Blotchy stain on oak

Q: We have oak floors and we’re having them stained, however, the stain is very uneven in color. We are using a very dark wiping stain. It’s almost like you can see areas where the sander stopped and started. The floors have now been sanded out twice and re-stained twice. The second staining was even worse.

There are a lot of “lite” blotchy areas throughout the floor. Some areas are dark (which we wanted) and some are light. The finisher does not use a vacuum. Does this matter? Would it cause blotchy stain on oak?

A: Best way to achieve an even colour with darker stains is to water pop the floor before staining. Wet (not soak) the surface. Let completely dry. Apply stain in narrow rows, let stand 5 minutes then remove excess. It can be possible to recover from a botched stain job without sanding again if you haven’t applied a coat of finish. This would mean going around the edges with an orbital sander and 80 grit sand paper. Use a polisher on the main area of the floor, using 80 grit screens, followed by 100 grit screen to remove scratches. What you are trying to do is remove as much of the stain possible. This will also even out the irregularities that may have occurred when sanding. Clean off all dust and wet the floor with warm water. Let dry. Stain as above.

1 thought on “Blotchy stain on oak”

  1. I hired a contractor to refinish my wood flooring. The stain turned out blotchy and dark around the edges. I can also see the brush marks in the dry stain. He has been back every day sanding and restraining the sections of the floor that look bad. It looks better, but still not professional looking. Is it possible to blend the floor by redoing sections like this, or should the whole floor be resanded? The contractor wants to put the polyurethane on it tomorrow, but I am hesitant since it still doesn’t look blended.

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