We bought a house and decided to refinish hardwood floors ourselves. Mistake! We used Minwax Complete one step. It is water based and has stain and poly together. The floors look awful and we want to remove it. What is the best way to get this gook off the floor? We are supposed to move in and 5 days!!

  • How many coats have you applied? How many rooms did you do and how big are they? I believe you will have to sand it off.it will plug up the sand paper a lot but trying to use stripper will not be fun or easy.
    – Tkw
    Sep 25, 2016 at 1:21
  • Get busy with a scraper and the sanding will go easier, faster, cheaper. Or live with it.
    – User95050
    Sep 29, 2016 at 2:11
  • Best way? Hire professionals.
    – DA01
    Nov 29, 2016 at 4:47

2 Answers 2


It will need to be sanded back down and redone. Find the right contractor, and it may get done in 4 days if they fit you in right away. THAT will be the trick.


Your problem is very similar to the problem of an old carpet pad leaving goo on a hardwood floor. The answer below is an excerpt from my answer to that question.

... maybe now is a great time to refinish the whole floor.

Rent a floor sander, either a drum sander, floor stripper, or square buff sander and take off the [goo] and thin layer of the wood.

drum sander floor stripper square buff sander wood floor edger

Usually, it is best to remove floor edge molding to get all the way to the walls, but if the molding is expensive or hard to remove, it is not unreasonable to do a best effort with the edge sander (above right) or an orbital with a shield.

Then add floor finish, sand, buff, and refinish again. It is a lot of work and has to be spread out over at least three days with no use of the room, but it can really revive an iffy room and make it one you can be proud of.

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