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Woodworking/Sticky Oil Finish on Laminate


Hi Greg,
I put oil wood stain on the legs of my 1970's Singer sewing machine cabinet and they looked so good, that I decided to wipe the top of the cabinet with the stain.

Apparently it's laminate, and after 5 days, it stills feels tacky.  What do I do now?

Thank you,

Hi Agnes, get some mineral spirits and dampen a rag with it and rub off the stain. You may have to do it more than once, changing the rag as you go, but it should all come off and come clean- post back if need be- regards- Greg

Glad to help, but make sure you're wiping off the oil stain well with the mineral spirits...the idea is to completely remove don't want any left on the surface, as it will never dry.You want to wet the rag thoroughly, until almost dripping, and the rub off any remaining stain...followed by drying with another dry rag.
Oil stain as a rule, should not be used over a previously finished surface in an attempt to restore it...if you read the directions carefully you will see this info.....there are some stains that can be used that way, to restore a a Gel stain, which is a heavy bodied stain in a polyurethane carrier. I use the General,Old Masters, and the Bartley, but Minwax does make a line of them, too. These will have very good color strength, and dry fully and predictably, even on a laminate surface. (these can be used to finish fiberglass doors as well.)Many "unfinished" furniture stores carry Gel stains in pints, likely your local Home Depot will have a small assortment of Minwax Gel stain, but likely only in quarts.WoodCraft carries the pints of General, and they can be bought at a store or online as well.Here are some links.


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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects,Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings,wood species recognition,usage,etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Sold, built, serviced, setup Home,Industrial and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools, and offered instruction on use and care as well.I even have some Trade show Demo experience.

none at this time.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002)-("27 year compilation of expert know-how"),Multiple times in Family Handyman Magazine, local newspapers as well.

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars by Major tool manufacturers, Delta, Powermatic, Performax, Porter Cable, Skil/Bosch to name a few.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT.(the Antiques capital of CT.)
Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies.For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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