Removing a bad stain job

Q: We have stained our hardwood floors and really did a terrible job. Is there a way to correct this? Is it possible to remove the stain?

A: (We get emails like this far too often!) I hope you haven’t yet applied any finish. You will need a good orbital sander for the perimeter with some 80 grit sandpaper. You will need a polisher with both 80 and 100 grit screens. This will be used for the main field of the floor. With each machine remove as much of the stain as you can. It will take several hours and you will use quite a bit of abrasive on the orbital sander. 10 screens of each grit should be enough.

Once you have taken off as much as you can, wet (not soak) the floor with warm water. Let it dry, and without scuffing your feet, apply the stain in narrow rows, about 3 feet wide. Wipe the row dry with a clean cloth and do another row until finished. The reason for the wipe down with the water is to try to pop open the grain to accept the stain more evenly.

Because this work is difficult, that is why you should hire a professional, and why we charge money to do it.