Removing water stains on hardwood floors

Hardwood water stain

Hardwood floors are very beautiful. It is a very durable material that ages quite well, is classically stylish and is quite easy to maintain. All it needs is a regular application of wax and buffing and it will serve you for years and years. But if there’s one enemy of hardwood floors, it is water stains. A water stain is an ugly blemish on an otherwise beautiful part of your house. But fortunately, water stains can be removed.

In order to remove the water stains from hardwood floors you should prepare the area first. Do this by cleaning the floor first. Use denatured alcohol and place it on a soft cloth and start rubbing it on the floor. The denatured alcohol will help loosen and remove dirt but it will also help dry out the wood and help in wicking out any moisture that has seeped in to the floor.

The next step is to sand the hardwood floor. Sanding the floor will help in removing water stains. The sanding process will help in removing the layer on which the water has left a stain. A 150 grit sandpaper will be rough enough for this purpose, anything rougher may actually damage the floor and leave unsightly marks. Anything softer and it may not be rough enough to remove the stain. You can sand the floor manually but this can be an arduous chore. An orbital sander can do the job faster and more evenly. If you do decide to sand the floor manually, make sure to do it gently. Putting too much force while sanding the floor will create swirl marks that are as ugly as the water stain you’re trying to remove.

After sanding the floor, apply mineral spirits on the water stain. The mineral spirits have a solvent action that will help in removing the varnish or polyurethane the coats the hardwood floor. The sanding will have removed most of this coating but using the spirits will ensure that you totally remove everything.

When the mineral spirits have completely dried out you can now start varnishing the floor. Use a polyurethane varnish and apply it on the floor with a paintbrush. Make sure that you only apply it in one direction to prevent any unsightly brush marks. Apply two coats of the varnish for total coverage. But before you apply the second coat, make sure that the first coat is completely dry. If you want you can gently sand the first coat to make sure that the finish is completely smooth. You can then apply the second coat. Allow the varnish to dry for a day before returning furniture.

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Related Questions
    • Bryant

      This article is entirely incorrect. Please consult a hardwood flooring professional before doing further damage to your hardwood floors.

    • All Floors Inc.

      In removing water stains, use No. 2 steel wool to sand spot then re-wax area. For darker stains, you may have to strip further down, clean with mineral spirits and refinish. Worst case, you may have to replace the board.