Asked on Sep 12, 2020

Can maple hardwood floor be stained a diff color?

by Glenda

Our house is over 20 years old and has narrow plank natural maple hardwood floors. We would like to update our house some by refinishing the floors so they don’t have such a “yellow” look to the wood. (Someone recommended we rip up all the wood flooring. We can’t afford to do that.) Is it possible to stain maple a different color? I’ve read maple doesn’t take stain well, but would like to go for a totally different look. Any recommendations?

  17 answers
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 12, 2020


    Maybe if you sanded the whole floor down and then used a stain it might work. I would suggest you hi a commercial floor sanding machine. You could test it out on a small unseen area first to see if it would work before stripping the whole floor. The other way might be to use a coloured varnish, but know idea how long that would last before showing wear! Would last longer if you used rugs in high use areas. Best wishes.

  • Deb K Deb K on Sep 12, 2020

    Hi Glenda, Yes, you can change the color of your maple, hope these help you out

  • Janice Janice on Sep 12, 2020

    Hi Glenda, Maple is a very hard wood so does not accept stain as easily as a softer wood such as pine. Your floors would need to be sanded well ito accept the new stain of your choice. I'd suggest you test different colors of stains (or dyes) on small pieces of maple as simiar to your floors as possible. Maybe contact a professional company and ask many quesstions and get their input first. They may be able to show you examples of their work. We had 100-year old oak floors redone professionally and they looked amazing and was a huge selling point when we sold the home. . The company had the big floor sanders and made quick work of it.

    You could possibly diy but it is not for the faint of heart. Be sure to do test pieces of different colors of stains (or dyes) before undertaking the floors. Your maple floors are a huge asset to your home, so no tearing them out!

    Here's a couple of videos about dyes...

  • First, let me say, do not rip up your hardwood floors! That's crazy - imho.....What you've heard about maple is true. It can be very finicky when taking stain. There's is a pre-treatment you can uses but I would contact a professional for the best advice.

  • Michelle Michelle on Sep 12, 2020

    Your floors probably have an old varnish that has yellowed. You may be surprised that the floors after a commercial sander is used . You could use a clear coat polyurethane that doesn't yellow and avoid staining.

    • Glenda Glenda on Sep 12, 2020

      Thanks! I really didn’t think it might be the varnish that has yellowed. I hope that’s the case! I don’t mind light floors, but that golden color needs to go.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 12, 2020

    Maple is a tricky wood to stain. It tend to absorb stain unevenly which leads to a blotchy look. By pre-sealing the wood with shellac, you can even out the color absorption.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Sep 12, 2020

    Staining of hardwood maple floors is risky because the wood is varying in density, & structure variations at the cellular level. it has uneven hard spots along with softer spots. The floor may take up the stain, but areas of it will not, resulting in a blotchy or uneven appearance.

  • Dee Dee on Sep 12, 2020

    Per General Finished who OMHO makes the best stains

    Maple is one of the most difficult woods to achieve a dark, uniform stain color on because it is a dense, closed grain wood and often absorbs stain very unevenly. General Finishes Gel Stains or Water Based Stains usually will perform very well because they are more topical than traditional liquid oil stains, and contain more colorants.

    We do not recommend pre-sealing Maple with a conditioner because it closes up the grain of the wood even more, further preventing color adherence. In the future, just use our water-based stains or gel stains on their own. Do not use liquid oil-based stains on Maple because they will blotch.

    Also, prep sand Maple with 120 grit, followed by 150 grit or 220 grit.

  • Simple Nature Decor Simple Nature Decor on Sep 12, 2020

    you can stain it a different color but it’s always will be slightly different

  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Sep 12, 2020

    Hi Glenda, sorry about the answer I am printing for your. Good luck. I think your floors are beautiful.

    Simply put maple is not a hardwood flooring wood that should be stained. You can read what the Wood Flooring Association has to say about maple flooring here.. Staining maple is generally not recommended by finish manufacturers since the dense grain does not allow the penetration of most pigments.Jun 24, 2014

    Can You Stain Maple? - A-MAX Hardwood Flooring › blog › maple-stain

    • See 1 previous
    • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Sep 13, 2020

      Good luck, hope you get the floors you want.

  • William William on Sep 14, 2020

    More likely the topcoat yellowed over time. Probably an oil based polyurethane. Sanding the floor finish down would be a start. I use an oscillating sander rather than a drum sander. Then apply a wood conditioner so the stain goes on evenly. Wipe off any conditioner that didn't soak into the floor. Then apply the stain. Let it sit for a while before wiping excess off. Seal with a water based polyurethane so it won't yellow over time.

  • Yes but you will need to give it a good sand first to remove the top seal coat. If you dont remove it all the new stain will not soak in and the colour will be patchy.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 30, 2020

    it is not easy to match ..There is always going to be a difference

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Dec 02, 2020

    Hi! I saw a floor that was sanded and then finished with milk paint. It was gorgeous! Just a thought! Stay safe!

  • Our floors were SUPER old and damaged. Even sanding them was not going to fix the damage. So rather than rip them up we painted them. They look wonderful and we love them. It's not for everyone, but if you strip and stain and don't get the look you want, you could paint them.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 27, 2024

    You can use a floor sander, which is very messy and restain. Or call a company that specializes in floors.