the moisture?
    – Ashlar
    Dec 14, 2017 at 18:17
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    Pictures would help tremendously. Dec 14, 2017 at 18:27
  • The stain is Minwax Wood: Penetrating Stain Finishing Early American 230. ( oil based I believe). -color doesn't appear to be affected other than the table looks wet.... -the source of the moisture is the dew from the cold/ outside. I added a photo of the table to the post. I don't see any raised grain from what I can tell Dec 14, 2017 at 18:30
  • I posted some! Please let me know if others would be more helpful and I can add more photos Dec 14, 2017 at 18:47
  • The coating of oil stain should have served to keep water from penetrating. If you are satisfied with the appearance of the stained wood and since there is no raised grain, I would think it is ready for a finish once it is dry.
    – Ashlar
    Dec 15, 2017 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


applied pre-stain/ conditioner

You didn't need to do that unless you'd identified in advance that the wood was prone to blotching. Helping to prevent or minimise blotching is the sole reason to pre-treat wood in this way.

What you've done in this case is partially sealed the entire wood surface (not just over-absorbent patches) which unfortunately means the stain will have coloured the wood much less than it would have otherwise as I think is shown in the photos.

now what?

It's impossible to be sure but it looks like the tabletop wasn't adversely affected and you can proceed with finishing after giving the table ample time to dry off.

Remember wood can still be damp even if it doesn't look damp so after wood gets a good wetting with water it's generally safest to wait at least a full day before the next step.

Once you're ready to apply poly
As clarified in a Comment the source of the water was dew. I think it goes without saying but in case not, if you leave it where it is the same thing could happen again the following morning which you obviously want to avoid.

And you MUST have the table somewhere where it won't get damp for the varnishing stage, including during the entire time the varnish is drying. Call it a solid week with a conservative safety margin. If water condenses on the surface when the varnish is still largely wet Bad Things will happen, and at worst it would mean having to go all the way back to bare wood and starting again.

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