Applicator marks in stain, where Lambswool applicator first/last touched the floor

Q: I recently sanded my Red Oak floors and prepared them for staining. They looked amazing before the stain hit the deck. I applied DuraSeal Medium Brown with a Lambswool applicator, following the instructions from the container. I did about a 10 sq. ft., waited about 6 min., and tried to wipe off the excess. Every time I wiped (again with the lambswool applicator), I got a dark stain line / applicator marks in stain where the applicator first/last touched the floor.

Unfortunately, I moved on and before I knew I had one heck of an unevenly stained floor. I was beside myself. Over 20 hrs of sanding and prepping and it looked awful!

The next morning I came back and decided to try to “cut it down” with mineral spirits. To my surprise, it actually pulled off some of the heavy stain spots. But it is still uneven. I tried a fresh area of the floor with a cut down (5:1 stain:mineral spirits) mix and it went on like magic. I left town right after the final room was done and I’m worried about what I am going to come back to in the first room. Do you have any suggestions for me on how to fix the uneven stain in the first room?

A: Get a package of 80 grit screens and use a polisher to remove as much of the stain possible. On the edges use an orbital sander with 60 grit. Then when you have removed as much stain as you are able, screen with 100 grit and go 80 on the orbital. Water pop floor with warm water, and when dry, apply stain, row by row with a cloth. Apply a row. Wipe off excess with clean cloth or carpet pad and polisher.

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