Help - Floor stains looks blotchy and uneven

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Old 03-02-14, 10:59 AM
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Help - Floor stains looks blotchy and uneven

Hi - I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but my stain job looks like crap. Combine that along with my OCD of wanting it to look good and it's not a good combo

This is my 2nd time sanding and staining the floors in a 6 month period, so I'm a little worried about having to sand yet again. I know the planks are decently thick, but I don't want to ruin them.

I attached a few photos to show what is happening. I'm not sure if it has to do with my sanding process, my staining technique or most likely some combination of both.

Here is the process I used for both sanding and staining:

Step 1: Sanded using a 7" Edge sander at 60G. I do have access to a belt sander, but I don't trust myself enough to use it. Sanded with the length of the boards.

Step 2: Sanded using 7" Edge sander at 100G. Sanded with the length of the boards.

Step 3: Sanded using a hand held electric sander at 150G. Sanded with the length of the boards.

After I had them all sanded, I vacuumed and tacked to remove as much dust as possible.

I then stained using Minwax water based stain. I used a 3" foam brush and wiped with a rag about 30 seconds after brushing the stain on.

Some areas look good to me while you can clearly see that other areas look like crap.

Any suggestions as to what my best options are to correct this would be much appreciated!

Thank you!!

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Old 03-02-14, 11:18 AM
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I suspect it mostly has to do with the water based stained. I've always found them a lot trickier to apply than the conventional oil base stain. I will only use a water based stain under protest

I'm wondering if a rag damp with denatured alcohol would allow you to rub off some of the stain to make it look more uniform ??
 
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Old 03-03-14, 07:40 AM
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Thanks, I'll give that a shot!

Yeah, I debated awhile between Oil and Water and ultimately went with Water. I have too many supplies on hand that I can't return/exchange to switch over to Oil. I will give that a suggestion a try. Anything to save me from re-sanding again.

If I do have to sand again, would trying different grits possibly work best? Perhaps starting with something more coarse than 60 and ending at 80-100 instead of 150? I'm not sure what affect this would have on taking the stain, but I read somewhere that finishing around the 80-100 mark may help the stain soak in better and more consistently vs. 150.
 
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Old 03-03-14, 10:44 AM
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Generally 100-120 is fine enough for applying stain, when you go too fine it closes up the wood's grain making it harder for the wood to absorb the stain. I'm not sure that makes a lot of difference in your case.

I have too many supplies on hand that I can't return/exchange to switch over to Oil.
Can you further explain that? You can use oil base stain under water based poly [if that's what you mean] but you do need to make sure it's good and dry first.
 
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Old 03-03-14, 11:30 AM
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Can you further explain that? You can use oil base stain under water based poly [if that's what you mean] but you do need to make sure it's good and dry first.
Correct! I'm not so much worried about the stain.. I have about 4 quarts, but at what.. $8/each I'm not too worried about it if I had to toss them. It was the poly that I was more concerned with. Having 3 gallons at $50/each is a little harder to swallow. I was under the impression that you couldn't do water poly on top of oil stain, but I'm more than willing to give that a try!
 
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Old 03-03-14, 11:42 AM
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I prefer oil poly over oil stain because it allows you a little fudging if the stain isn't 100% dry. I also prefer the look and added durability of poly stain. I seldom use water based poly but have used it over oil stain occasionally. It's always best to check the label so you know for sure that the 2 are compatible.
 
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