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proofer 03-31-2008 07:50 PM

Minwax stain does not cover Minwax putty completely
I'm in the process of refinishing my wood floors. I've sanded, puttied (using a Minwax product), and used wood filler. Today I stained the floors (using a Minwax product). But all of the places where I used the Minwax putty a few days ago, and then used the Minwax stain today, those places stand out like a sore thumb. They look shiny and sure are obvious. What do I need to do so these puttied places don't stand out? Give it another (darker) coat of stain? Sand it down and paint again? Any ideas?

proofer 04-01-2008 06:29 PM

For any of you newbies who might go through this for the first time:

I scraped off the new finish to scrape off the putty. I then applied a new coat of varnish. I will let you know how it looks once it dries.

slickshift 04-01-2008 08:56 PM

If you used actual putty, then that is the problem
Putty is meant to fill holes after the item is stained
You are supposed to pick a colored putty that looks most like the stained wood, and apply it after staining
It can be coated with polyurethane, or left alone
Most painters that do this work, have a variety of colored putties available, just in case the tone of the trim/wood/stain changes as the work goes along

proofer 04-02-2008 04:33 AM

Thanks for that advice. Although I called it putty, I looked at the can and it is called Minwax wood filler (and it is stainable). Although I've already sanded all the spots and re-stained them, if it doesn't look good, I will get that colored putty that you mentioned.

slickshift 04-02-2008 05:36 AM

The wood filler, although a good product that technically "accepts" stains, unfortunately doesn't really accept it well enough to blend in well at all

Well, technically I suppose it accepts it, but as you can see, in the can, it rarely actually looks like the wood you are filling, so when you stain the filled piece, it may accept the stain, but it's like when you stain a piece of pine and a piece of mahogany the same color just doesn't "look" the same

proofer 04-02-2008 03:50 PM

I'm embarassed to post the results, but I want to save any other newbies out there from this same nightmare. I just came back from the house and I am not a happy camper. The 2 rooms and the entryway that I just repaired with stain are filled with spots. Not only are the spots that I puttied standing out now, but also the areas where I sanded outside of those spots (a couple of inches in each direction around each spot). Also, where I restained the sanded puttied spot as well as the sanded areas around those spots, I now have dark areas because of it now having 2 coats of stain. So I have a mess to clean up this weekend. It's back to H.D. for the orbital sander, the edger sander, lots of sandpaper, and more stain. Do you think the orbital and edger sanders will take care of the puttied spots and bring them back to a good working condition for me to stain all over again? Any other advice you can give me before I start over would be greatly appreciated!!!

slickshift 04-02-2008 07:17 PM

If you double coated the stain in spots, those areas will be darker
You can't "touch-up" or "spot repair" stain

If it's just that the sanded areas soaked up more stain than the surrounding areas, and now the spots are darker....that means you roughed it up too much, and should have finished with a finer sandpaper...the wood soaked up to much stain

I'm not sure I can visualize/understand exactly what you have now and why, so I hesitate to offer any suggestions at this point

Are you meaning to sand the whole floor now?

proofer 04-02-2008 08:08 PM

"Are you meaning to sand the whole floor now?"

I don't think I have any other choice. I have all the previously-sanded wood filler spots still showing through, as well as the sanded areas around those wood-filler spots showing a lot darker than the rest of the 1-coat stain floor.

I can't see any other options right now. What would you do?

darylbrands 04-02-2008 11:01 PM

mineral spirits to stain is like a Spell Checker for your computer
We all make mistakes and continue to learn in life. Working through problems is what keeps things exciting in life - eh?

Detailed Sanding the before any stain or finish is applied is they key if a solid wood filler is used.

It may be helpful to remember when we are preparing the area for staining if we are using Mineral Spirits or Paint Thinner when we apply this to the area if it needs more sanding it will STAND OUT.

If more Sanding is needed when the mineral spirits is applied it will make the hard excess putty that still needs sanding or removal be seen.

proofer 04-03-2008 04:26 AM

The Minwax wood filler was applied. Then I used mineral spirits on the entire floor before I stained. Are you saying that the mineral spirits will bring out any spots where wood filler was used?

After I use the orbital sander and the edger (this coming Saturday), are you saying that I should not use mineral spirits? I've read that you're supposed to use mineral spirits to clean the floor before applying the floor stain.

What do I do about all the spots where wood filler was used? I don't want to do the whole thing all over again and these spots still stand out.

slickshift 04-03-2008 06:39 AM


Originally Posted by proofer (Post 113366)
"Are you meaning to sand the whole floor now?"

I don't think I have any other choice....
I can't see any other options right now....

I don't either at this point
I just wasn't sure of your intentions with the sanders

There's no good way to "lift" stain once applied, even strippers and wood bleach would have limited effect, if any...or even if (as) successful (as they might possibly be in a best case scenario) would still require a large amount of mechanical removal (sanding)

proofer 04-03-2008 01:27 PM

So when I rent the sanders again this coming weekend and take all this new stain off, what condition will the floor be in? Particularly, will the sanders take the wood filler off?

What do you recommend that I do at this stage?

proofer 04-03-2008 02:49 PM

Now I'm really confused! I've been reading web sites that talk about matching wood filler and stain on wood floors.

To recap, I presently have newly stained floors that shows spots where I filled in holes and sanded.

So I'll use the orbital sander and edger to remove this new stain entirely.

What do I do next? Do I stain the entire floor? Or do I use the wood filler and mix in some stain? Can you give me the steps in the proper order??? I sure don't want to do this wrong again.

NateHanson 04-03-2008 02:57 PM

What species of wood are your floors? If something open grained like red oak, you're not going to be able to sand all the stain off the floor. Some stain will likely remain in the porous winterwood. That's probably not a big problem though. Those areas will be slightly darker, but it will just accentuate the grain.

If the floor is something more uniform, like maple, then it should sand more evenly.

What are you using the putty for? What needs filled?

Personally, I'd do minimal puttying, and I'd do it after you've applied stain. Then find a putty or filler that matches the STAINED wood color (bring a sample to the store), and try not to rub the putty all over the place. If you need putty in a nailhole, just get it in the nailhole - don't smear it into the surrounding 6 inches.

proofer 04-03-2008 05:47 PM

I'm guessing that the wood floor is oak. Here's a picture of it before it was sanded and stained. Maybe you can tell by the picture.

The wood filler was used for small holes, minor cracks, and missing splintered wood. I had no idea that I could buy wood filler in different colors; that would have been very helpful to know up front. When I read that the Minwax wood filler was stainable, I just assumed that that was the only kind they sold, and I figured I was safe in buying Minwax wood filler and Minwax stain; I thought it would be a perfect match.

I just went over to the house. I decided to try a few things before I do the whole project of sanding and staining all over again. Where I had dark spots (from the wood getting 2 coats in places), I wiped it down with mineral spirits. Where some places were too light (where I had tried to hand-sand the putty and I oversanded), I added some more stain. Plus, over the shiny spots where putty had been and looked okay but stood out because they were just too shiny, I applied polyurethane to see if those shiny spots would be hidden in the shiny polyurethane. I figured trying these few things wouldn't hurt, because if they did, I would be sanding and staining all over again anyways. I'll head over tomorrow to see what it looks like. I will post back.

Again, I sure appreciate your knowledge and input.

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