Q: We just finished sanding and staining our maple floor for the second time. If you screen before staining, be aware that the screen marks will show in any dark stain color. It does get pretty dark, though on maple you may want another layer of color to get as dark as you'd like. If it’s still darker than the rest of the floor, apply a second coat. Hydrogen peroxide will lighten the stain with successive applications. And by this, I don’t mean very dark wood floors, or black painted floors – it has to really be a stain finish to get the rich, deep effect that I love. Sanding the wood to 600 grit exacerbated the problem by burnishing the surface of the wood; rendering it even less able to absorb the stain than if you had stopped sanding at 180 or 220 grit. Why? Unlike white marks, which are caused by damage to the finish, dark stains result from damage -- or stain applied -- to the top layer of the wood. Soak a clean rag in vinegar and place the rag onto the stain. Black stains on hardwood floors can ruin the appearance of an otherwise beautiful hardwood floor. Water stains are capable of going darker than oil stains, but even so, to get very dark, you are likely to need some pigmented glaze (AKA tinted clearcoat) to block more light. Add a dust mask when handling powdered oxalic acid or calcium hypochlorite. I do like the idea of being able to go a little finer with the sanding and bring grain back to accept the oil. Lots more work. Most but not all of the fibers are gone, but there are still some that show slightly in certain light. Wipe the surface with mineral spirits and allow it to dry before sanding. All the grey wood stain colors were tested on birch plywood, maple, poplar, pine, and oak. Does pretty good for me. Floor staining is difficult, finicky work, with unpredictable results. Will let dry for a couple of days; then, clean with Murphy’s Wood Soap & hopefully, will be just fine. With a damp cloth, water and bleach, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and mineral spirits, the stains should lighten and stop tarnishing your flooring. It so much lighter now; hardly noticeable. Wipe dark areas of the floor with mineral spirits or acetone to lift the stain from the wood. Clean the wood with mineral spirits or turpentine to remove the top layer of wax, grime and degraded finish. Have 1 person put the stain on, and another to spread it and wipe up spills and pools. I do not want to see you waste your time and money for naught, though I feel it is not complicated. In your experience, which product - Bona, Glits, or DuraSeal - is most likely to achieve a dark black finish for me? So I got most of that, but not all of it, out and put on other coat down, but went to a plain fast dry Minwax poly, applied fairly thick with a lambskin applicator. You must make sure you follow proper sanding procedures and never skip a grit in your sanding sequence. Soaked two cotton pads with peroxide & laid on stain for 2 full days, checking every 8 hrs or so to be sure the wood was ok. Test an application of hydrogen peroxide in an inconspicuous area of the floor. I have other ways to obtain this but this is the safest one for general use. My suggestion is to use a solvent base system you can both apply and sand smooth, for there will be some grain raising, but this can be minimized if you wet the wood surface with water to pre-raise the grain before your final sand. You are unlikely to reach a deep or very dark black over a light wood (maple) with stains alone. Remember, prevention is key! Minwax has been pretty lax in the quality control of some products (notably their stains) and this has left many professionals with an aversion to their products in general. Do not sand the floor after stain is applied - only before. Well my husband checked under the trailer. I hope this helps somebody that's looking to stain Maple. Fortunately, maple is a hard wood with tight grain, so stains tend to sit on its surface. Let's find out. A number of softwoods, as well as some of the more porous hardwoods such as maple, aren't conducive to stained finishes. I would not start over, but rather continue onward. What other options do I have? I truly love floors that have been stained black. Stains are not layerable. As to urethane/varnish/tongue oil/shellac/wax/clear coats, keep this in mind - all will go over this dyeing process, but you cannot use a waterbase material as the first coat. Allow the vinegar to work into the stain for 5 to 10 minutes. Use the fine abrasive pads with the floor buffer to buff, going with the wood grain. Moisture, chemicals and even fungus can migrate through finishes to make black marks. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. The dye provides a dark, dramatic and upscale look. The stain is water soluble and will be picked up by the waterbase clear if you apply it directly on it. Water stains are capable of going darker than oil stains, but even so, to get very dark, you are likely to need some pigmented glaze (AKA tinted clearcoat) to block more light. It can cause scratches that stand out when the wood is re-finished. Use a saturated solution of calcium hypochlorite, a form of chlorine available at pool supply outlets, to remove the dye that is part of stains used on maple. Maple floors and furniture contribute a warm, natural look to a home; they can also pose distinct care challenges. It made the stains less obvious, and gave the floors an overall even color. Scrub the area in light circular motions with fine steel wool if the black stain begins to fade -- if you’re lucky, this may remove a mark. How to remove old water stains from wood floors. Second mistake... Make sure you use a lambskin applicator! Staining floors, especially for first-time do-it-yourselfers, is a tricky business. I would not start over, but rather continue onward. So do wash off any loose stain with a rag dampened with mineral spirits. When the finish coat is lacquer or another thin finish, proceed directly to sand the finish with fine sandpaper. The term soft maple is a bit of a comparative misnomer, as soft maple is harder than many other hardwoods (such as cherry). This week I done some more testing with stains, this time I tested them on Soft Maple wood. Step 10: Apply Maple Stain. Regular upkeep of your floors is truly the best way to catch every little stain before it turns black. As they are much harder to remove compared to white stains, you’ll have a more challenging time trying to eliminate them. If the maple has streaks, you may need to apply more bleach or sand it further to get to an even-colored layer. ft. floor in the same manner, would I tell you to go ahead with the process as outlined. You can use Minwax's polyshades as a glaze, but I'd make my own with clear polyurethane and black pigment. I applied the stain by hand with a lambswool applicator and rag. Oil stain on