{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "So finally got my standing desk set up. Got a birch butcher block from Homedepot,stained and gave it a few coats of poly.\n\n But its been a few weeks and the smell of the poly is strong when I'm near the desk. I can't stand it, does it eventually go away? Anyone have expertise on this? Tia!", "post_id": "5f846cae590c82002a54b03b", "reply_count": 41, "vote_count": 8, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

So finally got my standing desk set up. Got a birch butcher block from Homedepot,stained and gave it a few coats of poly. But its been a few weeks and the smell of the poly is strong when I'm near the desk. I can't stand it, does it eventually go away? Anyone have expertise on this? Tia!

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Expose it to sunlight for a few days in an airy environment or run a box fan on it.

likesmart

Honestly put it in your shed for six months because that’s how long it will take for this to go away.

likefunny

For sure is and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Wait until no odor.

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Does your work product improve when you inhale deeply or vice versa?

funnylike

Lol..interesting. is this why I dont seem to need Adderall any more? You might be on to something

funny

You may have possibly either laid on excessively thick individual layers or not let each layer thoroughly dry between coats. Putting down poly correctly is labor intensive and time consuming. Your layers have to each be thin and you need to wait long enough between layers. Depending on temperature and humidity in your area, that could be a day or two between each layer. That means it would take you a week to get 3 layers down. There are many people that have short cut techniques or tell you that you don't need to wait so long. But they are ignorant, lazy, or lying. Considering your other comments that you have already waited weeks, you need to sand it all off to bare and start over. It's not going to get better. It's never going to dry into a good smooth hard shell. It's going to discolor over time. You may even have to sand down a bit into the wood to get it all off. It's going to suck. Make sure you are wearing a respirator and goggles while doing this.

likehelpful

Thank you. This is helpful. First wood working project and I wish the DIY videos emphasized the after effects more

helpful

Charcoal is pretty good at absorbing strong odors, give that a try

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Can you leave a window open overnight for several nights?

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Yeh I have a window open permanently in the room the desk is placed.

It’ll fade eventually. I’d consider placing outside in a well ventilated area for a month and see if that helps. Is the surface hard or tacky? If it’s tacky might have to start over...

helpful

That’s good it’s hard. I’d take it outside and put in the sun on a warmer day.

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I did this exact thing (standing desk, HD butchers block) but used Deft Satin Lacquer instead. The smell was a problem for about 4 weeks but has stopped now. I’d say not to do anything for a week and let the poly cure properly. The onion suggestion above does work for paint on walls maybe give it a go here

helpful

Leave your garage open as well so it has ventilation. If too cold then move the desk outside during the day. Have to say this desk makes wfh a bit more bearable especially after getting a couple of additional monitors

likehelpful

To each their own but I don't know why you would use poly on an office desk to begin with. I save that for kitchen tables and things that will have water, food, regularly take a beating. tldr; poly is gross and I hate it. I've always used danish oil or something similar for home furniture.

smart

Oil doesn't smell for as long. I'd do a natural stain with a low VOC. Let cure for at least 48 hours unless the temp is above 75 f. Do you really want a shiny surface? You may not want any poly at all.

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As someone who has put on poly on many pieces of furniture stick it in your garage on saw horses or something to let it have lots of air flow and blow air across it with a large fan. Depending on humidity temp etc it probably will take a several days to fully dry particularly if a lot of poly soaked into the butcher block. It should not take months. Though if it’s been sitting in your garage for a month already? that seems rather odd. How was it sitting in your garage? You may need to put somewhere else. It really should have dried by now.

helpful

It's likely as dry as it will get. You haven't sanded off the excess poly. Use 0000 steel wool, it's super fine and will not scratch but it will take off the excess and even make it smoother.

helpful

Put cut up onions in a bowl of water. Swear it actually works.

Vari desk?

Flexispot

Put a clear coat of paint over top, let sit for a week

I wouldn’t add any more layers... it’s still curing out gassing

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Did you use a low VOC stain and poly? I know they cost more, but are so much better.

Get one of those good furniture plastic self adhesive stretch wraps. Cover it nicely. It might not look that great but will help. You can always put a glass top over it post you put the wrap

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