I Screwed up, Wood Putty Before Staining

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Old 06-14-10, 11:06 PM
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I Screwed up, Wood Putty Before Staining

So I decided to take on the task of refinishing the hardwood floors that were underneath carpet in my new and first house. I spent about 3 days sanding 4 bedrooms and a hallway. Before my last sanding with 100 grit, I had my brother working ahead of me to fill any holes (there were tons from the old tack strip) with wood putty that we made with sawdust and glue. I thought this would work great, we'd use the same sawdust to make the putty.

Well, it didn't. I got through staining the master bedroom and the spots where wood putty was put on are very noticeable and lighter in color. I've considered several options, and would just like to get any input from experts or someone who may have done the same thing.

1.) Leave it and live with it (which is pretty much unacceptable for me since I decided to take on this project, and don't plan on ever refinishing them again so I want to do it right).

2.) Resand the spots with a hand sander and reapply stain. My only worry here is that there might be a noticeable dip in the floor after I poly and/or the stain might not look the same as that around it.

3.) Try to remove the wood putty...any good suggestions on how this could be done.

4.) Completely resand every room, which is my last option because we are looking to move in in 2 weekends and I can really only work on the weekends.

5.) Any other suggestions you may have.

I'd really appreciate any feedback anyone has and suggestions.
 
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Old 06-15-10, 05:14 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Could you supply a pic or two? http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html

Stain can be difficult to touch up so unless you can just strip the boards along the baseboard [that's where the problem is, right?] you might need to start over

Am I right in assuming those spots look bad because of the glue surrounding the nail holes? The holes themselves are minor, right?
 
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Old 06-15-10, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for your reply marksr. I'll run to the house at lunch and get some pictures to post. You are right, there is putty that is around the nail holes. These are mostly around the baseboards, but we also filled some of the board gaps in the middle of the rooms, which I am kicking myself for now! I wish I had done better research, because now I realize you shouldn't putty before you stain. not sure how I missed that little tidbit. When you say strip the baseboards I asse you mean with some sort of chemical?

I really appreciate the help, I'll get some pictures for you.
 
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Old 06-15-10, 10:35 AM
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No, what I meant was to strip [by sanding] the stain/finish on the floor along the baseboard. Because it's near the wall you'll have a better chance of touching up the stain. About the only way you can get away with touching up the stain in the middle of a room is to redo complete boards [from edge to edge]..... or cover it with a rug
 
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Old 06-15-10, 11:17 AM
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Here they show up in the middle of the master bedroom. You can't notice them in the entance really, but under the right light, boy do they look ugly:



Near the trim:



I did try to spot treat one of the spots...it looks better, but you can still tell where I sanded. Looks like I might be resanding it all
 

Last edited by RyFo18; 06-15-10 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 06-15-10, 03:09 PM
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You didn't sand well enough prior to staining Even if you had used the correct filler it would have showed. Basically you want to sand all the filler off except what remains in the hole or crack.

At this point, I'd try spot sanding and see how it goes. You may need to sand it all off but try the easier stuff first
 
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Old 06-15-10, 03:33 PM
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Yeah I tried spot treatment and didn't really like the results. The stain just doent look right compared to the rest of the wood.

Question I have is do you think I should start at the lowest grit if I completely resand (36), or will the medium grit I used work ok since there is no polyurethane to remove? Or is the only way to find out by trying haha.
 
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Old 06-16-10, 05:12 AM
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I'd start out with the medium grit and see how that goes. You don't want to remove any more wood than necessary.
 
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Old 06-16-10, 07:55 PM
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I've been doing wood floors for 10 years - I've never liked the glue and saw-dust trick only because the "filler" never looks right. My company uses a wood floor filler made by woodwise that is waterbased and sands off easily. What I would do on those spots - take a 80 grit edger disk or piece of flooring sandpaper and sand on a couple of those spots and get down to the raw wood. Next, take whatever grit sandpaper you used for your final cut and dip it in the stain and work it into the spot. If you buffed the floor with a screen, you could dip the used screen in the stain and work the spots that way too. That color is pretty light, so it should clean up decent. If this doesnt work, then the next best thing would be to resand the floor. In that case, I'd cut the floor once with a 100 grit on both sanding machines, and screen with 100 grit. Depending on buffers, you might have to run a 120 grit screen after the 100 to get the 100 swirls out.

Sorry for the long post.. Just had to throw my $.07 in.
 
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Old 06-18-10, 12:31 AM
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Well, totally worth it. I completely resanded. After looking at it enough and getting this sick feeling in my stomach, I said if I'm going to have to live here for the next X number of years, I'm going to do it right. And it was totally worth it. Here's the same section of floor as before with the splotchiness, looking beautiful. I was able to get Home Depot to give me the sander for the last 2 nights over night at the 4 hour rate each night. So I sanded from after work until 1-2 am. Just finished staining tonight. Now, hopefully I don't screw up anything when I put the polyurethane on .

 
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Old 06-18-10, 05:20 AM
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Looks good!

As long as the stain is good and dry you shouldn't have any problems applying the poly.
 
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