I recently stained some homemade wooden buttons for my wife. The buttons were bade from poplar wooden dowels sliced to 2-3mm thickness. Some quick light sanding was done to each button. I then used some Varathane Classic Penetrating Wood Stain.

The stain seemed to take rather nicely, but now I have the problem of the smell. My wife says they smell like gasoline. Since they are going to be used on clothing items, they can't smell. So, I then took a heat gun to them to try to dry them out a bit more. That seemed to help some. I don't have any other ideas, other than wait for the smell to go away. Can I apply a finish coating or something to seal in the smell? Any suggestions?

Edit/Update: I placed them out on the back porch in the sun to try to get them to fully dry. Hopefully the smell will go away soon.

  • Time. That's going to be your only answer.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


Once the stain is totally dry the smell will be gone a coat of varnish will make the buttons look better but the stain needs to be dry prior to applying the varnish.

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