Help me remove the putty blotches!
I am in the process of staining the treads of our staircase. I removed the carpet and found pine treads, but a really nice grade with almost no knots at all (the risers are a different story). It seems I made a classic rookie mistake of using stainable putty to fill the nail and staple holes *before* staining the wood. I sanded the treads with a progressive grits of paper up to 220, puttied the holes, let it dry for 4 hrs, then sanded again with the 220. Then I stained. You can imagine the mess I have now.
What can I do do cover the pale blotches around the holes. My first instinct was to use a stain 2-3 shades darker just on the blotches to even it out then doing another coat of the original on the entire tread. Is this the right idea? If not, what can I do?