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help with dark stain

3154 Views 25 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  hardwoodnewbie
I just got done staining a red oak floor with a dark stain (my first time using stain)
Before I stained I ran the OBS 18 with 120 grit paper mostly running the machine with the grain, except the last few rows where my back hit the wall I ran the machine perpendicular to the boards, and well it shows up like a sore thumb, 3 obvious rows coming through the stain looks like the outside of the machine left 3 inch rows.

Can I hand sand out and re stain? Is there a trick to getting a blend? What should I do? re-staining the floor is out of the question everything else looks great. I thought you could run this machine any direction but boy did that turn out to be a mistake. Any help thanks.
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Well I'm a general contractor who does a little bit of everything but I had no idea what I was getting into by refinishing a floor with a dark stain, I've done a few with polyurethane no problem but dark stains show everything. After stripping these floors twice and now in the hole $1500 I thought I had them perfect except I ran the screening machine with 120 grit paper perpendicular on a few passes and even though the machine was a ROS type sander it created marks that somehow showed through the stain. You couldn't pay me enough to try this ever again but I'm so in the hole I need to fix it as best I can and move on. I was thinking of hand sanding out the small rows and trying to blend in new stain?
Where your back hit the wall??

next time run the machine left to right side to side with the grain..not back and forth..
That bit of advice would have saved me a lot of trouble, I even heard one pro floor guy say not to use a screening machine on dark stained floors leaves too many scratches. Try getting this kind of advice from the "never short of advice, expertly, authoritative" Home Depot rental department. Home Depot must be destroying 100's if not thousands of floors daily (good for the pro floor refinisher guys though)
I haven't polyurethaned yet so hopefully I can save the floors.

Thanks for any and all input.
Don't have the money to redo it, just gona have to try to blend in.
Not necessarily true..the job may not need to be redone..but pictures would help making that assertion.

the stain can be fixed and evened out as long as its not a total abortion.

after he makes the correction with hand prep..if still not looking completely right, he can add a second coat to help bring it together.

let it dry a couple days then begin coating.

the only issue is sometimes you spend alot of time di ckin around when it would be faster to just re do the job.

that decision cant be made from the net..
Don't have pictures but basically it's about 800 sq feet of red oak flooring and near one of the walls starting about 4 feet out are '3' 3inch rows that look like the 120 grit sand paper must have polished the floor a little more unevenly. Maybe the machine had wood dust on the bottom of the square pad that caused the rows?
Also will a satin poly help hide the color variations or make it worse?
Then again, I've never done a whole job with a jitterbug either.
Actually I started with a drum sander up to 80 grit and did the walls by hand, towards the very end I used the "jitterbug" with 120 paper and thats when everything screwed up. I agree if I ever tried it again I wouldn't use an ros at all.

So now I stripped all the stain off with the OBS 18 careful to go with the grain, but at the edges of the wall I had to go perpendicular with the grain just to move the machine to the next row, problem is that will show through the stain. Should I hand sand out along the wall?
Ok tried hand sanding bad areas and although I was able to match the color the texture of the hand sanded areas was way different than the rest of the floor so no go. Then I tried using the OSB 18 as suggested, that worked better but you could still see where the stain met the old stain going with the grain, but against the grain the patch worked great, for a small area it would have been fine.

So since I had the OBS machine I started stripping the stain off the floor completely with a 36, a 60, a 80 and finally 120grit. I'd say I removed about 90% of the stain with the grain still being a little dark and the edges of the walls being slightly darker. Boy is the floor smooth now, I intend to start staining tomorrow but I'm worried the floor is too smooth to accept the stain, nervous about water popping never did it before. If the floor turns out lighter no problem in fact the customer wants it a little lighter, I just don't want blotchiness.
Well stained the floors today and they came out acceptable but not great. The floor was screened a little too much and didn't take the stain as well. There were more distinct color variations between boards and maybe some slight blotchiness but not enough to really point out. I probably should have water popped the wood, I suspect that would have made it more uniform. I poly on Thursday and that will be the real tell tale. I've learned a ton from this, if I ever did it again I think I could come close to doing it perfect but I doubt I'll ever touch one of these again, make one mistake and the whole thing has to be redone, way too much liability!
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