Ok here's the deal. I stained and poly'd the floor with 1 coat. I tried a floor buffer to sand after the first poly layer. Mistake.. the buffer was too strong. In a couple areas the buffer started to show bare floor in some of the grain. So I rubbed some stain back on top of the affected areas just now. I then rubbed the stain off with a rag.

My questions:

  • Before I poly again for the 2nd coat, should I rub mineral spirits over the area to clean the excess stain on wherever it overlapped the first coat of poly?
  • I'm running a fan on the re-stained area now so it dries quicker. How long should I give it?
  • If I rub mineral spirits to remove the stain on the poly, will it dilute the part that I want in the wood?

It doesn't seem like mineral spirits could raise the stain back out of the wood grain where it just penetrated again, but this has been such a cursed project so I had to ask.


  • Should I just leave whatever stain residue is in place on the first poly coat and rely on the 2nd poly coat to cover it?

1 Answer 1


It is no problem and probably a good idea to use thinner to wipe up the stained poly. I would think the tricky part is going to be the tendency for the grain to get raised (rough) on the bare stained part. I think you will have to buff again but I might put 2 coats of poly down first. Then buff with a fine screen >=120 and put a final coat.

Be sure to turn off the pilot lights and watch out for anything that could flash that vapor.

I'd give the stain overnight to dry or at least til it is dry to the touch otherwise the stain will leak into the poly and muddy up the finish.

I've switched to water-based poly. Its expensive but it dries real fast and it now outperforms oil based. No companies are putting research money into VOC stuff and they suck for the environment.

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