How to Fix Sticky Teak Oil? (2 Easy Fixes)

If you don’t prep the surface or apply too many coats, teak oil turns sticky. So, how to fix sticky teak oil?

To fix sticky teak oil, remove it using mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, or turpentine. Once the wood oil is removed, prep the surface properly and re-apply it.

You can also damp a rag with mineral spirits and wipe off the excess 30 minutes after applying it. This works if the finish isn’t drying because you applied too many coats. 

Why Does Teak Oil Get Sticky?

Teak oil turns sticky (or tacky) because the wood oil isn’t drying. This means something is preventing its solvent from evaporating.

Here are other reasons:

  1. Too Many Coats – If you apply too many coats, the finish takes longer to dry and remains sticky for several days. That’s because this wood oil has a slow dry time, and applying too many coats slows the dry time even more. For instance, Raw Teak oil takes up to one month to cure. 
  2. Wipe The Excess – If you don’t wipe the excess after applying, the finish turns tacky. That’s because there will be too much wood oil on the surface, causing the finish to not dry and turn sticky. So, after applying it, use a clean rag to wipe off the excess to prevent it from turning sticky or tacky. 
  3. Expired Teak Oil – If the Teak oil is expired, it will turn sticky once applied. That’s because the binder isn’t strong enough to help the finish to stick.
  4. Low Temperature -If you apply Teak old at a cold temperature (lower than 40 degrees F), the finish will turn sticky. That’s because the temperature will be too cold for the wood oil to dry. At a cold temperature, the evaporation rate of the solvent is slower, resulting in a slower dry time. So, apply only apply it when the temperature is 50 degrees (F)+. 
  5. Not Enough Dry Time -Teak oil dries to touch within 4 hours, but you must wait 6 hours before re-coating it. So, if you re-coat it too soon, the finish turns tacky.
  6. Bad Surface Prep – Before applying it, you must prep the surface properly. For instance, if the surface is already painted or sealed, you must remove it before applying Teak oil. If you don’t prep the surface, the finish won’t dry.

Wipe Off Teak Oil After Applying

Do You Need To Wipe Off Teak Oil After Applying

You must wipe off excess Teak oil 30 minutes after applying it. This allows the remaining wood oil to dry properly. If you don’t wipe the excess, there will be too many coats over the wood, and the wood can’t absorb all of it. So, the finish won’t dry.

Teak oil must penetrate the surface to dry. So, each coat of Teak oil penetrates the wood pores until there’s no more space in the pores. When the wood pores are fully soaked (filled), the next coats will stay at the top of the layer and won’t dry. 

So, wait 30 minutes for the woof oil to penetrate the pores, then remove the excess.

How To Fix Sticky Teak Oil?

The method you use to fix sticky Teak oil depends on why the oil is sticky:

Method #1: Use Mineral Spirits

Use Mineral Spirits

If you applied too many coats, damp a rag with mineral spirits and wipe the excess from the surface. Mineral spirits will liquefy the semi-solid (gummy) Teak oil, making it easier to wipe it off. Once the excess is removed, the remaining wood oil will dry properly. 

Here is a guide for this:

  1. Damp a clean rag with mineral spirits. 
  2. Wipe the surface with the dampened rag. 
  3. Wait 5 minutes for the excess Teak oil to dissolve. 
  4. Use a clean cloth to wipe the remaining Teak oil.
  5. Allow the remaining to dry. 

Method #2: Remove Teak Oil

Remove Teak Oil Entirely

You can fix sticky Teak oil by removing it entirely. This method works if the sticky finish is caused by poor surface preparation or bad application. You must dissolve the wood oil and then remove it from the surface. 

You can use mineral spirits for this; mineral spirits will dissolve the paint particles of the wood oil and liquefy it. Once the particles are dissolved, the wood oil won’t have good adhesion with the wood, and you can wipe it off.

Here is a guide:

  1. Pour mineral spirits over the finish.
  2. Allow the mineral spirits to soak into the coating for 10 minutes. 
  3. After 10 minutes, use a plastic scraper to remove the wood oil. 
  4. Damp a rag with mineral spirits and remove stubborn Teak oil. 
  5. Remove the residue of the mineral spirit with clean water.
  6. Allow the wood to dry. 
  7. Sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper. 
  8. Re-apply the finish. 

Teak Oil Dry Time

How Long Does It Take For Teak Oil To Dry?

It takes Teak oil 4 hours to dry to touch, 6 hours to dry enough for a re-coat, and 3 days to cure. The long dry and cure time is due to the oily nature of the finish.

To dry, the solvent of Teak oil (oil) must evaporate. Since oil evaporates slowly, the wood oil will also have a slow dry time. However, its dry time is also determined by humidity levels, the number of coats, and the surface type.

For instance, if the humidity levels are high, the evaporation rate is slower the dry time increases. Also, the more coats you apply, the slower it will dry. That’s because each coat decreases the evaporation rate of the solvent. 

If you re-coat Teak oil too soon, the finish turns sticky because the previous coat didn’t have enough time to dry. This means the solvent of the previous coat didn’t evaporate fully. This prevents the new coat from sticking, so the finish turns tacky.

If the solvent hasn’t evaporated, there will still be oily deposits or liquid left in the coating, causing the finish to remain wet. So, if you apply a new coat over a wet surface, the finish won’t dry. 

The sticky Teak oil will attract dust and filth, causing the finish to appear dirty and blurry. So, wait at least 6 hours before re-coating it.

Final Words

Sticky Teak oil is caused by poor surface preparation, bad application, or not allowing enough dry time between coats. To fix sticky it, remove the excess wood oil using mineral spirits and allow the remaining to dry. 

You can also remove the entire coating, sand the wood, and re-apply it. 

Tony Adams
Tony Adams

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about,

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