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midniteracer69girl2003 10-17-2006 01:35 AM

hardwood hell!!!
just bought a new house and are refinishing the hardwood floors.. we are going to stain them, they are oak. we sanded and sanded, stepped up in grits from 20 to 100.. then applied the stain and our nightmare began.. stripes, blotches,and then some very pretty planks.. we determined our mistake and it was that we rented a random orbital floor sander (not a drum) and the machine would walk across the grain leaving the stripes. now what should we do to fix this. the floor is not gouged it is just rough sanded in some spots. how can we even out these spots without creating more marks. in addition, what should i use next time before i stain so that the stain will take a bit better. it seemed like the stain would just soak through the superficial layer and then when we wiped it off it seemed too light. guess i need a lil help here!!

Big Dave 10-18-2006 04:07 PM

I'll see if I can help a little. The orbital sander was a great choice for a diy person. A drum can eat a floor up in a second. The best thing to do with the orbital is to go with the grain and go very slow. DO NOT go cross grain at all as that will make the sander marks show up. The other choice is to use a small orbital sander and use it and as you go across the floor you will be able to see when you have all of the sander marks gone.

As for the stain being darker you need to do what they call water popping. This is where you take a very damp rag, not soaked, and wet the entire floor after sanding. What this does is makes the grain raise and lets the stain get deeper into the wood. You will want to let the floor dry after wetting it and before applying stain.

Hope this answers some of your questions.

skits 10-21-2006 11:42 AM

hardwood hell
If you want even staining you'd first use shellac. That will keep the absorption even. How old are your floors? I'm just about to rent a drum sander. I'm a little worried about the grooving, but my floor is 100 year old maple and has some horrific spots in it. I don't think an orbital will work. And what are you planning on using to seal the floor? I'm trying to find something more durable than poly. My other floors the poly has basically worn off in spots. Or did I just not have enough coats?

midniteracer69girl2003 10-25-2006 02:30 PM

well, i sure am not the right person to be asking any advice on the wood floors, however, i do know this from my experiance so far..if your a first timer, i definatley would not use a drum sander!! THE ORBITAL WILL WORK IT JUST TAKES LOTS OF TIME and it is soooo forgiving if you make a mistake. and as for the poly. i am gonna use the superfast drying poly by minwax. formulated for high trafic wood floors and i am gonna do atleast 4 coats and possibly more in higher traffic areas. i have 3 siberian huskies and i wanna make sure i got a durable topcoat. and more than a few of the guys i have spoke with about this matter reccomends this brand of poly.

troubleseeker 10-25-2006 10:07 PM

Stay with the orbital as a diy. A big drum sander can do irrepairable damage faster tha you can say "oh S--T". The streaking may be from not having sanded through the old finish completely, so the stain just laid on the old finish instead of soaking into the wood, thus wiping right off. Remeber that a real wood floor is going to have some color and grain variations, it will not look prefectly uniform like a factory prefinished floor.

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