How To Remove Water Stains From Your Hardwood Floors

If you have ever removed a wet rug or lifted a potted plant and been greeted by a water stain on your wood floor, you know how disheartening it can be. Most wood floors are carefully sealed and protected against water, so stains only tend to occur if the water sits on the floor for some time. Prompt cleaning and drying can often prevent water marks. If you do have a water stain, though, the following guide can help you save your floor.  

What You Need

A few tools will make the job simpler and they will improve your chances of success.

  • Fine and medium grit sandpaper

  • Fine steel wool, such as #000 grade

  • Mineral spirits

  • Lint-free cloth

  • Finish or sealer originally used on floor

  • Wood floor polish

Step #1: Remove the Stain

The stain occurred because water became trapped beneath the old finish. This mean you need to start by removing the finish. Sand carefully over the stain, working in the direction of the wood grain. Sandpaper is best used attached to a sanding block. You can also purchase medium- and fine-grit sanding sponges that don't need need to be attached to a block. You should first sand with the medium-grit sandpaper to remove the finish and the stained surface of the wood. For further assistance, contact local hardwood floor refinishing professionals.

Step #2: Smooth the Floor

The floor board should feel a little bit rough now that the stain is gone. Fix this up by sanding it with the fine grit sandpaper. First, lightly dampen the lint-free cloth and wipe away all sanding dust. Then, sand the floor in the direction of the grain until it feels smooth. Finish by wiping away the sanding dust again.

Step #3: Refinish the Spot

The method for applying the finish varies depending on the type of finish you use on your floor, but the simplest requires nothing more than rubbing it into the wood. Verify any specific instructions on the manufacturer's label. To rub on the finish, dip a clean lint free cloth into the finish and rub it onto the wood in the direction of the grain. For finishes that are applied with a brush or roller, simply substitute the tool needed for the lint free cloth. Allow the coat to dry and the apply a second coat. Allow this final coat to dry for up to a week or for the time specified on the label.

Step #4: Smooth It Out

Often, a bump will form around the edges of the repair where the new coat of finish overlaps the previous coat. Gently rub this with the fine-grit steel wool to smooth it out once the finish is dry. Clean up with a dampened lint-free cloth when you are done. 

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