When a non-porous surface gets exposed to a stain, you can easily wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. However, that’s never the case with a porous surface like a wooden floor. So instead of wiping it off, you must find a way to blend the stain, but how do you do that?
Blending stains on a hardwood floor is a two-step process; sanding and staining. Sanding is the process of scrubbing the stain’s surface with sandpaper until it’s almost nonexistent. Then, you complete the process by applying an artificial stain to make the flaw unnoticeable.
In this article, you’ll learn how to blend a stained hardwood floor like a pro. You’ll learn about some of the best techniques to remove stains from wooden floors by blending. Then, you’ll learn how to maintain your hardwood floor to prevent the blending in the first place.
If you believe the “prevention is better than cure” doctrine, you’ll be more interested in protecting your floor from stains. Preventing your hardwood floor from getting stained in the first place will eliminate the need to blend it.
Here are some of the best ways to prevent stains from discoloring your hardwood floor in the first place:
It doesn’t matter how quick you think you are; everyone makes mistakes, and you’ll eventually get stains on your floor. When that happens, acting fast to remove the stain is key before it penetrates the wooden surface. Once the stain goes through the surface, it becomes harder to remove by blending.
Also, you should avoid using wooden surfaces for areas that are prone to water spills. When water spills on a surface, it usually carries many impurities, which may cause a stubborn stain that will require blending.
One of the easiest ways to introduce stain to a wooden floor is walking in with dirty shoes. If you’re doing that too frequently, you’ll have to sand your floor every so often. Before letting people into a room with a wooden surface, you should politely ask them to remove their shoes.
A clever way to ensure that everyone removes their shoes at the door is by putting a notice at the door. Depending on who you ask, this response might be a little excessive. However, if you’ve sanded a wooden floor once, you’ll agree with me that it’s a very appropriate response.
A care procedure that most people tend to ignore is frequent dusting. While dust can’t penetrate wood per se, it creates a tough stain when it mixes with a solvent like water. You should consider this if you’re in the habit of skipping dusting your hardwood floor — unless you enjoy sanding the floor.
In addition to preventing stains, dusting also removes allergens that spread with dust. It’s always worthwhile since it only takes a few minutes to dust the floor. Mopping a hardwood floor once every day should keep tough stains away, especially if shoes always stay outside.
As hinted above, you’ll eventually stain your hardwood floor, regardless of how hard you try to prevent the scenario. When that happens, you should try to blend the stain as soon as possible to remove the stain.
Blending a stain on a hardwood floor is a two-step process. Firstly, you’ll need to sand the area using appropriate sandpaper to remove the stained part of the wood. Next, you should stain the hardwood floor to blend it with the rest of the surface.
While there are some mini procedures during the blending process, those are the two primary steps.
Here are the details of the step required to blend stain on a hardwood floor:
The first step to blending stain on a hardwood floor is removing the stained upper part of the wood. As given away by the name, this process involves scrubbing it so hard with sandpaper until the unwanted part is removed.
When blending stains on a hardwood floor, you may need to use different kinds of sandpaper. Sandpaper differ by their grit value, with lesser grit values leaving coarser finishes. 12-grit sandpaper is a good place to start if you’re working with the toughest hardwood stains.
In most cases, you’ll never have to use 12 or even 16 grit sandpaper on your hardwood floor. Twenty-four grit sandpapers are coarse, but they work excellently for normal stains. In most cases, the sequence will be 36-50-80, meaning you start from 36-grit sandpaper, working up to 80 grits.
When sanding your hardwood floor, the coarser sandpaper should work with the stains specifically. Ultimately, the smoother the sandpaper, the wider the sanding area. You should generally avoid sanding a wide area to prevent spreading the stains instead of removing them.
After sanding with several levels of sandpaper, you should have debris all around the floor. Since the easiest way to remove the debris is by vacuuming the surface, that should be the next step. After vacuuming the area, you can also wipe the residual debris away with a slightly wet rag.
You may have to vacuum the area multiple times if the floor doesn’t look satisfactory after the first clean. However, you’ll have to sand the area with finer sandpaper each time before repeating the vacuuming process.
If 80 grits sandpaper doesn’t make the surface as even as you wanted, you can try 100-grits sandpaper. Then, you can move down to 180-grits and even 240 grits if you need an even smoother surface.
Remember to vacuum and wipe the sanded area after each sanding before using finer sandpaper. That way, you don’t spread the sandpaper unnecessarily.
After vacuuming the area to remove all debris, you may still notice some signs of stain in the deepest parts. Since these deep stains are practically impossible to remove, the only feasible option is to add more stains. Applying stains to mask deeper stains in hardwood is known as staining.
In addition to everything you’ve used previously, you’ll only need some stain and a polyurethane sealer to stain hardwood floors. You can also use a pre-stain wood conditioner to get the best results from the process.
If the wood surface has a polyurethane sealer applied previously, you may need to sand it lightly to remove the coat. However, if you decide to skip the first two steps, you don’t have an option if this applies to you.
After removing every obstructing surface, you can apply the coat of stain to the affected surface. Once the stain is applied, please wait for it to dry before applying the polyurethane sealer. If the stained surface isn’t dark enough, you’ll need to apply another coat of stain and let it dry again.
The process is complete after getting a fairly even color across the hardwood floor. Wait until everything dries completely and apply the polyurethane sealer.
You can start using the floor as usual when the sealer dries, only with extra care to avoid staining it again.