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A client has a mantle with this blotch in one corner. I didn't build or finish it, but I'm doing some other work for them and they'd like it fixed if possible. I find it hard to believe it's just a wad of stain that dried. What could it be? For reference, the mantle is 4" tall, so the spot is about 1x2.
I'd say a wet rag or some kind of moisture was spilled on that board. It swells the grain and lets stain bite into the wood and go dark. It will take a full sanding to eliminate the difference of color.
I agree with Rich. Or, an excellent 'faux-finisher' or 'grainer' to work magic on the area. It may just be more cost effective to re-do the mantle.
water damage.. a full refinish is in order and still will have some bleaching and color work to get that spot out...
The quick touch up is done with Mohawk Blendal Sticks. Seal them with one of Mohawk's aerosol vinyl sealers, it doesn't matter which one. Topcoat with Mohawk's aerosol precat in the sheen that matches.