How to fix "sticky" Waterlox bb countertops?

huangoSeptember 1, 2013

Hola,
Can you help with my wood finishing problem?

My Waterloxed butcherblock countertops are sticky!!! Paper sticks to it and even transfer the images onto the countertop. The ink from grocery bags sticks/transfer onto the countertop. All sorts of dust particles stick to it.
It looks and feels plasticky.

What did I do wrong?

**How to fix it?**
- I found a few links/directions, but how did you handle it?

Background:
- I have 3 countertops; 2 of them new Ikea oak butcherblock, and third is sanded-down-to-the-raw-?maple wood butcherblock
- All of the work was done in Dec, Jan, and Feb, so humidity was pretty low.
- All bb were brought inside to acclimate to the indoor temperature
- Open floor plan so there�s plenty of oxygen (not like it was closed off in 1 room).
- The Waterlox was brand new; I squeezed the air out like AskWoodman showed me.

Steps:
- (lots of sanding/vacuuming/wiping in between coats � learned from watching youtube AskWoodman)
- Used disposable black sponge brushes.
- No shaking of Waterlox; stirred, pour out into bowl for use.

o Treated bb with � Bullseye sealer and � denatured alcohol mixture (to reduce blotchiness); let dry few hours.
o Wiped on 1 coat Zar mocha stain; let dry overnight
o Sand w/ 220grit, wipe/vacuum: Stained w/ 2nd coat Zar stain, let dry 1 day
o Friday: Vacuum/wipe: Applied 1st coat Waterlox; let dry 1.5days
o Sunday: Sand/vacuum/wipe: Applied 2nd coat Waterlox, let dry 1 day
o Monday: vacuum/wipe: Applied 3rd coat Waterlox; let dry 4 days
o Friday: sand/vacuum/wipe: Applied 4rd coat Waterlox, let dry for 1 week before putting stuff on it.

That was 6months ago and yes, butcherblock countertops are still sticky.
(been tired from 1st floor renovation, so finally addressing this now).

Really appreciate your feedback.
thank you,
Amanda

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bobismyuncle

I suggest you contact Waterlox's technical department.

Here is a link that might be useful: Contact Us link

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 7:22PM
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bobismyuncle

I suggest you contact Waterlox's technical department.

Here is a link that might be useful: Contact Us link

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 7:28PM
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aidan_m

It's the stain. The technical guide for Zar oil based wood stain states:

"Note: Stains and clear finishes will not adhere to shellac or lacquer."

Which is not true. They should state that THEIR stain will not stick to shellac. Typically, shellac is used as a grain sealer. But not according to Zar. At any rate, the stain was the wrong choice.

Waterlox can be and thinned down 1:1 and used as a grain sealer. It can also be tinted or dyed.

A better method to finishing these butcher blocks would have been to use a 50% mineral spirits 50% waterlox for the seal coat. Then dye or add pigment to a small batch of waterlox and use this as the next coat or coats until the color is right. Finish up with another coat or two of straight waterlox.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 5:43PM
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huango

thank you for your inputs.
Ugh: finally got a chance to call Waterlox.

Waterlox support was not very supportive.
He basically told me:
- to read what he wrote on the Waterlox website;
- that I've read too many wrong things online;
- that I shouldn't have used the BullsEye and
- definitely not the gel stain.

Yup, only solution is to sand it all back down.

So I'm going to let it sit 1 more month (too tired to do it right now anyway).
In the meantime, I'm going to do 2 test pieces:
1. w/ the shellac/alcohol conditioner mixture under a different stain (Waterlox recommended Minwax, but I did not like my Minwax test piece back in December)
2. w/OUT the shellac, but w/ a stain.

off to pick up kids from school.

will update you.
thanks,
Amanda

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 3:42PM
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