How To Stain Wood Floors Without The Blotchy Effect

This type of pigmented stain is applied in long strips with the run of the floorboards just as wide as you can comfortably reach. Even parquet is done this way, but don’t necessarily choose the long side of the room. In the case of parquetry try to start your first row of staining so that it points toward a large window. This will avoid a checkered appearance in the stain.

Wipe within a few minutes, and work very fast or with a partner if it is a long room. Be sure to rub the stain into the wood thoroughly. If you have missed any spots with a pigmented stain, and it dries, touchups are tricky. The solvent in the stain will tend to remove the pigment particles when you try to touch up a small area. You have to very deftly wipe the stain on and off the missed spot. So please try to do it correctly and evenly the first time. Your floor is not the place to experiment. Do some samples first to get used to the process.

The trick with this stain is to wipe vigorously enough to even the color out, but not too much or the wet pigment particles will be wiped out too. The darker the color the more difficult this stain is to use. Some of the darker stains like the Dura Seal brand contain a lot of pigment, but a lot of binder. This will make it easier to achieve the darker richer colors, but you must wait 24-72 hours for this type of stain to fully dry. If the stain binder is not fully dry it may then interfere with the polyurethane that you apply on top of it. You may end up with a bubbled finish over the stain or at worst a peeling finish. In the case of peeling, you will have to sand the floor all over again. This is no place to be trying out a new stain brand, practice on a group of hardwood boards held together by a clamp.

Test the adhesion of any stain and finish combination by letting the finish cure (on a sample) for 2-4 weeks, then cross hatch it with a razor knife to the bare wood. Apply a strip of duct tape and rip it off. If more than 20% of the finish peels find another product or method. I describe the locally made stain I use in my article on the use of oil modified polyurethane. This is a “fast dry” pigmented wiping stain, and it always dries over night, but is tricky to use. And may be hard to obtain. So see if you can find one made locally yourself. A company that supplies stains and finishes to your local furniture trade is the best source. It may be worthwhile asking a furniture maker or refinisher in your area for this source.