Small, circular scratches in center of room

Q: After applying my first coat of stain (a dark walnut color) I immediately notice a wide range of small, circular scratches left behind from sanding. Obviously I must have rushed the sanding job or not have cleaned the floor properly between sandings. I would like to fix this problem before I put the sealer on. How long do I need to wait before I can resand over the area that I just stained?

A: Well, I don’t know what stain you used but over night should allow enough dry time to remove the stain and tend to the scratches. Are these marks restricted to the edges of the room or are they everywhere? What kind of wood floors are they? Hardwood or softwood?

Follow-up Q: Thanks for your quick response! The scratches are actually limited to the center of the room. The edges where sanded properly and don’t show any damage. The larger, orbital sander was used with low quality sandpaper, which bunched up in the center, creating creases and deeper cuts. I was wondering if the new stain would gum up the sanding screens since it’s so fresh. If you thinks it’s okay to sand it down again already I will give it a go.

A: I had a stain job go bad years ago. Every mistake and unwanted mark I work to avoid was there. And this is my work! So, I went home and burned my brain as to why this mess happened and how to fix it. The new cloth abrasives I tried were part of the issue. I went in the next morning with a roll of Norton 80 grit to cut sandpaper for my orbital sander for the edges and 80 & 100 grit screens for the polisher. I proceeded to remove as much of the stain as I could after which I vacuumed and water popped the floor to open the grain. When that was dry I stained using a reliable stain and it was perfect. I never use sand paper disks on the polisher except on parquet.

Follow-up: Lesson learned. I will take your advice and hopefully be able to fix these scratches. Thank you for your help with all of this. Very much appreciated!

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