How To Stain Wood Floors Without The Blotchy Effect

A bit of a compromise to these first two stain varieties is the dye -pigment combos. The Minwax wood stain finish is one of these. It is quite easy to use and is quite popular among floor finishers for this reason. But these don’t come in very dark and rich colors. You may find that some of the lighter colors may be suitable for using on nonporous woods like maple.

The next type of stain is the gel stain. This is the best stain to use on softwoods like pine and hardwoods like cherry. These woods have such a variable density that they will turn quite muddy and blotchy if you try to use a pigment or dye stain. Gel stain is thick like ketchup, but once you wipe them they flow quite well on the wood surface. They penetrate the wood easily and evenly. And are easily wiped off to even out the color. They generally have long dry times and come in a variety of viscosity’s. Minwax is the thinnest, Flecto is medium and Wood-Kote and Bartley’s are the thickest. The thicker stains will generally color more intensively. Experiment with not only different colors but different brands. Cherry is good candidate for a gel stain, especially if you have installed a low grade of cherry with all those light colored boards. The gel stain will be the best type to even this out.

The last stain for floor use is the Ashphaltum type stain. It’s also called a bitumen or glisonite stain, and is basically a heavy petroleum product. It stains the wood like a dye, but is easy to use like a pigment stain. And like a pigment stain is colorfast. Watco and Deft oil are two such products. But be aware they have long dry times also, and because of the oil base, not be compatible with some finishes. But this sort of stain can also be successfully and easily used on maple, birch and beech, but only in the lightest colors.

Lots of people ask me about white stains, and complain that they have trouble getting the white color to take into a wood like oak. Well there is a secret to solving that dilemma. The sanding process has to have gone well, but in this case don’t spend too much time polishing the wood with the buffer. You really don’t want to make the floor so smooth that the pigment particles won’t lodge. Just be sure to remove all the visible sanding marks.