Is a rag, brush or sponge best for applying stain to pine?

Q: You say for pine it is a good idea to apply quickly from one end of the room to the other to prevent excessive blotching. I wanted to know if it is best to use a rag, a brush or sponge for that. I want to wait a few minutes after I apply the stain in order to get a darker color from it. I also plan to water pop before. Can a rag put a sufficient amount of stain on the wood to let it sit there and absorb? Or will a brush or foam sponge spread more stain evenly on top of the boards until I wipe off?

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Professional floor finisher made a “blotchy” stain job

Q: We had our floors sanded, stained grey and polyurethaned. The stain did not come out even. When I asked about the blotchiness the professional said it was primed and some wood takes color better than other planks of wood. Is this true? If not, can I mix grey stain and poly to go over the areas that need more grey?

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Lap marks in 2-in-1 stain/poly

Q: I recently sanded down hardwood floors to apply a new stain. When sanding was over we were in a time crunch so decided to apply a 2 in 1 stain/poly. We made some application errors the first time around which resulted in dark lap marks. We talked to the company and they recommended sanding lap marks with a 220 grit sandpaper to lighten them up to the surrounding floor. We have done that and we just aren’t sure if we’ve done enough and we are timid to continue staining until we know we have. Any suggestions on our next steps to blend the floors enough that we will get an even finish throughout?

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First time staining wood floor a dark color

Q: I’ve clear coated several floors in the past year but my current project is my first dark stain on a large floor. In my first attempt, I failed in getting an even stain. I took it back to bare wood for my second attempt.

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A few dark spots on newly stained and refinished floor

Q: I just had my floors refinished and a couple of days later, on the top stairs landing, I’m seeing 3 distinct darker spots. One spot is at least 6″x6″. All go across the boards. The guy that did the refinishing said that can happen with old wood. The house was built in 1942. He said he could resand just that area and do it again, but he makes no guarantees they won’t show again.

A: I’m not sure what is meant by darker nor how old this wood is. If it is a black mark it could be a water stain or urine from a pet. One never knows exactly what a very old floor has been through and what has been applied to it over the years which might leave a spot. Your floor guy sounds like he stands by his work and is honest. I would go by his recommendation.

Follow-up Q: (Picture attached.)

A: Was there a pet stain there before the floors were done?

Follow-up Q: No pet stain and the floor didn’t show any issues when in their sanded raw state, before any stain or varnish was applied.

A: Can you tell me exactly what stain brand he used? I’m curious if it was Min Wax which comes in yellow cans. I ask because these stains contain a lot more solvent and if you apply it and leave it to sit it can leave a mark. The one board running across the doorway with very black color in the grain and then a circle around it could indicate this problem.

Shading issue when staining wood

Q: I recently installed new prefinished, oiled oak floors and had to face nail certain boards. I filled the holes with wood filler to match and sanded by hand the areas with 150 grit to make them even. I have the exact two part oil (stain and sealer) from the manufacturer. Once I stained the sanded areas, they came out lighter in color than the existing un-sanded parts, leaving color varying patches. Continue reading Shading issue when staining wood

Changing stain from a dark stain to a light stain

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  When I brought my house, it had dark stained hardwoods in the foyer and hall. I am not a fan of dark flooring so when I had hardwood put in the formal areas I went with a lighter stain.

Can the dark stain be stripped and then the floor stained to match the lighter floors? Also how common is it to put hardwood in common areas and laminate which matches it in bedrooms?

A: Providing you are talking of changing the color of the stain on your floors to another brown tone sort of color, then yes, you can change the color to a lighter shade. I mention this because if you were thinking of going from, for example, ebony to white, it could be problematic.

It is impossible, at least on very grainy woods such as oak to get all of the stain out of the heavy grain. This would not be an issue if you were changing the color from ebony to chestnut, for example.

The bigger issue, in my mind, is whether the type of hardwood floor you have is able to tolerate another sanding. If it is the traditional 3/8 thick strip flooring, then the answer quite likely would be no. If it is 3/4 thick, I have to believe you are very safe to go ahead.

I would not say it is common to have laminate mixed with solid hardwoods. I have to ask what laminated product you are using that could “match” a solid wood floor?

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Will stain darken to match over time?

Q: We have brand new oak floors. The builder had to replace a couple boards around an electrical plate. The stain he put on doesn’t match. He says they will darken to match the rest of the floor. ‘Just give it time.’ In the meanwhile he has put a finish coat on it. Continue reading Will stain darken to match over time?

Staining previously waxed floors

Q: I put 3/4 inch tongue and groove hardwood floors I had run myself in my cabin, about 15 years ago. Since then they’ve never been sanded or anything else, just waxed. Tonight I’m sanding them with an orbital sander and I’m not real concerned about getting them perfectly smooth. My question is when I stain them will the wax that is still on the boards cause me a problem? Continue reading Staining previously waxed floors

Accidentally walked on floor before staining

Q: I am having my floor refinished and the professionals are water popping the wood. I was told not to walk on the floor between the popping and stain process, but I accidentally did when I was asked by my contractor to get him something from a back bedroom. Continue reading Accidentally walked on floor before staining