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I am a newbie here and have already done some research about this, no luck yet. I am trying to get rid of the stains on my hardwood floor. Two -almost exact- stains. Trying to get rid of the original stain, following some research, I applied hydrogen peroxide and ended up with light colored areas. Now I need to make them look as the rest. I tried to sand across with some sandpaper (120), wiped the sand dust and applied "parquet lacquer" (parkettlack here in germany) but didn't work.

Should I get more aggressive on sanding, sand the surrounding area as well? Maybe I can purchase one electric hand-held sander. Should I also get into "staining" - the hardwood is quite fair colored and has matt lacquer?

Do you think this can be solved without needing professional help?

Thanks a lot!

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  • If you're done much research on similar issues I'm surprised you haven't come across something that said that it's often impossible to spot-treat discolouration and then blend in the treated area to the rest of the surface :-( The basic problem here is I think you've made those areas treated with peroxide much paler than the wood around them, so even if you are using the exact same finish that was applied originally (which isn't likely) you won't get the same final colour even after two or three coats. – Graphus Jun 12 '18 at 12:06
  • you are absolutely right about spot-treatment difficulties. but the good side to the story (in my opinion) is that the floor is already not super consistent. the flooring of small tiles will hopefully make it easier to "blend in" any inconsistencies. i am thinking that i can completely re-finish 11-12 pieces. they are all different when looked carefully. – adg Jun 12 '18 at 12:38
  • You removed the old finish and bleached out the old stain. Now you must stain the wood to color and then protect with finish – Chuck S Jun 12 '18 at 13:47
  • @ChuckS, I don't think it's likely the floor was originally stained. The finish may have some colour because it's old, but at a guess that's all as the colouring looks consistent with 'suntanned' ash plus some grime from foot traffic. – Graphus Jun 12 '18 at 16:51
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    i did the hardest manual sanding i could (40 grit) paper and re-oiled the parts with the oil given originally by the landlady. looks better but i wasnt able to get to the bottom so i will either buy a small hand sanding machine (the ones that look like a computer mouse) and re-oil or i will just resand manually and try staining option. considering i may have to stain eitherway, i think i will go with the staining option first over the weekend. thank you both again for your comments. – adg Jun 15 '18 at 14:33
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There's no one right way to deal with a problem like this and different approaches give varied results that will satisfy different people — obviously some would only be happy if the whole floor were taken down to bare wood and refinished from scratch, and really that's the only way to guarantee good consistency of colour and general appearance.

From the Comments you want to extend the spot treatment to try to blend in what you've done with the surrounding boards so I think you first need to give the floor a thorough clean, this is the only way to ensure you're getting a proper read on the colour you're aiming for. It's hard to be sure from the one image but the floor probably isn't particularly clean even if swept or vacuumed regularly. At the very least the deep grain has dirt lodged in it (it nearly always does!) and as the finish is matt it's a safe bet the surface is a bit grimy (matt surfaces hold more dirt than gloss surfaces). This light covering of dirt will add a slightly grey tone that will throw off colour judgements.

Then if I were doing this — trying desperately not to have to refinish the whole floor :-) — I'd remove finish from a large section where the stains were originally (a dozen boards as you indicate in your Comment above sounds about right) as well as a few random boards a little distance away. Then I'd carefully refinish just those stripped boards, being as careful as possible not to get any finish on top of adjacent floorboards where original finish remains.

Caveat: there's no guarantee this will work well enough, but I am confident you won't be 100% happy initially! Partly this is because you can't know if you're using the same finish as was applied to the floor originally*, but also once you sand or thoroughly clean old wood it returns it to its original pale colour and it takes time and light exposure for those boards to return to the colouring they were before you started. This process will take weeks at minimum, possibly some months, depending on the light levels in the room. And only after this will you know if you've achieved a satisfactory outcome.


*So its colour may be different, but also how it affects the colouring of the wood may be different.

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  • thanks a lot for taking the time for such a comprehensive response. my only remaining question is about "[...]as well as a few random boards a little distance away[...]". can you help me understand why you suggested this? – adg Jun 12 '18 at 22:11
  • This is so that if the colour of the boards currently affected, and those immediately adjacent that you were planning on doing also, don't end up a perfect match (which may be likely) they aren't the only boards on view that look like that. There's already a good amount of variation in the boards on the floor which works in your favour, this is just one extra step to help a repair not stand out as one solid block of different-coloured boards. – Graphus Jun 13 '18 at 21:47

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