Exterior stain used on Douglas Fir will not dry!

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Forum topic by SimonSKL posted 09-16-2009 04:20 AM 8785 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SimonSKL's profile


185 posts in 2657 days

09-16-2009 04:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: exterior stain douglas fir finish storage bench outdoor furniture

I posted a project of a storage bench made of Douglas Fir a couple weeks ago. Since it is an outdoor furniture so I decided to use an exterior stain with UV protection on it. This particular stain is acrylic oil formula made by Pittsburgh Paints but cleaned up with warm soapy water! According to the label, it is supposed to dry after 24 hours. I used a HVLP sprayer to apply the stain. After 24 hours it was still tacky so I waited 2 more days and it was still tacky at some spots! I went ahead and sprayed 2 more coats with 2-3 days in between each coat. Now after almost a week of applying the final coat, the surface at some spots is still sticky to the touch and definitely not dry. Temperature and humidity were within normal ranges recommended during the time that I applied the stain and I did not spray heavy with each coat.

Did anyone have any experience with staining Douglas Fir? What should I do to remedy this besides completely strip the stain off and start over again with another formulation? If I have to come to that, what type of exterior stain should I use on this wood. Is there any sealant that I can spray over the old stain? Thanks for your help!

Here is a picture of the stained storage bench.

-- Simon, Danville, IL

4 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3636 days

#1 posted 09-16-2009 04:24 AM

I’ve had it happen with regular oil-based stain on maple.

In my experience, the best advice is to just wait. It will dry eventually…. within a week most likely.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View djwong's profile


167 posts in 2637 days

#2 posted 09-16-2009 05:11 AM

If the douglas fir you used for the project was not kiln dried, perhaps there is too much moisture in the wood. Most of the douglas fir sold in the home centers in my area (San Jose, CA) are sold green, and usually very wet.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View a1Jim's profile


115167 posts in 2994 days

#3 posted 09-16-2009 06:19 AM

I agree with Charlie and David.

-- Custom furniture

View SimonSKL's profile


185 posts in 2657 days

#4 posted 09-16-2009 06:29 AM

I kind of suspect the wood was not dry enough as I noticed a couple of knots that I cut were oozing sap after the cut. I know the stain label recommends not to apply stain under direct sunlight. Do you think it is a good idea to place the storage bench under direct sun to speed up the drying process for the stain?

-- Simon, Danville, IL

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