A sticky film on your wood furniture is typically either the result of a softened, deteriorated finish or a build-up of waxy furniture polish. A sticky finish will leave your furniture susceptible to dirt, dust and grime. Remove the sticky residue with a furniture polish build-up removal method first. If that doesn't do the job, then try the softened finish removal method.
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a small container.
Saturate a soft cloth in the mixture. Wring out the excess liquid so the cloth is damp but not soggy.
Rub the furniture with the cloth in a circular motion while applying light pressure. Continue rubbing until the sticky build-up is gone.
Linseed oil method
Pour 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of hot water into a bucket. Add 30 ml (2 tbsp) of turpentine and 60 ml (4 tbsp) of boiled linseed oil.
Wear a pair of rubber gloves and submerge a cloth in the mixture. Wring out the excess liquid and rub the furniture in a circular motion until the polish residue is removed.
Buff the furniture dry with a clean cloth.
Softened finish method
Saturate a soft cloth in white spirit and wring out the excess. The cloth should be damp not soggy. Alternatively, use fine-grade steel wool dipped in the white spirit.
Scrub the wood furniture with the cloth or steel wool in a gentle circular motion until all softened finish is gone.
Wipe the furniture dry with a soft cloth. Depending on how much finish has been removed, you may need to strip and refinish the wood.
Make sure you ventilate your work area well.