Repair job looks very bleached

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Q: We used peroxide to bleach out some urine stains on our wood floors, then sanded them, and conditioned those spots.

The rest of the floor has the polyurethane coating that was put down years ago, while the spots are very bleached.

I’ve tried every color, trying to match up the sanded down spots to the rest of the finished floor. Nothing works. Everything is too light. I even bought Waterlox, but the sanded down areas are still very light.

I’m hoping you can help me figure out how to match up the color.

A: Honestly, I think you are searching for something that is not possible. If you are working in the middle of the room, I don’t think you have a chance of blending this in. I can offer a few tips.

First, you want to deal with entire boards. You don’t work on half a board. One technique to make stain darker is to water pop. After you have sanded the boards in preparation, finishing with 100 grit, wet the area and let it dry. This will open the surface and allow for a darker color. But don’t expect to achieve an exact match.

People typically want to sand the wood with far too fine an abrasive which closes the wood surface and won’t allow proper penetration of the stain.

Follow-up: Thank you so much. And you’re absolutely right about it all. I tried everything and just gave up. Today I used the stain knowing it wouldn’t look great.. just to get it over with. The room has an area rug, and I will just put it back to cover it up.

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