I have a customer who removed a wall.

I patched the floor with red oak and applied the Minwax stain he said was used on the old floors.

It matched almost perfect when applied but within an hour started turning a dark brown!

Any idea why?

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to StackExchange. Sorry for your trouble, but Finishing 101 is test stain and finish on a scrap or offcut first, before committing to the project. This is a prime example of why it's important. Stain can vary. Given this is Minwax I wouldn't be surprised if the formulation changed since the floors went down. But variation batch to batch is commonplace, can happen with any maker's products. Maybe even more importantly, wood varies, and in the US the oaks are notorious for this because there are about a half-dozen species lumped into the broad red and white categories.
    – Graphus
    Dec 20, 2020 at 8:43
  • I did a test stain on a cutoff and it looked perfect! He had just had the floors done about 2 years ago. The new boards and the old floor both changed to a dark puke color after it dried lol
    – Gorff
    Dec 20, 2020 at 23:54
  • My first inclination on reading the Title of this Question is to answer in the voice of Frye from Futurama: "Yeah, it'll do that." Sorry!
    – user5572
    May 20, 2021 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


It matched almost perfect when applied but withing an hour stated turning a dark brown!! Any idea why!?!?

Oak easily develops gray or black stains from contact with iron, and I could imagine it looking dark brown if there's also a dark-colored stain involved. Did you use steel wool during application of the stain? Was the can the stain was in at all rusty or corroded?

Also, is it possible that the rest of the floor is some other type of wood, possibly even just a different type of oak, that might have reacted differently to the stain? And did you wipe away the excess stain? And how old is the stain?

  • 2
    Duuude, there are five questions here! Anything other than a rhetorical question should not be in Answers, this is what the Comments are for.
    – Graphus
    Dec 20, 2020 at 8:30
  • @Graphus Questions, yes, but also an answer. And the questions are somewhat rhetorical... I don't really care what the answers are, just trying to suggest avenues that the OP should investigate to find the cause. I could restate the questions as suggestions, but I really don't think that's necessary.
    – Caleb
    Dec 20, 2020 at 19:57
  • 4
    It's worth remembering that Answers are not just for the OP, they're also for posterity. To the outside observer these don't read as rhetorical. Don't get me wrong, these are good questions, but the answers to them are what's of import.
    – Graphus
    Dec 21, 2020 at 8:37

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