Previously my stained pine oak stairs were covered by carpet runner and only the edges showed. I removed the carpet and although the stairs we're stained at the same time, there is a significant difference between the edges and the previously under carpet part.
I'm not sure what to do here. It almost appears the edges were stained again after the runner was laid. I'm afraid only spot staining the middle will lead to more uneven stain issues. (Attached a picture)
The uncovered portions have started to darken over time, as most wood will, regardless of the stain. yes you could try to match the middle part to the edges but this may be difficult, not to mention almost impossible to blend the 2 together without seeing some type of overlap or seam. Best bet woulkd be to sand down to bare wood and start fresh. Just stripping will probably not due. It will need to be sanded to get the part that was exposed to daylight to match the part that was covered. I think the mismatch color is in the grain of the wood not the stain.