Q: I have just purchased an 1831 Bucks County stucco-over-stone farmhouse with random width pine floors. My wife and I have refinished the floors in several rooms without a problem until we hit the dining room. After sanding and sealing the floor, gray blotches appeared. I've resanded and resealed but the blotches have appeared. Any ideas?

— Mike, Feasterville, Pennsylvania

A: Tom Silva replies: The gray blotches sound like old water stains. You can try to fix them with wood bleach. Follow the product's directions carefully, wear safety gear, and then experiment with it in small patches. It may lighten the area, but it will be difficult to get the stain out entirely. If you manage to get the stain bleached out, the spot will still be lighter than the rest of the floor, so you'll have to experiment next with floor stain, adjusting the color to cover the bleached area.

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