Hot Topics: Wood Floor Stain Prep Hot Topics: Wood Floor Stain Prep

Here on DoItYourself.com we enjoy providing a place where home improvement novices and experts can come together to share ideas and advice. Inside our Forums, users can browse threads to see what exchanges are taking place on a topic of interest or start their own dialogue by posting something for the community to take part in. With over 250,000 members and counting, this resource is quite active so each week we highlight one of the conversations that may just help you with that next DIY project.

After water damages some wood flooring, this DIYer is faced with the task of matching the replacement boards to the surrounding floor. Should he use water-based or oil-based stain? And is there any use for a wood prep product? The forum shares their opinions.

Original Post: Stain Preparation

WML13 Member

I have an area on a dining room floor (hardwood, tongue and groove) that was badly stained from a leaking shower on the floor above. I've replaced the two strips of hardwood that could not be cleaned up and reused, so I have those two white strips of hardwood and about a 4x8 section of floor to sand down and restain around them. I am looking at a Minwax brochure with a color that should match, but it comes in either a water base or oil base. It also recommends a stain prep product (their brand) and a stainable wood filler. I have used an automotive spot putty on wood before, but always used paint to cover the screw holes. Do you guys like water-based or oil, and would you use the Minwax wood filler or something better?

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

I prefer oil-based stain over water-based! What type of finish is currently on the floor? Not sure what prep product you are referring to, but hardwoods don't generally need a wood conditioner. Most any hardwood paste should do fine. Sometimes I'll just use colored putty (after stain and first coat of poly).

XSleeper Member

Oil-based. Oak doesn't need a wood conditioner. Don't use any fillers if you don't have to, since they do not accept stain the same as wood...it will make the filler stand out like a sore thumb.

Try to find oxalic acid (powder/flake) to bleach the stains out of your floor. It can often remove a lot of the unsightly stains from flooring prior to sanding and staining.

stickshift Group Moderator

I also prefer oil-based, but would use what's been used on the rest of the floor, if you can figure that out.

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

Oil-based stain is a lot easier to work with than the water-based stains. The odds are that the stain used was oil-based, which can be topcoated with either water-based or oil-based poly. Water-based doesn't change the look of the wood other than to give it a sheen. Oil-based poly will deepen the colors in the wood and amber some as it ages.

WML13 Member

10-4 on the oil-based preference. I don't know what they used in 1963 when the house was built—maybe the floor came that way? I have to fill some holes. The flooring that was replaced was badly warped, but I got the ones next to it to flatten out with wood screws, which left some holes to fill. I will try the stain on the Red Oxide body filler—who knows, maybe I am on to something with it? I will look for the oxalic—maybe sold at building supply stores?

XSleeper Member

I was surprised to find oxalic acid at my local True Value, but its not a common item. Even most Sherwin-Williams don't carry it. Rather than searching store to store, it would be easiest to just order some online.

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

They wouldn't have used poly back in '63. Most were lacquer, shellac, or varnish in that era.

I don't know about the red oxide filler, but with the hardwood paste you smear it on, let it dry, and then remove 90% of it when you sand...all prior to applying stain and/or poly.

WML13 Member

If you guys think the varnish will duplicate the other boards based on what I told you today, I won't have to buy the Minwax. Make sense?

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

Poly will wear better than varnish. Hard to say if oil-based poly alone will make it blend as we haven't seen the floor. Which Minwax stain on the chart matches your floor?

WML13 Member

The Minwax color is called "natural" (top of the first column in their current brochure). Will polyurethane stain the wood the same way the original varnish did?

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

I've never seen the point of "natural" stain unless you were to finish with water-based poly. Oil-based poly pretty much gives the same look.

To read the rest of the thread, look here: //www.doityourself.com/forum/painting-staining-all-interior-exterior-surfaces/575651-stain-preparation.html

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!

Topics:

hot topics