So one of those scented oil plugin came loose from an old outlet receptacle and the spilled oil messed up the floor finish. I didn't notice for a bit since it's behind a table (you can see the circle where the oil pooled around the table leg.)


I'm not sure what type of stain the floor already had but I have a feeling it's an oil-based one. Anyhow I cleaned the oil from the area with some water and bit of dish soap. I also tried lightly sanding with a 120 grit paper, and tried this Minwax PolyShade stain+poly-in-one product, but the stain didn't seem to penetrate at all. Perhaps it was water-based?

How do I go about fixing this correctly? I don't know much about wood staining...

  • 1
    The coating is likely polyurethane and a hot oil can act like a solvent and remove the finish. With the exception of the white are a fresh layer of poly may fix it since your sanding was done, I would try a walnut or other similar color and apply it just stain add until it is darker then wipe it will lighten and match more closely than the white, then after a day to dry a coat of fresh clear poly the gloss will come back, you can do multiple coats of poly but the first one really will let you know if your close and it looks like a small 1/2 pint of poly would be more than enough.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 16:33
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    i might just pull up that board along the wall and swap it out with one from a closet or behind a cabinet, etc. The one next to it can be patched, kind of, it will be hard to make perfect, but the area is small. The one by the wall is worse and will imho never look right w/o refinishing the whole floor.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 20:59
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    I would sand it down to below the seepage. Then use furniture markers to match the surrounding stain. A wet rag helps to blend it in. Once stained, re-apply the poly and feather it out over the old poly. Lightly sand the whole area, past it slightly into the old poly, and then give the final poly coat on all sanded areas.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 21:01
  • Frankly I would put a nice potted plant on that spot. Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 5:49
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    It should be oil based in my opinion but I am an old guy according to my crew,,, I have seen water based stains used and then covered with poly , put a white piece of paper down , take a photo, then take to the store and match the stain color, my advice is go lighter and apply additional coats of stain if necessary this has worked well for me , if I ended up having a darker stain I would apply and wipe immediately even using solvent to lighten , when it is two dark then lightly buff the area steel wool or a fine sand paper and coat the dry stained area running out the brush where buffed
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


Your scent oil has penetrated the wood.

That should not happened with proper stained and lacked floor.

Good news, those scents are made to evaporate by minimal heat.

Apply heat to the wood floor using hair dryer.

The scent should mostly evaporate out of the wood.

Now you can try to repair.

  • ok thanks, but how to go about repairing then after applying heat? Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 7:37
  • @unknownprotocol that would bit tricky, find the stain color that matches your floor.
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 7:50

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