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laureth's avatar

How do you get dark, deeply penetrated stains out of hardwood flooring?

Asked by laureth (27091 points ) September 11th, 2010

We have an elderly dog who often forgets to ask to go outside, and ends up just peeing on the floor wherever he is. One of his favorite spots to let loose was at the base of a plastic bin that we had setting on the floor. Mr. Laureth would clean up, but didn’t realize how much pee had gathered, lurking under the plastic bin until we moved it aside one day, and noticed the hardwood floor was blackening with rot, in exactly the same shape as the bin’s “footprint.”

We cleaned off the crusty ick with bleach-water, but the wood itself is nasty. Short of sanding the whole floor down and re-varnishing it, is there a way to simply spot-fix that area of the floor?

I may be hoping against hope here, but maybe someone here at Fluther is an expert in hardwood floor denastification.

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8 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

From what I know there is no simple way. You could try quick’ish’ fixes on that spot but they’ll look quick. You could try marking out a spot around the stain and sanding that spot then re-stain and varnish. It would still look like a patch but it could be a temporary fix until you have the time and energy to sand the whole floor down.

Bagardbilla's avatar

No easy solution! Really.
You cannot sand it, (it has probably penetrated all the way through), so everytime you do the smell will actually get more pungent.
Cheapest solution is to cut out the affected area and “lace” in new wood. A qualified floor finisher can do it relativly inexpensively.

ibstubro's avatar

I agree with Bagardbilla that you’re not going to sand the stain out. You might stain the whole floor dark enough that it would hide the stain, but that would be a decision that would change the whole complexion of your home.

I can hear the hew and cry from here over this, BUT…
One thing I would consider is painting the area will Kills or a similar product and then faux painting to match the surrounding, floor. There are techniques and tips available on-line to match almost any wood grain if you have a bit of an artistic bent. If you have a piece of the flooring that is portable, Sherman Williams will use a spectrograph thing to match the color exactly. If you know of someone that you think is very artistic, see it they would give it a try.

Now that I think about it, I have done this, to a degree. I owned a 100yo brick house on an alley and one night some kids wrote “F*ck a B*tch” on the side in spray paint. I tried spray stripper, graffiti remover, you name it. All I did was mess the mortar up. When I went to sell the house something had to be done, so I took a spare brick to Sherman and had a quart of paint mixed. You’d never know it happened.

If that’s too much for you, or you don’t have the inclination to try, do as Bagardbilla suggests and have the spot replaced. The upside to faux painting is that the worst that can happen is you make a mess and have to have the spot replaced!

Seek's avatar

From my husband, who has 15+ years experience in hardwood installation, sanding, finishing, and restoration:

As the last two guys have said, there is no way to fix the stained area unless you sand and then stain the whole place, which still leaves the stained area visible and darker most of the time. If its black it is all the way through. Board replacements, and then sand and finish the area trying to find the best way to break it off or feather it in. Its not that hard for a professional installer/finisher to tie in and then sand and finish an area to blend.

laureth's avatar

Thanks, folks. I was hoping against hope that it would go my way. But, as they say, knowing is half the battle! :)

Kayak8's avatar

My sister had some decent success with oxacilic acid to bleach out the worst of the spots (they had been markedly darker than the rest of the floor). She talked at length with several floor guys with experience in old Victorian homes. I think she then sanded the whole floor and got it all to roughly the same color before refinishing it.

tcarrin58's avatar

We have had the same problem with a senile cat. We used the Lysol “blue” spray cleaner and it really lustered it up but if it is already black then you will have to do what we are going to do…it’s cheaper to go and buy a few replacement boards and get a “handyman” to replace them then it will be to resand it. If you resand the area it will always show a significant differance to the rest of the floor and you will end up having to do the entire floor which will cost a great deal of money. If like ours they stuck to one or two areas and this should just take one box and a small bucket of glue and less than 3 hours. A lot less than sanding and restaining your entire floor.

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