And you look closely at the floor.
Really, this is the time to take responsibility for any of the other shortcuts you've taken. Because that stuff you figured you'd ignore because the polyurethane would cover it over? Well, it did, but it still sticks up.
You see, when you sand gummy, tacky, not-quite dry polyurethane and stain, it doesn't come off neatly. It bunches up, and sticks where it can. And of course, the stuff that went into the cracks between the boards is the last to dry, so you end up with lines of raised bumps along any cracks where the old stuff was not quite set yet. And yes the new polyurethane covers it, but that just makes the bumps bigger.
And you come to the realization that this is going to annoy you forever.
So, you get the razor blade out and crawl around on your hands and knees, slicing off all the bumps. Now that you're looking, there's a lot more than you realized. Make sure you get them all. There is a particular angle that you have to hold the blade so that it glides across the surface without gouging the wood, just cutting off the sticky-out bits. But don't be obsessive. Just remember that any ones you miss will annoy you FOREVER.
Once done, give it a light sanding, vacuum, then wipe down with tacky cloth, and you are ready for the 5th and hopefully last coat of polyurethane.
That done, get in your car, drive to New Jersey to hang out with the fabulous damcphail and Lorne Dixon, and to sign hundreds of books.
What does this mean?
It means that I've held in my hands copies of my first published work, and defaced them all.
P.S. I seem to have forgotten to use the word "nipple" anywhere in this post. Alas.
P.P.S. Also, y'all need to come to Balticon and visit the Bad-Ass Faeries table, so that you can ask Danielle to 'splain the proper utilization of the thumb.