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

Dampening a rag with mineral spirits and wiping off excess Teak oil also fixes it. This method works when the Teak oil isn’t drying because you applied too many coats. When you wipe off the excess Teak oil, the remaining Teak oil will dry. 

Why Does Teak Oil Get Sticky?

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

Here are other reasons:

  1. Too Many Coats – If you apply too many coats of Teak oil, the finish takes longer to dry and remains sticky for several days. That’s because Teak 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 Excess Teak Oil – If you don’t wipe the excess Teak oil after applying, the Teak oil turns tacky. That’s because there will be too much Teak oil on the surface, causing the finish to not dry and turn sticky. So, after applying Teak oil, use a clean rag to wipe off the excess wood oil 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 Teak oil stick. So, the Teak oil won’t stick or dry. 
  4. Low Temperature -If you apply Teak old at a cold temperature (lower than 40 degrees F), the oil will turn sticky. That’s because the temperature will be too cold for the Teak oil to dry. At a cold temperature, the evaporation rate of the solvent will be slower, resulting in a slower dry time. So, apply Teak oil 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 Teak oil. So, if you re-coat Teak oil too soon, the finish turns sticky.
  6. Bad Surface Prep – Before applying Teak oil, 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 Teak oil can turn tacky.

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 Teak oil to dry properly. If you don’t wipe the excess Teak oil, there will be too many coats, and the wood oil won’t dry and will turn sticky. 

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 Teak oil to penetrate the wood pores, then remove the excess Teak oil. 

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 of Teak oil, damp a rag with mineral spirits and wipe the excess Teak oil from the surface. Mineral spirits will liquefy the semi-solid (gummy) Teak oil, making it easier to wipe it off. Once the excess Teak oil is removed, the remaining teak 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 Teak oil to dry. 

Method #2: Remove Teak Oil

Remove Teak Oil Entirely

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

If left for too long, the mineral spirits will dissolve the paint particles of the Teak oil and liquefy it. This allows you to remove the Teak oil easier. 

Here is a guide:

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

Teak Oil Dry Time

How Long Does It Take For Teak Oil To Dry?

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

To dry, the solvent of Teak oil must evaporate. Teak oil uses oil as its solvent, and the evaporation rate of the oil is slow. So, the Teak oil has a slow dry time. 

However, the dry time of Teak oil depends on the 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 the Teak oil dries. That’s because each coat decreases the evaporation rate of the solvent. 

Don’t Re-coat Too Soon

If you re-coat Teak oil too soon, the finish turns sticky. That’s 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 Teak oil coat from sticking, so the finish turns sticky.

If the solvent of the Teak oil hasn’t evaporated, there will still be oily deposits or liquid left in the Teak oil coating, causing the finish to remain wet. If you apply Teak oil over a wet surface, the finish turns sticky. 

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

Final Words

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

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

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