Sticky business...any shortcuts to applying stain to an older wood floor?

Old 05-03-15, 01:42 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Sticky business...any shortcuts to applying stain to an older wood floor?

I have an older pine floor with what I assume is varnish due to the age of the home (1954 build). When carpet was removed, some of the varnish was missing sporadically, like solvent got spilled onto the floor through the carpet. My initial inclination was to just spot-match the stain to the affected areas and throw a light coating of spray polyurethane over it. It's nothing especially attractive anyway, but now there is a functional problem.

I did not get to perform my fix; Another household member directed my son to apply stain to the entire floor. In my estimation, this would not be ideal because those areas still retaining varnish would not absorb the stain or dry completely. After 24 hours, the stain still comes off on a paper towel.

Will it ever dry completely if underlying boards retained their varnish? Should I let it continue to dry and try putting polyurethane over the entire area? If I did apply polyurethane over the entire area, will the polyurethane help hold it all it, as it were?

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts/experience.
Old 05-03-15, 01:56 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 19,281
Received 6 Upvotes on 6 Posts
Well, I'm no expert...but I think you are looking at a complete sanding. Stain on top of any type of sealing finish is a waste.

It wouldn't be hat hard or expensive to either rent a machine or have a company come in and do the sanding, then you do the finishing.

Wait for the Pro's, but the options you listed (spray poly?) are not viable.
Old 05-04-15, 03:30 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,416
Received 786 Upvotes on 689 Posts
Welcome to the forums!

Back in the 50s the finish could be varnish, shellac or lacquer. Today poly is preferred. Stain is formulated to dry more by absorption than chemically and doesn't work well if not applied to bare raw wood. I agree with Vic - sand the hardwood down to fresh clean wood and then stain [or not] and refinish.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: