Q: I’m moving into an apartment within the next 2 weeks. When I first saw the apartment the first thing I noticed was a very strong odor from the newly stained floors. I don’t know exactly what it was, but my friend said it was definitely from the stain. After 3 weeks the smell is still there. How do I get rid of this smell, besides just fanning it out the window?
A: Stains and finishes dry when the solvent in them (mineral spirits) evaporate. But they have to go somewhere. If the area has been closed up with no ventilation the gasses will stay in the area, cling to walls, etc. Open some windows. Try to get some cross ventilation happening. Use a box fan in a window if need be. You should be able to get the area cleared out quickly.
I had a customer complain to me once that after 2 weeks he was still getting an odour from the floor finish. I went to investigate. There was an odour but it actually was from the new carpet he had installed on the stairway.