Splotchy DIY stain job

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Q: I recently sanded and stained the floors in my recently purchased house. I have red oak flooring, and really like the way the hall and bedrooms turned out. However, in the living room there are splotchy areas. They tend to be really light like they didn’t take the stain. Is there any way to even out the floor despite the stains?

Please give me a step by step explanation. I’ve heard bleach, add more stain to light spots, etc. I need some tips before moving onto poly.

A: It sounds like uneven sanding to me. The smoother the wood is sanded, the less it will allow the stain to penetrate and the lighter the colour will be. Especially for darker colours I generally wet the entire floor, popping open the grain, then when dry stain row by row. Wipe on. Let sit 5 minutes. Wipe off. You can try sanding just the light areas by hand with an 80 grit sand paper and stain again. If that doesn’t work, you will have to try removing as much stain over the entire floor that you are able and stain again. This work is not easy even for seasoned professionals. It really isn’t DIY work.

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