Stain too light and red

Q: I just had my hardwood floors redone professionally and the stain came out too light and too red (we did tests but for some reason the floor came out differently). Is there any way to darken the floors and/or get them to be a darker brown without totally redoing them?

A: Provided you have not applied a coat of finish, you could stain the floors again with a different stain. You will have to allow enough time for this second coat to dry before applying a coating. What might help is to use Dura Seal Quick Coat, which is a stain that dries for coating in a few hours. www.duraseal.com.

Or, you could have them screen off as much of the stain as possible, and use an orbital sander around the edges. Pop the grain with warm water and re stain with a brown colour, rather than red. If your floor is a #1 common grade, that might explain the deeper red colour.

Related Q: I had to replace some 50 year old sections of white oak with new white oak. After applying Bona Mega stain the new boards don’t look anything like the old ones . The colors are completely different and the floors look like a patch job. Is there anything I can do to get a uniform look?

A: Though I’m not a big fan of doing so, you could try a second coat of stain on the new wood. Just try one board first to see if it helps.

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  1. Follow up Q: They have already applied the finish coats. Is there anything else that can be done? I speculated that there might be a sealant that would add color. Also, the floor was finished with semi gloss sealant. I think that the shine from the topcoat accentuates the color. Would it help to add a coat of matt finish or buff out the floor?

    A: I don’t believe the level of gloss actually alters the depth of the stain colour, so I don’t think changing sheen’s will make the stain look darker. You could try tinting the finish with pigments, but this is risky business. You may have to live with what you have.

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