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Old 08-07-2007, 12:20 PM   #1
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


I recently decided to tear up the old carpeting left over from the previous owner, all was great until I discovered this.



I made the mistake of trying to bleach out the stain (you'll see the disastrous results soon) and after realizing that oxalic acid wasn't working, I decided to replace the boards.




I purchased 20sq ft. of flooring from Menards, and went to work.



So far so good right? Everything was going great with the poly (I just went with the Varathane water-based) until I hit the spot with the bleach. It really shows up and looks terrible compared to the rest of the wood, and this didn't show up with mineral spirits, just the poly. I also have a few drip spots where I must have been sloppy with the bucket of bleach.

I tried to sand down the poly in a few spots, as it was only one thin coat, sand down past the bleach, and then re-apply poly. You can still see a difference in color on the small spots where I removed the bleach drips. The larger circular area where I scrubbed in the bleach is beyond sanding I think.



So....what are my options? Is there any way I am ever going to get the poly on the freshly sanded areas to match the original layer I put down? If I just proceed with coat #2 is there any chance it will even out? Could I try and stain the bleached wood to match the darker stuff? Am I fooling myself because I'm going to have to remove more boards and replace them?

As if the job isn't frustrating enough, I chose to do half the room at a time (my knees and back were killing me) and probably made a mistake in stopping half way lengthwise. So you can also see a difference in each half of the room where I stopped the poly on Saturday and finished on Sunday. I'm at least hopeful that the second coat will even that mistake out

I sure hope I don't have to re-rent that sander and start from scratch as I have already invested a lot of time and money...and sanity.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated because I really want to salvage this job. What a learning experience this will be!

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Old 08-07-2007, 03:02 PM   #2
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


I'm just guessing here, but my thought would be that the color imbalance will remain until you can get the bleach out of the wood. The only way I can think to do that would be to clean it with water. Of course, this will raise the grain and require more sanding. Problem is, I don't know if you'll ever get it all out. I have no idea how far the bleach will soak into the wood.

Hence the title of this post, "Just a guess..."

I don't want to ignore all of your hard work, though. You did a GREAT job! Sorry that you ran into this problem.

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Old 08-08-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


Thanks for the comments, and the compliment. It has been a labor of love, but the honeymoon is over and I'm ready for this project to be finished. Sure, the upside-down couch and entertainment center look good smashed into my kitchen, but I'm ready for a change

I'm going to mask off the unaffected areas, sand to bare wood, scrub with soap and water like there is no tomorrow, sand down the raised grain and then try to use some stain to try and match the color...wish me luck.
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Old 08-08-2007, 02:45 PM   #4
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


If I were you I would do one of two things. Option one would be to rent a drum sanded, specifically for hardwood floors and start from scratch. You need to take off at least am 1/8 of an inch. Make sure you do not keep raising and lowering the drumb, your floor will look very wavy.

OR you can hire a professional to sand our the bleach.

Nice job on the weave, you save at least $400 already!

Good luck. And finish the whole floor at the same time too!
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:08 AM   #5
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPlow View Post
...I'm going to mask off the unaffected areas, sand to bare wood, scrub with soap and water like there is no tomorrow, sand down the raised grain and then try to use some stain to try and match the color...wish me luck.
Wow, you've done a great job!

You have to neutralize the oxlic acid and you can't just scrub it out. Wipe the wood surface with diluted ammonia (1:1 with water) or baking soda solution (one scoop (not real exact I know...but it's not that important) to a quart of water) using a clean sponge. Rinse again with clear water a second time, and sand as normal after drying.

Last edited by RippySkippy; 08-09-2007 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:56 AM   #6
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


Thanks Rippy, for both the kind words and the great idea of bringing some chemistry into the mix. I was thinking that the soap would be a strong enough base to help counter the acid, but that's a great idea to add ammonia or baking soda.

I will let you know how it goes, I'm getting started today.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:26 PM   #7
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


Resand.. With a drum and edger. Really your only option.

Your tie in looked great though.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:02 AM   #8
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


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Originally Posted by walton02 View Post
Hi,

If you want to your house to have that uniqueness, in terms of both, looks and durability, then you must use Oak flooring. Any form of artificial manufacture is usually accompanied by dilution and that is why natural forest products are the best in quality. Even today furniture experts and connoisseurs believe in the longevity and natural hardness of oak wood. Genuine oak flooring lends a very warm and pleasant feeling to the house because they come in a variety of warm shades and colors.



What the hell are you talking about?
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:09 PM   #9
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Need help with refinishing oak flooring...hit a snag


I second what Mike said about Walton's comment. Where the Heck did that come from.

Excellent job on removal and weaving in the replacemnt flooring!

neutralize the bleach is a must. baking soda/vinager scrub scrub scrub. then sand.

If the area did not show with Mineral spirits then I would use a mineral based POLY. I like water based for how fast it dries and low odor...BUT I dont feel it is as durable. If you can seal the 1st coat with the oil-based Poly and the bleach doesnt show Your good to go.

Show pics of the finsihed work kepp up the good work

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