How to Fix Uneven Stain on Hardwood Floors – 2 Quick Methods

How to Fix Uneven Stain on Hardwood Floors

The charm and style created by hardwood floors in a home is priceless, yet it requires low maintenance. However, you need to refinish the hardwood occasionally.

Although most home improvement shows can make this task look easy, be assured that it isn’t. Proper technique and process are critical throughout the entire process of sanding, prepping, and staining the wood.

To be able to even out stain colors properly, the sanding of the floor must be consistent. So, let’s check out how to fix uneven stain on hardwood floor by sanding method and staining method.

How to Fix Uneven Stain on Hardwood Floors

By Sanding

You will need to sand the area that has an uneven stain on it. You want to lightly sand. If you sand the area too much, you will end up with an uneven surface, which is just as bad as an uneven stain.

The sanding removes the coating in that area and will remove some of the stains as well.

Even if the floor looks okay after you’ve sanded it, you will still need to apply a small amount of stain.

This will enable the stain to penetrate into the wood and will ensure an even finish. Don’t go overboard, and only use a small amount of stain on the dry rag.

Allow the stain to completely permeate the wood by giving it at least two days to fully dry. This way, you will be able to add more stain, if needed. Once the stain has set, you can seal the floor to protect the finish.

Clean the floor with a soft cloth dampened with acetone if your floor still looks uneven. Focus on blotchy or darker areas. Try to blend the edges of uneven areas into lighter areas.

Wipe harder on very dark areas to lighten the stain to match existing lighter areas. Let the stain dry for 30 minutes.

Read: Best Mop for Hardwood Floors

Wipe the floor down again with an acetone soaked cloth if you can still see uneven colors. Repeat if necessary until the color evens out.

By Staining

You can also fix uneven stains on hardwood floors by staining it

Things you will Need                                             

  • Mineral spirits or acetone
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Rags
  • Stain
  • Polyurethane sealer
  • Floor buffer
  • Dust mask
  • Vacuum
  • Wood Conditioner

Clean dark areas of the floor with mineral spirits or acetone to lift the stain from the wood.

If the stain-resist these chemicals or if a polyurethane topcoat has already been applied to the floor, lightly sand the area by hand with 180-grit sandpaper.

Make sure to stain the area again with one coat of stain. Allow the floor to dry for two days.

Examine the re-stained area to determine if it is dark enough to match the stain around it. If it is, the floor can be sealed. If it isn’t, apply another coat of stain and allow it to dry again.

Repeat this process until the area is evenly dark as the surrounding floor.

Grab the materials and equipment necessary to redo the entire floor if a quick fix is not possible.

A couple of dark spots on the floor can be fixed using lightening techniques, but if your entire floor is blotchy and uneven, consider a whole-floor approach.

This will require that you use a buffer to sand the floor, then vacuum up the dust, apply wood conditioner and stain the floor.

Read: Best floor Wax


Here are a few extra tips on how to fix uneven stain on hardwood floors; If you need to redo the entire floor, make sure you know what went wrong the first time so you can ensure to prevent it from happening again.

If you are not sure what went wrong, consider consulting a professional before trying again.

Avoid staining maple floors. Maple wood has an exceptionally tight grain and does not accept stain well. Never let a stain-covered rag to lay around as they can catch fire without an ignition source.

Make sure to never leave stain-covered rags lying around as they can catch fire without an ignition source. Try your possible best to match your stain color to the already existing stain on the floor.

If you have a choice, use a darker color. It will help to hide and even out previously bad staining jobs. Have you ever dealt with uneven stains on your hardwood floor? How did you fix it?

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