floor from clothes steamer – nasty dark mark on oak hardwood floor. Sand the wood until the dark stain fades. Then, take an old towel and rub the entire surface of the maple wood that is to be painted with the mixture. I applied several coats of Minwax oil based stain, but the floor will not take enough pigment to make a dark color. Having said that, DIY maple floor staining can be tricky, and often best left to the pros. Both times the stain looks terrible. Use a 10-percent solution of oxalic acid, sold as crystals, on stains due to the interaction of the tannin in the wood with moisture, metals or fungus. They can only be treated by stripping the finish and removing part of the wood’s surface. What I found in trying to come up with a black dye/stain was that if I used the tannin and iron method and also added the black/brown water soluble dye in with it, I came up with a 2 step process instead of a 4 step process that could be repeated as many times as necessary to obtain the darkest black possible. Clean spotty dark stains by using the stain-removal process on the entire plane -- top, side or drawer front -- where you find the stain. The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association warns that stains and bleaches may make blotches on hardwood maple, so test chemicals on an inconspicuous area before using them. It was time to stain the floors. Then we were getting the floors soft. First of all, soft maple and red maple are typically the same things. I think I am going to have to sand it down and restart, but first I need a plan. Maple is a difficult wood on which to achieve uniform stain, and the appearance can look as if the stain was not applied evenly. You can dilute the peroxide with water at first, worki… So now I also had lots of very small fibers in the surface, particularly in certain areas I had to try and sand out. This is because wood density and porosity varies, causing some areas to absorb a lot of stain, with other areas absorbing very little. If you accidentally lighten the floor too much, use a wood stain that matches the floor to restore the color. Use clean dry rags to apply the maple stain evenly. Bonakemi is a top producer of clear finishes (though Glitsa and Duraseal may also have such products). To remove the black stain on your floor, you can use hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or baking soda. No pain, no gain ... April 21, 2008, KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing. Strip a thick layer of urethane with a chemical stripper. When you’re sure of the tint you want, prepare the floor to receive the stain by stripping it down to bare wood. How to Remove Water Marks from Windowsills, Utah State University Extension: Cleaning, Repairing and Reconditioning Wood Furniture, Wood Zone: Understanding and Using Wood Bleaches, How to Remove Stains From Oak Using Bleach, How to Restore Antique Cherry Wood Furniture, How to Waterproof a Wood Top of a Sink Vanity. Wipe the wood and allow it to dry. I have used Minwax polyurethane on floors before and with superb results, though I tend toward other products these days. You are unlikely to reach a deep or very dark black over a light wood (maple) with stains alone. Never sand against the grain of maple or any other wood. Hard maple floors offer a nice, light, bright look to a room, and are often paired with matching cabinetry when the home is built. It’s possible that your water stain is not a stain at all. Even flooring professionals lose sleep over this process because there are dozens of variables that can make staining go wrong. Often this is simply a physical property of the wood species itself (such as maple, black cherry, and pine), whereby it does not evenly accept stain or colorant. Fortunately, it’s not impossible – it just requires you to take some time and willpower to do it. And when it does go wrong, the only solution is to re-sand the floor and start all over from the beginning. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when handling bleaching liquids. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor. I am curious about water popping in this situation. GREAT TIP – HUGE THANKS. (Finishing Forum) As to grit, I would use 240 or 220 between coats, and the wood floor I would final sand to 150 or 180, but you may experiment with that on samples to see what works best for you. You control opacity by adding more pigment or by layering more coats or by thinning some coats. Vacuum the entire floor twice with the shop vac. It's blotchy, thick and dark in some areas and lighter in other areas. It was getting all the floors wet underneath and they were staying wet. From contributor L: Hardwood floors can definitely become a hassle if they get black stains. Educate customers about the difficulties involved in the staining of maple so they are warned of possible appearance issues. Rob Johnstone: Staining maple to a dark hue, which is very dense and quite light in color, with an oil based or gel-style product is hard work … and in my opinion, not a good idea. I also use some soft wood such as pine and I am considering cedar. When the poly tacks up and you overlap, the tackier it's setting up, the more fibers the poly pulls out of the applicator. Are aniline dyes or paints options, and if so, what types and what would be the best application and finishing technique? For both applications the best way to start is by sanding the maple floor flawlessly. This can really give you a jet black look. Rinse the area with clean water, using another cloth, and then pat dry.When the area is perfectly dry, … Each piece was sanded with 150 grit sandpaper, and was not treated with any kind of wood conditioner before applying the stain. For the 2nd sanding, the floor guys said … Step 1: Make sure the area is clean and dry. It tend to absorb stain unevenly which leads to a blotchy look. On some woods, a black dye or a black pigmented stain will still show the background color of the wood through the stains. I used a flat artificial application pad. Allow 24 hours for the bleach to evaporate and the floor to dry. This is a bad problem. Staining and topcoating are really two different applications. Additionally, damp-mop the floor with a wood-cleaning product a few times a year. And the saga goes on. Moisture, chemicals and even fungus can migrate through finishes to make black marks. What product do you recommend to seal these products and grit to sand? Maple floors and blotchy stain. I am trying to get a dark ebony or black finish on a new maple hardwood floor. Water will neutralize chlorine residue, but if you’ve used oxalic acid, mix a bucket of neutralizer composed of 4 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda in 1/2 gallon of water and wipe the surface with it until the powdery residue disappears.
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