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Stained hardwood floors... how best to cover up the stains?

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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-05 01:35 PM
Original message
Stained hardwood floors... how best to cover up the stains?
Aside from carpet, that is. Last resort, I'll get an area rug, but I am hoping I can make them look pretty instead of just hiding them.

I pulled out the carpet in my mom's old room a couple weeks ago. There are three areas that are stained very deep, and I doubt (from what I have read) that anything will be able to fix them. So, I was thinking of staining the floors in a dark color (they are pretty dark anyway) to see if that could even it out some. Does anyone have any experience with this? I am wondering about a shade or brand that is particularly good at covering up stains. Almost paint-like if possible, though I have read lots of warnings NOT to actually use paint.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-05 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. Have you considered
refinishing the floors?

I pulled out a carpet last weekend... good times, good times.
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I think it may be too deep...
Refinishing involves sanding down past the stain and then finishing, right? I read that if the stain is very dark, it most likely went down too far, and you would have to actually remove the stained boards and replace them. Then the problem would be trying to get boards matched to the rest of the floor. Plus, I just don't want to put that much effort into it. I'm not very handy. I could stain or paint, but things involving much crafty skill are not in me.

Regardless, the carpet was about 30 years old, matted, stained, and a disgusting shade of baby shit green, so even discolored wood looks (and smells) much better!LOL
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-05 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. My next door neighbors had their floors redone recently
two rooms that total maybe 400 - 500 SF. It involved stained and darkened wood. They removed and replaced some boards and sanded and refinished everything. It looks great. The cost was just under $1000, which I didn't think was too awful.
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. That would be nice for future reference...
but for now, I need to stay on a tight budget. Plus, the rest of the house is old and run down too, so I'm just trying to do what I can to make it a bit nicer to live in. I don't know if I am making sense... if I spent $500 on the floor in one room, that would be the ONLY beautiful thing in the house!LOL! But if I spend $100 on repairs and small upgrades throughout the house, then the whole house will be a little brighter.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I understand completely.
The oxalic acid should mitigate if not eliminate the dark stains. Of course, you have to remove the finish first, use the acid, and then refinish (which may involve restaining.)

I'm not at all sure how much you'll have to pay for the oxalic acid, but its gotta be a boatload cheaper than new floors!
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-05 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Muriatic acid
is available at most large hardware stores. Just read the directions, wear serious eye protection, and be careful. Sand down the area over the stain and follow the directions. When you revarnish, feather out the edges of the "patch" so it blends with the rest of the floor.

Then there is my solution. I weave rugs, so...

The people who lived in my house before I bught it had 3 dogs, 3 cats and a parrot. First thing I did was patch and paint. Second thing was pulling up the diarrhea brouwn carpeting with 3 flavors of dung ground into it. My hardwood floors are one big pet stain. I've woven rugs for the worst of it, live with the rest of it. Some day, I'll take my own advice about the muriatic acid, but not today.

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-05 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. Oxalic acid
Here are some links found in a quickie google search. All the links have dire warnings (Boo! :scared: ) about the grave dangers of oxalic acid. Mind the caution, but don't be frightened off. With reasonable care, like, say, for paint stripper or even lacquer thinner, it is reasonably safe to work with.

http://alsnetbiz.com/homeimprovement/oxalic_acid.html

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/214.shtml (this link is written in near incomprehesible governmentspeak ... but the data's good)

http://doityourself.com/woodfloors/woodfloorstainremova...

http://antiquerestorers.com/Articles/SAL/Bleach.htm
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-05 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thanks! I'll check those out!
I did some searching yesterday, but a different choice of keywords can often yield much better hits!

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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-05 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
8. I ran into this problem with floors that weren't salvageable
I sanded them down to a smooth finish and then I bought some floor paint.
I was able to find some really good brochures at Home Depot on painting floors and they really do look nice.
Good luck.
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Kashka-Kat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
9. some ideas
oil based paint of any color -- like rustoleum-- can be cut w/ mineral spirits from 20-50% and used like a stain, then use poly on top. A lot of commercial stains esp. the kind billed as "penetrating" aren't opaque and won't cover the stain-- the wood will be darker overall but the stains will still show.

but before you do that-- what kind of wood is it? how old is the floor and the house? Can you post a picture? Do you know what the stain is exactly? Even if dark it could be just some surface thing that would sand out. If water stains, that could go pretty deep.

If wood is old you might just do a paradigm shift in your head and let it be OK for the floors to be old and have marks and stains. Im serious! I just sanded my 100 yr. old pine porch floor (after removing carpet glue and layers of paint) and its very stained and beat up w/ paint between the floorboards but the sanding removed the worst of the grunge and brought out the beauty of the old wood. There's still marks and stains but the wood is beautiful, a deep honey color because its so old. All I'll do is a clear finish on top. It is old growth pine from the aboriginal forests, the kind of wood we will never see again (farmed wood is a whole nother kind of thing, very inferior).

Did you know flooring manufacturers now are making new flooring that is "distressed" ie made to look old and beat up! It is quite stylish. So, maybe you might want to wait until you can sand or have someone sand and refinish. One thing to consider is if you put stain on top now then ifyou ever do want to sand and refinish then youll have that stain to contend with which may go deep into the pores.

That said, I have decided myself to use a heavier white or gray stain--paint thinned 20-30%-- on my kitchen floor around sink where very black water and grease stains did go very deep and sanding is just not cutting thru it much at all.
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