How to Get Rid of Lap Marks on Hardwood Floors – Solved

how to get rid of lap marks on hardwood floors

Are you thinking of staining your hardwood to give it a new look? That sounds like a wonderful idea! But what happens if your newly painted floor is tinted with lap marks? This could easily damage all your hard work to give your house a new look.

What are lap marks? And most importantly, we are concerned with how to get rid of lap marks on hardwood floors. To get rid of lap marks, you will need to do a little repainting. This means you need to apply a fresh coat of paint over the already painted hardwood floor.

This post will tell you all you need to know about lap marks and how to resolve them. Stay with us.

Read: How to fix uneven stain on hardwood floor

What are Lap Marks?

If you’re still new in the world of home décor, chances are you might not exactly be familiar with the term lap marks. When staining your hardwood floors, lap marks happen due to differences in sheen and color that occur when dry and wet layers overlap. Most times, lap marks look like a higher gloss or denser color.

Lap marks can damage your hard work and have been a source of frustration for most homeowners when they try to stain their hardwood floors. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to get rid of lap marks after painting.

Read: How to stain laminate floors

How to Get Rid of Lap Marks on Hardwood Floors

The best way to probably get rid of lap marks is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Fortunately, there are some ways to make the lap marks on your hardwood floors less visible.

You can start by soaking a clean cloth is paint thinner and rub the cloth over the dark areas of the lap marks. Do this consistently – slowly, the lap marks will start to disappear. However, you need to be careful with this procedure as any mistake will result in the removal of too much stain.

The most frequent mistake most homeowners make is trying to restain a hardwood floor with lap marks. This will make no difference. Rather, give the floor a quick resand, grit, and then restain. Preferably, use a stain pad to apply the stain.

Read: How to sand hardwood floors with orbital sander

What Causes Lap Marks?

The first step in knowing how to get rid of lap marks is knowing what caused them. As mentioned earlier, lap marks occur when there is an overlap between dry and wet layers when staining your hardwood floor.

Lap marks can also result when you apply paint in direct sunlight or the floor surface is too porous for the paint or stain.     

The use of low-class, economy paint can cause lap marks on your hardwood floors. Thus, you’re advised to go for high-quality stain or paint when staining your hardwood floor.

Read: How to get scuff mark off floors

How to Prevent Lap Marks

Instead of looking for ways to get rid of lap marks after painting, it makes more sense if it doesn’t occur in the first place. Below are some ways to prevent lap marks from occurring:

1. Firstly, when staining your hardwood floor, apply stain toward the unstained area and then back into the just-stained surface. This is known as the “wet to dry” technique and will produce a smooth and uniform appearance without lap marks.

2. Secondly, always make sure to apply stains on freshly stained surfaces. This means that you should not let a surface of stain dry before you blend it in with stain from another adjoining surface.

Suppose you allow a surface to dry before applying a new stain. In that case, it creates two layers of paint and different colors at the overlap.

3. You can also prevent lap marks by blending the surfaces. For instance, you can wipe out stains from dark areas and add more stains to the light areas.

4. When painting large surfaces, paint the floors in small sections so you can still have a wet edge instead of generally painting from top to bottom.

5. Avoid painting windy or hot days as this will make the paint on the floor dry faster, increasing the likelihood of lap marks.

Read: How to polish hardwood floor with buffer


Even professionals deal with lap marks, so don’t be so hard on yourself if your hardwood floors look a bit difficult than expected. That’s why it’s always advised that you start painting smaller places before smaller areas.

Are you keen on how to get rid of lap marks on hardwood floors? We hope this post has been a big help to your quest.

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