HELP! Stain too dark on particle board floor remake

by Shelly
After seeing some nice picture here I decided to just stain and polyurethane my particle board floor, but I made a mistake and used a stain I had that was way too dark. WHAT CAN I DO BEFORE I POLYURETHANE it I hate this... I plan to resand it? any other suggestions on what i can do with this floor?
Particle board floor sanded and stained but hate it>>
  29 answers
  • Particle board as you know is not really used for flooring as all the edges of the pieces of wood can soak up moisture really easy. And that is the issue your going to have trying to correct this issue. The stain has entered into the end grain of the wood chips and as a result its imbedded into the wood fibers quite deep. The amount of sanding it would take to remove the color or at least lighten it up a bit would be very difficult if not impossible to do, The reason why the stain turned out so dark and would also have even if you used a lighter color is because of the amount of stain that was absorbed into the wood surface. So do not feel to bad thinking you used the wrong color, it would have happened even if the color was lighter. The only way to fix this is reasonably without all the time and effort it will take to sand it down, and if you could, you would be spending a lot more on the sand paper and your time then it would cost to simply cover it. Budget concerns, You can purchase low cost glue down tiles, Or a single sheet of linoleum flooring. This is very easy to put down, although it looks hard. You simply make a paper pattern out of brown paper and masking tape and use that as the pattern on the new floor. Cut with scissors and put on floor. They make kits to do this, but paper and masking tape works well. Another method is to simply purchase luan plywood. this 1/4 inch think material is easily cut with a saw or even a really sharp razor knife if your careful. Before you nail it down, use a lot of wood glue and spread it on the floor and along the edges. Then use small nails to hold it down. Once down you can stain it again and get a nice color and wood grain look. Just practice on the scrap first so you get the right color.
  • Shelley Shelley on Mar 21, 2014
    You could always do a dry brushing of light colored paint. It would give the floor a mottled look. If you have the money I would suggest sealing it and going to Lowes and buying the stick down tiles. They are under a dollar a square, easy to install and last like crazy! You will definitely need to seal the floor so that the particle board does not come up. Here is the link to Lowes:! Good luck!
  • Louise Biernesser Louise Biernesser on Mar 21, 2014
    How about buying a lighter stain or bleach and brush it on, Wait a minutes then take a rag and wipe it off. Not sure how this would look on particle board, but you get a small piece and stain it like your floors and try it.... That might lighten it up. If I were you, I'd buy a piece of particle board and stain to match your floors. Then try various ideas to see which works best... Try using bleach to see if it lightens, or my idea above, or Shelley's idea etc.... Best of luck - you'll figure it out!
  • Kendra Kendra on Mar 21, 2014
    Or an area rug in a lighter color?
  • Shelly Shelly on Mar 21, 2014
    Thanks for all the suggestions and for saving me the work of trying to sand it back down. I am not physically able to or supposed to do all I did and hurting. So going to check into trying some of these suggestions!! I do like the idea of using the paper bags if I can't find reasonable flooring. Love this site for this reason!
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    • Shelly Shelly on Mar 24, 2014
      @Annette C I will bee looking into the cost of getting on of those!
  • Barbara R Barbara R on Mar 21, 2014
    I suggest before you go out and purchase anything to cover it up, try the sealer (or polyurethane) in one area. I know in painting, the poly brings color out brighter and stronger and with the contrast of some of your floor not absorbing the stain, this might bring the colors out beautifully. Try it and see first!
  • Bobbi Perreault Bobbi Perreault on Mar 21, 2014
    If you can physically bear it, possibly try this: Mask off some geometrical design, brick or tile or something similar. Then spritz it with white paint, to make speckles on the background, a lot of speckles. (I use a toothbrush and a comb) Then, pull off the tape, it will leave a nice design. Polyurethane over (it'll take several coats) then you may like it very much. see this post for an idea:
  • Shelly Shelly on Mar 21, 2014
    Bobbi I like this idea but wish you could some how make a picture or more specific of what your suggesting. Like leave the stain then tape off an design and paint it white, the splash color???
  • Sbeazley Sbeazley on Mar 21, 2014
    I just usually flip my piece over and start again....
  • Donna Ennis Donna Ennis on Mar 22, 2014
    The best thing you could do now because you used a stain is to buy kill primer or Valspar primer you can tint and paint it. Make sure the one you choose can be used over stain, very important. I have primed and painted mine and the are great.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 22, 2014
    If your budget is limited, about the only thing you can do is put a sealer on this floor and then paint it. If you are limited physically, then you have a big problem. Were it me, I would call in a flooring company and have a good laminate put down. Sometimes there is nothing you can do with a problem except call in in a professional. If you have friends that are familiar with laminate that are willing to help, this should be a less expensive fix.
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Mar 22, 2014
    We have a dark laminate flooring which I do not like (came with the house). But we are not about to change it any time soon. As we getting on in years, changing the floor ourselves is not an option, although we have done it when we were younger. My solution was to put down a bright rug to lighten the room. It' not an ideal solution, but it is cost-effective.
  • Katie Katie on Mar 22, 2014
    You might buying a small can of cream coloured latex, add water to it to make it thin (and stay open) and wash your floor with that. You could do it in small sections with a rag, or roll it on. Wipe it before it dries.
  • Annette C Annette C on Mar 22, 2014
    I saw one post mentioning flipping it over, is that possible? If so you could finish the piece before you put it back down, so ideas like painting or the paper bag trick could be done at a more comfortable level before laying the wood in place?
