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Why does the latex polyurethane on my desk not hardened and smeer ?


I built the desk awhile back. Stained it with Minwax , wiped off the excess , and let it dry for 48 hours.I then applied the Minwax latex polyurethane, 3 coats with 8 hours time in between. On the edge ,where my arms lay, the poly turns "gummy" and then absorbs dirt,etc, and turns black. The last time I had this problem I wiped it down with murphy oil soap let it dry for a few days. And reapplied the latex poly and it has repeated itself. This has also happened on my stair rails(red oak with same stain and poly). WHAT IS THE ANSWER

 

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