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Old 04-01-2008, 01:23 PM   #1
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


Yesterday I put a Minwax oil-based stain on my wood floors. It's a lot darker than I had imagined it would be. Are there any remedies to lighten this stain up a bit? I've searched on the Internet and have read that bleach helps, as well as mineral spirits. The bleach part sounds pretty aggressive to me as I don't want to take a chance of ruining this stain--I just want to lighten it. Has anyone successfully lightened their wood floor stain? Any ideas from the experts out there?

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Old 04-01-2008, 01:40 PM   #2
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


If it's an oil based stain, wiping the floor with a rag dampened in mineral spirits will lift some of the stain. However, it may not do it evenly. If you try this you may end up with a streaky blotchy finish that looks horrible.

Frankly, I'd just topcoat it, and rest assured that in a week it'll look much better to you.

In the future, I'd recommend taking the few minutes it will take to prepare a complete finish sample. Use a scrap of flooring if possible, or a piece of the same species of wood. Sand it just as the floor has been sanded, stain it as intended, and add topcoats. If you don't like it, you can chuck that piece and try again. MUCH easier than trying to change the color of a finished floor.

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Old 04-01-2008, 01:44 PM   #3
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


By "topcoat," do you mean polyurethane???

And I have another question for you since you're answering this; maybe you'll know how to solve this problem as well.

All of the places where I used the Minwax putty a few days ago, and then used the Minwax stain yesterday, 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?
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


I'm kicking myself that I didn't test a spot first. I just assumed that it would look like it did in the sample at the store (this color paint stain on a small piece of wood).

No, like you warned, I won't try the mineral spirits because I don't want that splotchy look. And you're probably right--if I wait, I'll get used to the color and won't mind it as much as I do right now. It just looks so much darker than I had wanted.

As far as the directions to test a spot first, I see that caution on so many cans of products on the market today, and because it's on everything, you kind of just tune it out over time because there's never a problem in using the product that first time. Well, I've definitely learned my lesson to test a spot first when it comes to painting/staining. We went on with the staining, assuming the whole time that once the stain dried, that it would lighten up. Well, I went back today and it didn't.

When I apply the polyurethane, will that lighten it up any?
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


By topcoat I meant whatever varnish you're using (polyurethane).

When you apply the poly it might brighten it up a little bit. It won't lighten the color of the stain, but the shinier surface reflecting more light could give the impression of being less dark.

Putty doesn't take stain the same way as wood. Best bet is to stain, and put on a sealer coat of finish - THEN use a putty or wax that matches the color of the floor to fill any little holes that need filled. Then continue with your further coats of varnish. That way your repair will match the floor. Otherwise, the putty doesn't take stain or finish the same way your wood does and it sticks out.

This level of care may not be common in finishing floors, but that's the best way to do it, and the way I do it on furniture.

Nate
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:59 AM   #6
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


My flooring guy just finished putting down cherry stain on my floors. I took a chance thinking I was going to like it since it was rather pretty on a sample. Well, I don't . I want to take it off, but am afraid to ask him about it. I will pay him for the work, but I would like to know how much is involved in sanding this off. Would it be better to sand if off before he even puts the poly down, or should I wait until it is completely done and hope it grows on me? I am not sure if putting the poly down will make it more difficult to sand off if I still want to get rid of it. please help
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:52 PM   #7
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


I did my kitchen floor this year. Actually, I started DIY'ing it, then hired a pro. I sanded it, then got 30% through staining it, and then work picked up again and I had zero time for any DIY stuff. The stain I put down was a dark red walnut type of deal. I think the Minwax color was called red chestnut. When I brought in a floor guy to finish my job, I had by then picked out a lighter color called gunstock. The red chestnut was just too dark and red. The floor guy resanded it, and now you can't tell the difference between what I had stained red and what I had left as bare floor. Beautiful job, and I'm very happy. So a darker color can come out, at least in my case.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:40 PM   #8
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


Quote:
Originally Posted by silpada girl View Post
My flooring guy just finished putting down cherry stain on my floors. I took a chance thinking I was going to like it since it was rather pretty on a sample. Well, I don't . I want to take it off, but am afraid to ask him about it. I will pay him for the work, but I would like to know how much is involved in sanding this off. Would it be better to sand if off before he even puts the poly down, or should I wait until it is completely done and hope it grows on me? I am not sure if putting the poly down will make it more difficult to sand off if I still want to get rid of it. please help
Hi,
I am a painting contractor in NY we specialize in custom painting and staining. The floor would be harder to sand if it was polyurethaned, but either way at this point the only way to do it right is to completly strip the old stain to bare wood. To do this you need a drum sander and an edger, which you can rent. Then you will use three differant grits of sand paper. It is a little bit of work, but its not impossible. We do a lot of staining on new interiors, trim, cabinets, beams, floors, and stairs. On occasion we have had to strip a floor
-Good luck
Kelloggspainting.
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:28 AM   #9
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Stain is too dark on wood floor -- Can it be lightened?


Hi,

I am building a new home and when the birch cabinets were delivered we oculd not have been happier, they were beautiful. Then the stain guy got ahold of them. We requested just a hint darker than a clear coat, and without providing us any samplings at all, went ahead and stained all of them way too dark. He has been sanding, steel wooling, etc, now for a week, and we just think they don;'t look like we want, and look redone. THe profiling doesnt seem as sharp etc. Is this possibelt oremedy or should I put my foot down and demand all new cabinets, I'm guessing around $18,000 worth.

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