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

Teak oil is a wood finish designed specifically for outdoor Teak wood and other hardwoods but can be used on other wood types too.

Teak oil turns sticky if you re-coat it too soon, apply too many coats, or if you don’t wipe the excess. To fix sticky Teak oil, use mineral spirits or remove the finish and re-apply it.

Why Does Teak Oil Turn Sticky?

Teak oil turns sticky for the following reasons.

  1. You Re-coated too soon.
  2. Applied Too Many Coats.
  3. You Didn’t Wipe the Excess.
  4. The Teak Oil is Expired.
  5. Low Room Temperature.
  6. Bad Surface Prep.

1. Re-coated Too Soon

If you re-coat Teak oil too soon, the finish will turn sticky as the existing coat solvent will prevent the new coat from adhering or drying.

Teak oil takes around 6 hours to dry between coats.

2. Too Many Coats

Teak oil takes longer to dry and will remain sticky for longer if you apply too many coats. The more coats you apply, the longer to finish takes to dry as there’s more solvent to evaporate.

3. You Didn’t Wipe the Excess

The finish turns tacky or sticky if you don’t wipe the excess Teak oil. You must wipe the excess coating as wooden surfaces can’t absorb all of it.

Use a clean rag to wipe the excess wood oil from the surface 30 minutes after applying it.

4. Teak Oil is Expired

Expired Teak oil will turn sticky after application or won’t adhere to the surfaces because its binder and other additives aren’t strong enough.

Ensure to check the expiration date before using the wood oil.

5. Low Room Temperature

Teak oil takes longer to dry and can turn sticky if the room temperature is lower than 50°F (10°C). If the room temperature is low, the wood oil solvent takes longer to evaporate and creates a sticky appearance.

Use a hair dryer or heater near the wood oil coating to increase the temperature so the solvent (oil) evaporates faster.

6. Bad Surface Prep

Teak oil won’t adhere properly and can turn sticky if the underlying surface is dirty or wet. A dirty surface prevents the wood oil from adhering and a wet surface prevents it from drying.

Ensure to clean the surface and wait until it’s fully dry before applying wood oil.

Do You Need To Wipe Excess Teak Oil?

Do You Need To Wipe Off Teak Oil After Applying

You must wipe excess Teak oil 30 minutes after applying it to help the wood surface absorb it properly.

If you don’t wipe the excess, there will be too much Teak oil that wood can’t absorb, which creates a sticky (or tacky) finish.

Teak oil must penetrate the wood pores to adhere and dry, but if the wood pores are filled, the remaining coating won’t dry or adhere and will turn tacky or peel off.

How To Fix Sticky Teak Oil?

To fix sticky teak oil, do the following things.

  1. Use Mineral Spirits.
  2. Remove the Finish and Re-apply it.

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.

2. Remove the Finish and Re-apply it

Remove Teak Oil Entirely

If a sticky Teak oil finish is caused by improper surface prep or bad application, remove the finish entirely, fix the surface issues, and re-apply it. If the surface is faulty, you can’t fix it without removing the finish.

Use mineral spirits to remove a wood oil finish as dissolves the paint particles and liquefies the coating. Once the particles are dissolved, the wood oil won’t have good adhesion with the wood, and you can wipe it off.

To remove Teak oil finish, do the following things.

  1. Pour mineral spirits over the finish.
  2. Wait 10 minutes.
  3. Use a plastic scraper to scrape the wood oil finish off.
  4. Damp a rag with mineral spirits and use it to wipe the surface.
  5. Remove mineral spirits residue with soapy water.
  6. Pour clean water over the wooden surface.
  7. Fix the surface issues.
  8. Re-apply Teak Oil.

How Long Does Teak Oil Take To Dry?

How Long Does It Take For Teak Oil To Dry?

Teak oil takes around 4 hours to dry to touch, 6 hours to dry between coats, and 3 days to cure (fully dry). The long dry and cure time is due to the oily nature of the finish.

The exact dry time is determined by room temperature, humidity levels, the number of coats, and coat viscosity. For instance, Teak oil dries faster if you apply thin coats and the temperature is higher than 50°F (10°C).

For wood oil to dry, the solvent (oil) must evaporate and the coating must become rigid (or dry). Since oil evaporates slowly, most wood oils have a low dry time compared to paints.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

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.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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