I have a bamboo floor that's been work throughout the years in a few isolated spots. Because the majority of the floor looks fine, I'm hoping I can patch up the spots that have issues. I attempted one section by sanding and then coating with wipe on poly. It looks decent, but the finish is not glossy enough and the color is too light. I'm thinking that I may need to try the normal poly finish, but I worry that trying to blend this with the edges of the patch will be difficult. Any advice on the best way to proceed? Many thanks in advance!


  • Untouched spot:

Untouched spot

  • Attempted fix (fixed part on the right):

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


When wood has been exposed to natural light over many years, it changes color. When it is sanded that color change goes away, and you have what you have now. I am surprised that is all the difference it is.

I would suggest "toning the finish", as in add color to the top coats that mimic what the aging has done on the surrounding surface. If the color looks grayer than the new, add a few drop of gray or black stain to the finish to give it a subtle difference. Put a coat of that over it. If it is heading in the right direction, add a second coat to add to it. If it goes the wrong direction in any step, use the solvent appropriate for your finish, wipe it all off and let it dry, start again.

Keep the added coloring stain well under 25% of the volume of the finish. Stain weakens the wear ability of the finish. This why 2 coats of toned finish. Do not try to do it in one shot. If you get the right color and your added mix is only 10% of the total mix, good deal. Carefull how you cut in the new finish. You may have guessed that adding the toned finish over the existing finish will make a darker ring around your work.

DO NOT MIX oil and water based stains.

  • Jack- just to clarify, we're say to add a tiny amount of stain, and then use the wipe on poly again? Because the current finish is not glossy enough, should I mix glossy and satin wipe-on to get a semi gloss?
    – jgaro
    Apr 20, 2020 at 2:49
  • The finish will gloss up to what ever the last coat you apply to it. If you used semi-gloss the last time, use gloss toned with a little stain you think will take the final color the right way. If the sheen is a match while it is wet but fades while dry, yes take it to a high gloss with the stain added, if need be. If I remember rightly, after 3 coats, even satin finish starts getting the capacity to stay satin. It starts getting glossy, even though it is supposed to be satin. Just something I heard about a long time ago...just thought I would mention it.
    – Jack
    Apr 20, 2020 at 6:29
  • In addition about the wiping on, I would use a brush to get a reasonably heavier coat than wiping would do. Not a heavy brush coat, just a regular brush coat. Do try to run the brush dry a bit at the edges. It will already inherently be heavier than wiping it on. Let that dry, then sand it a little with 320 grit, then give a wipe coat to do the tie in with the surrounding surfaces. Wiping is so thin that it will blend in really well the edges left the brush makes. The sanding feathers in the edge, the wiping finish blends it all in.
    – Jack
    Apr 20, 2020 at 6:36

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