How to Stain Wood Floors

When you have shiny, stained hardwood floors in your home you definitely have an amazing show piece. Here's how to stain your floors correctly.

When you have shiny, stained hardwood floors in your home you definitely have an amazing show piece to wow guests. You may have many reasons for wanting to know how to stain wood floors like offering a fresh look to the room or increasing the property value of your home. Whatever the reason, you want to stain your floors correctly.

The first step in staining your hardwood floor is selecting the stain color. You have endless options. For example, you can choose stain that matches your furniture or a natural stain to highlight the wood's grains. If you want to make the floor color darker, your best option is oil-based pigmented stain.

One thing to remember when choosing a wood stain is whether or not the wood will absorb the color. This impacts the way your floor looks after you finish staining. Knowing how to stain your hardwood floor pays off with a wonderful, beautiful and shiny finish.

Prepare Your Hardwood Floors

Before you can stain the floor, you must prepare it. Fill any holes or cracks in the wood with wood glue. Try to apply it as evenly as you can. Sand the floor to smooth out the filled-in areas and remove any prior staining. (You may want to rent a large floor sander from your Atlanta-area hardware store for this.) You want to make sure the floor is leveled before you stain the wood.

Clean the floors before you stain. Vacuum the grit and dust from the floors. Use a tack cloth to remove any dust still on the floor. It's vital to remove all dust and debris from the floor to make sure your stain application goes on smoothly. If you miss any debris or dust, you'll definitely see it after you've stained your floor.

Use a paint roller or rag to apply the stain. Always follow the wood's grain and apply an even coat. If you use a rag, make sure you are wearing knee pads. You'll have to repeatedly kneel during the staining process. However, if you use a roller, you can apply a more even coat.

It's always best to select a stain that won't raise the wood's grain. This eliminates the need to sand the floor after you've finished applying the penetrating stain.

Once you finish applying wood stain, you must use a rag to remove any excess stain. You should do this quickly. If you allow the stain to sit before removing the excess stain, you run the risk of staining the floor darker than what you want. You may also get some areas that look darker than others. You don't want a spotty looking stained floor. If you want the floor darker than the first coat gives you, you can add another coat of wood stain.

Let the floor dry for at least one hour. However, be prepared. It may take the stain an entire day to completely dry. Let the Atlanta weather help with the drying process and open windows. Opening the windows also ensures you don't trap harmful vapors in your home. Just make sure the wind doesn't blow any debris or dust on the floor while it's drying.

Making the Stain Shine

You're not finished with the staining process yet. To give the floor its glossy, shiny appearance requires a coat of polyurethane. Polyurethane protects the floor from liquid spills as well as scuffing.

Follow the same process as you did with the wood stain. Apply the polyurethane in the same direction as the grain. Remove any excess polyurethane with a rag to make sure the coat is even. You have to wait about eight hours for the polyurethane to dry.

Once the polyurethane dries, you have to sand the floor lightly with sandpaper. This roughs up the hard, smooth surface. Wipe away the dust with a tack cloth after sanding. Once you've sanded and cleaned the floor, apply a second coat of polyurethane. You need to wait at least a day for the polyurethane to dry.

How to stain wood floors can be a fun task to learn. However, the process can be challenging and time-consuming. You may not want to stain the floor if you have back or knee problems and can't bend or kneel for long periods of time. If you're not sure if you can or should stain the floors, consult a floor staining professional. He or she can explain to you how much the project can cost you and how long it typically takes. If you decide to choose a professional to stain your floor, you don't have to tell anyone. It can be your little secret.

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