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Pocono Joe

@verizon.net

Problem: Refinishing Pine Hardwood Floor

Click for full size
Leopard Spotted Floor
After drum sanding, the pro doing the job said that there is no way to address the issue in the pic. There seem to be "leopard spots" that appear to be foot traffic since they seem to lead from the front door to the dining room and also to the stairs at the other side of the room. The darker area is where we rubbed mineral spirits to mimic the true finish.

He seems to not know what could cause the spots but is saying that further sanding won't help, staining won't help it will only make the spots and floor both darker and he doesn't want to continue because it won't be a decent job when finished.

Anyone ever see this issue? The floor is about 80 years old, was never sanded before and the carpeting that was down the past 25 years was ripped out about a month ago so there has been plenty of drying time.

Any help or advice is appreciated; the areas of the floor where there are not these spots looks wonderful and we were really hoping to be able to finish the job. Thanks.


Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
Could it have been a issue with the padding? Oils from it?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Pocono Joe
Try using oxalic acid (wood bleach) on it. It may lighten the darker spots. Sherwin Williams has it, big boxes didn't last I checked. It comes as crystals that you mix with water. Oxalic Acid does not whiten the floor as some two part bleaches do, so you can still achieve a natural floor color.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Pocono Joe
Guys, the dark spot we see isn't the blotch problem. It's only a test area to accentuate the blotching problem.

If you look at the pale wood on the sides, you'll see the blotching as well.

Bleaching won't help.

Tricky tricky indeed, but I don't see how further sanding won't help. You may have to sand down more (thus reduce the number of times you can refinish in the future).

TBH it doesn't look like they sanded it down much at all. How reputable are your guys?


Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand
kudos:1
reply to Pocono Joe

Pine is not a hardwood and that floor appears to be clear Fir which was a standard 80 years ago.

--
December is National Fruit Cake Month

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to alkizmo
said by alkizmo:

Guys, the dark spot we see isn't the blotch problem. It's only a test area to accentuate the blotching problem.

If you look at the pale wood on the sides, you'll see the blotching as well.

Bleaching won't help.

I am fully aware of the problem. Bleach can take out stains and other discoloration and my hope would be that the blotching is some type of staining that oxalic acid will either remove or lessen enough that it isn't noticeable. As far as I know, the only way to be certain that bleach won't help would be to try it. That's what I think the OP should do.


Ken
Premium,MVM
join:2003-06-16
Markle, IN
reply to Pocono Joe
I would start with the wood bleach and see if that helps. The other option is to stain the floor darker. You can with a lot of labor stain some parts darker than others and in the end get a fairly even color out of it. It's a lot of work though, probably more than your refinisher wants to mess with.

eagleknight

join:2002-11-08
Troy, OH
reply to Pocono Joe
I would recommend what others have said with using oxalic acid. If that doesn't work you could try some of this if you were going to stain the floor. This stuff really works great for woods that are inherently blotchy when staining and it might work in this situation. It would take two coats of per-treatment. Then a water based dye is recommended as a stain. You then could use your typical oil based floor finish over it.

»shop.charlesneilwoodworking.com/···_47.html


Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to alkizmo
We know, they prob put water on it to see how a finish would look and it shows the sploches even more so,


Pocono Joe

@verizon.net
reply to Warzau
I suppose it could be from the padding but it seems to be where there would have been foot traffic. The small but numerous "leopard" spots appear to me to be oil based not water based. I think water would cover larger areas.


Pocono Joe

@verizon.net
reply to robbin
Will give the acid a try; nothing to lose. At this point I guess the alternative is a new hardwood floor over the original floor.


Jtmo
Premium
join:2001-05-20
Novato, CA
reply to Pocono Joe
If you live in snow country, maybe the kids many decades ago came in with snowy feet?

Or, maybe while the owners were out the dogs pissed on the entry to say why did you leave me alone? Very common on carpet and if many decades ago you might not notice smells now?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Pocono Joe
said by Pocono Joe :

Will give the acid a try; nothing to lose. At this point I guess the alternative is a new hardwood floor over the original floor.

We can probably come with some other things to try, but I think oxalic acid would be my first choice.


Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to Jtmo
said by Jtmo:

If you live in snow country, maybe the kids many decades ago came in with snowy feet?

Or, maybe while the owners were out the dogs pissed on the entry to say why did you leave me alone? Very common on carpet and if many decades ago you might not notice smells now?

The stains might be new or not new. But the newer ice melt the safe kind is more "oily" I recall I had a issue on tile floor in my old house. It was easy to get off of the tile but in the grout it was hard to get out.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
If the splotches were from oil, the application of mineral spirits should have evened it out -- but it didn't.


Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
Oh didn't see they used mineral oil, I thought they just put down water to show the issues.


joe40

join:2005-11-26
Danbury, CT
reply to Pocono Joe
my friend had something like that.
they primed and painted it ,look great

but if not paint try a very dark stain


Pocono Joe

@verizon.net
reply to robbin
Tried Sherwin Williams for the oxalic acid, they only sell a wood bleach that contains oxalic acid. Will try some smaller hardward stores today for the crystals / powder. One question, if I try this on a small area, how do I neutralize the acid; I don't want to leave water stains on the floor. Thanks.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Typical -- newer employees don't seem to know they sell it. I've had to ask for a manager to find it before

»www.sherwin-williams.com/homeown···Redirect

Directions for this product say to neutralize with 1 tablespoon baking soda per gallon of water. I always recommend following the directions so make sure to read the label for the product you use.

bemis

join:2008-07-18
Reading, MA
reply to Pocono Joe
If it were me, I would consider just refinishing it as it is, possibly using a little bit of a darker stain.

My house had water damaged HW's in half the house. I had them torn up and replaced, but in rooms where the existing older floor was still good, it was sanded and refinished...

I prefer the look of the older floor--with its stains and flaws--to the newer "perfect" flooring.