  • Stop with all these half aced home remedys that no one knows will work. The cheapest way to get the true results you need and desire is to install 1/4" luan over the entire floor it will strengthen it and you will get what you want..Tthe scraps can be used to sample the stain you like. the luan comes in 4'x8' sheets . People you cant flip the boards over they are nailed or screwed. and you can't poly over it because it will make it darker. Jeez! Its so frustrating to hear such stupidity.
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    • Lynn Zawojski Lynn Zawojski on May 03, 2014
      @Donna Ennis hi, my comment just went under the construction man, as you can see i'm from derry Nh and he's from Va.. I was just mentioning to him, it's better to ask as a pro, and then pointed out what my ex did. I'm not related to him and have no connection to him... Guys just get frustrated. We women are the ones that answer 99 percent of the questions. They just can't be patient.
  • Hank Boyle Hank Boyle on Mar 22, 2014
    Osb is designed for 1 side to face up for strength. It should also be glued and screwed. If you can flip it, it's installed incorrectly, and will weaken your floor system. You can purchase cheap laminate flooring that will likely cost roughly the same as staining and polyurethane. The diy craze is screwing over future home owners with cheap diy projects becoming common.
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Mar 22, 2014
    i like the suggestion of watering down a lighter color paint...rolling it on then.. use your feet on rags to wipe it off.... if this is stupid oh well sounds good to me xx
  • Comet Comet on Mar 22, 2014
    I have seen the paper floors and they might come out almost as dark as this---I would def TRY this first on a piece of scrap to see if you like the way it looks color wise. I love the look but not for everyone. And Kraft paper might be avail in different colors for all I know! Other than that painting seems to be your best option. The floor you saw might have been newer or even older than yours and might have taken the stain differently or the color might be different or the lighting---so often we see lovely pics that just don't turn out exactly the same when we do them because of these sort of reasons! I think a "Floor Party" could be extremely fun! Give everyone some rags or those big sponges and let them "pounce" the color on with or without masking off a pattern---any kids you know would probably LOVE to come help! Let it dry and seal. Check the "Oooops!" paint shelves at Lowes or other stores ---if the color is light enough they can often add tint to make it what you want and avoid a big expense---but unless this is a huge floor or you want to solid color paint it it should not be too much. And you can always use a roller to apply and cut down on the floor level work. Something I am VERY mindful of! Good luck and come back and show us what you came up with!
  • Shelly Shelly on Mar 22, 2014
    Thanks for the ideas. I don;t like particle board,, but that is what it came with. and had the same thought about it being nailed down. Its not a bad idea to just lay luan and redo it, thanks! Not sure what II am going to do yet.Has anyone ever used the Rustoluem natural stone spay paint.? If I could afford to have someone do the work, I would have trust me. I did price scrap linoleum and it will cost more then I about $40. This issue is I want to slowly replace the carpet etc.and have more flooring to do, trying to find some creative ways to do it without spending a lot. I just dont have it. But thanks for so many who posted here, the ideas are all appreciated.
    • Colleen Knight Colleen Knight on Mar 23, 2014
      @Shelly The lauan will work, it is less than 8.00 a sheet (here anyhow) for 4'x8' Like the guy above said practice with some stain colors until you find what you like, I have even mixed a lighter shade in with a darker shade to get exactly the color I needed (I was touching up some stain on cabinets and could not find the color), but make sure you make enough for fixes.Good luck!
  • Penny Williams Penny Williams on Mar 23, 2014
    White wash it !
    • Shelly Shelly on Mar 23, 2014
      @Penny Williams I will have to look into white wash,, never done that.
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Mar 23, 2014
    I used porch paint on a floor that I could not afford to tile od was plain plywood. I sanded, primered and painted with porch paint, three coats and then polyed it three coats. That was about 4 years ago and its like new. You can lay the Luian..what a beautiful ply. Its gorgeous and would be a beautiful stained floor.
  • Shelly Shelly on Mar 23, 2014
    I am going to check into that tomorrow when the store is open... thanks
  • Janet Smith Janet Smith on Mar 23, 2014
    I would think particle board floors would not be very durable. Won't they absorb water if you mop or spill something on them? I'd just "bite the bullet" and purchase laminate or tile to install over that mess.
  • Shelly Shelly on Mar 23, 2014
    that's the point... when you use a stain/sealer it at least puts a water protection on it and if you use polyurethane it seals anything. In like the idea of laying Luan over it too. I had a floor covering on it but its by a door and found at time moisture got under it, so I am glad its at least sealed now.
  • The issue with this type of wood is that even with a poly coating, it would need to be thick enough to cover over the edges of all the fibers. During which the end grain that is exposed will draw in the moisture from the sealer. You will need to many coats of this to assure that you have made it thick enough so no fibers are allowed to be exposed. The amount of time and material that this would take, is a lot, not to mention the dry times between each coat. Its difficult to use a product that is not designed for this type of use and be successful. Not saying it cannot be done, but if cost is an issue, there are many other options that were shared that will solve this issue for less money and time.
    • Shelly Shelly on Mar 24, 2014
      @Woodbridge Environmental So as suggested wouldn;t laying the Luan over the particle board eliminate the issue? and so far it has dried and taken in at least the stain sealer which will help under the Luan?
  • Penny Williams Penny Williams on Mar 24, 2014
    You can mix white paint with glaze( 3 parts glaze to 1 part paint) or less paint . Depends on how much you want to lighten your floor. Rub it in with a moist cloth.
  • Shelly Shelly on Mar 24, 2014
    glaze? Like polyurethane
  • Shelly Shelly on May 02, 2014
    I found my solution below...
    comment photo
  • Barb Barb on Aug 10, 2015
    What is luan?