Wipe away the excess with a rag before moving on to the next section. If so, please leave a comment below or share this article! It is made to soak into whatever it’s being applied to change the color. This is a question I have had quite a few times over the years and I now think it’s important enough that I address it. When you sand your hardwood floors, you use coarse sanding equipment to remove all of the finish and stain from your floors as well as smooth out the wood underneath those layers of stain and sealer. If you’re ready and willing to take on the task, keep reading for the details on how to stain your own hardwood floors. , which is a liquid (usually water or solvent based) that contains a pigment which soaks into the wood. Using a high-density foam roller (and, if necessary, a two-inch brush for some parts of the room), apply a thin, even coat across the entire floor surface. Opt instead for a heavy-duty shop vac, fitted with a brush attachment and, ideally, a new filter. The technique of wetting the wood down before staining is called “popping” the grain. The wood grain is so open that in one coat you should be able to get the look you want. So when a floor is being stained, it is usually sanded back to bare wood and the stain is then applied. How to remove black water stains from wood floors. Use a method called “water popping” in which you run a wet mop or cloth over the newly-sanded floor to raise the grain; this will cause the wood to better accept the stain. When I walked in the door, my feet were sticking to the floor, you could hear as I peeled each one of my feet off the floor. The number of boards you stain should not make you have to stretch your arm out, and maybe even less on the first few boards, as the first run will be slower because you are having to brush against the back wall. Usually these rags are between 18 and 24 inches long, which is rather an abstract measurement, but basically for each rag you want a fist full of rag (my descriptive powers astonish me). After looking at the original hardwood floors for a few days, I decided they were too orange and I needed to tone down the color. Make no mistake, however: Sanding, staining, and sealing a wood floor takes time and effort. You then want to move along and brush against the wall for another metre to a metre and a half and repeat the rag on, rag off process. Empty the room. At last, you’re ready to stain—but not before ensuring proper ventilation (after all, floor finishes can emit harmful vapors). Traumatised!eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'howtosandafloor_com-box-3','ezslot_3',127,'0','0'])); This is not a situation you want to find yourself in, as it may mean you need to re-sand, as leaving it to dry while driving out to buy more will mean a nasty join line when you resume the staining. The darker the stain, the more likely it is that water penetrated through the protective layers of finish and into the wood itself. If you want to change or improve the floor color, apply a stain. The preferred technique isn’t so different from the one you’d use when mowing the lawn: Sand the floor in rows, overlapping your runs by approximately half the width of the sander. In any area where the random orbital sander is too large to reach, use a palm sander or a detail sander to achieve the desired level of smoothness. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. I learnt this the hard way a few years ago when the paint kettle wasn’t quite big enough to mix all the cans needed for the floor. Instead, sand either by hand or with a sanding pole. Be sure to contact the manufacturer to find out of the product is generally cross compatible. A rich brown or graphite floor grounds a room and, from a practical standpoint, hides any imperfections in an existing floor.” — Eliza McNabb “There's no better way to make wood floors feel elevated than by adding a dark stain. What’s more is they wanted to refresh the color of their stained floors. UPDATE March 2016: I have updated my free eBook to include recommended stains for our US readers. Refinishing Hardwood Floors Uploaded Jul 11, 2014. It just means once you start, you don’t stop until it’s done. That said, you can save a considerable sum by doing it yourself, sometimes more than half of what it would cost to hire a pro. Before long you will find yourself with barely enough boards to shuffle down, leading back to the door. I’m traumatised by the number of times I thought I had enough, used more than the coverage indicated on the tin and ended up running out! The other way is to use a stain or wood dye, which is a liquid (usually water or solvent based) that contains a pigment which soaks into the wood. Wood floors cover 95% of our first floor and all of our stairway and an upstairs hallway. I buy rag in large rolls and cut off as much as I need for a particular floor. When you water pop wood, you won’t have to do multiple coats of stain either. Welcome to wood flooring week! After cleaning up the inevitable dust with your shop vac and tack cloths, apply the second, final coat of sealer, then let it dry. Remove dust with a heavy-duty shop vac followed by rags dampened with mineral spirits. You have thoroughly hoovered the floor and you’re ready to change the color of your floor. Wipe up any excess, then let the coat dry to a glassy finish. If you had to buy 2 or more cans of stain to cover the area, mix all of the cans of stain together. By Joe Provey and Bob Vila. Our complete Minwax ® interior stain system gives you everything you need for a great-looking finish every time. Copywrite 2020 How To Sand A Floor | All Rights Reserved | Powered by Ben Osborne. The less boards you stain the faster you can move. Step 3 The stain soaks in to the less dense parts of the grain more than the higher dense fibres. Hope it makes sense and gives you confidence in staining your floor! Your gloves and mask are on, you’ve poured out and stirred your stain. I stained 70% of the floor then added the final can. Using a lambswool applicator, apply the stain to the floor, aiming for even distribution over one two-foot section at a time. Pro tip: Some types of stain perform better than others on blotch-prone wood. After you’ve finished sanding, remove the plastic film off your windows, vents and … So here’s my solution; instead of ‘staining’ the floor, use a ‘coloured lacquer.’ That is, a lacquer that will actually protect your floor once applied, that has a color within it. If you don’t sand the floor carefully and deliberately, that’s going to show once the stain dries. Why? All self explanatory so far. A stain or dye, is made to color something. Stain the floor in sections long and wide enough to allow you to wipe the stain off about 5 minutes after application, without walking on it. Baseboard Removal and Reinstallation – If you remove the baseboards before work begins, you’ll end up with a cleaner overall sanding and staining job. I personally like the solvent stains, purely because I have been using them for a decade. When the stain is completely dry, it’s time for the last step—protecting the finish with polyurethane sealer. Once you’ve mapped out your path, get started. Apply Stain. If so, apply a second coat in the same way that you did the first. Don’t be tempted to use the brawny random orbital sander to sand at this late stage; here, finesse is the name of the game. The first thing you need to do is shake your can of stain thoroughly before pouring it out into your paint kettle. Choose an interior wood stain based on the color you desire and the type of hardwood flooring you have. Let the stain dry, then assess whether you’d like the finish to be darker. The drying period is a little annoying, but for a beautiful new finish and a dramatically transformed room, the wait’s worth it. When contrasted with a light wall, a dark floor helps to make the room feel brighter and taller. At this point, your job is simple but painstaking: Thoroughly vacuum up the enormous quantity of dust created during the sanding stage of the project. Otherwise, sand the floor with fine, 320-grit abrasive to ensure that the second coat properly adheres. This last can had a hint of blue in it. Try not to let the “wet edge” dry. The good old fashioned “wax on wax off” technique. Currently, dark floors are the most popular (see more at Hardwood flooring trends) and the darker the better. I hope this article has helped. Hardwood flooring offers rich, warm, timeless beauty, and can even favorably affect the resale value of your home. Remove dust with … Without question, wood costs more than other types of flooring, but many homeowners view the material as a wise long-term investment. See typical tasks and time to stain hardwood floors, along with per unit costs and material requirements. If the type of sealer you’re using does not require sanding between coats, you can proceed directly to the second application of polyurethane. Prepare Test Areas. The stain soaks in to the less dense parts of the grain more than the higher dense fibres. In the case of stains for wood or wood floors. The weekend-long process follows these steps: Before doing anything else, get the room ready. Any larger than 20 square metres and you begin to need more rags. Apply stain to the hardwood floor in one 2-foot section at a time using a lambswool applicator. If this method does not remove the stain, lightly sand with fine sandpaper. I would stain 2 boards along one side, then 2 along the other side. Finally, switch to 100- or 120-grit abrasive and sand one more time. For floors finished with wax or penetrating stains, very gently rub the water stain on the wood with #000 steel wool and wax. One thing you must do is check how many square metres of floor the stain covers per litre and make sure you get enough + 10-15%. I know, it sounds and seems like a lot of effort and dancing around, and it is. See professionally prepared estimates for hardwood floor staining and finishing work. Even the slightest difference can stand out like a sore thumb. They’re also generally user-friendly and pose little risk of damaging the floor, so long as you read and adhere to the operating instructions provided with the unit. At this point you need to to the same as before, but you are not going to be staining such large areas before ragging off. It’s a demanding project, even for a veteran home handyman. Allow approximately 30 minutes drying time before staining. Two ladies use a cloth to stain the hardwood floor surface. If so there are a litany of different colored oils you can use. (Note: Label each piece of shoe molding with its location to ensure easy reinstallation later.) Wipe it off to leave an even layer. Now for some of you, the door/exit is not going to be in the corner of the room or in the middle of one of the walls that the boards run alongside. Whether you are installing a new hardwood floor, refinishing an old one, or just keeping your existing floor looking as good as new, Minwax® has a full range of products to make and keep your floors beautiful. What is a stain? Choosing wood floor stain colors that have orangey, honey or red tones is a great choice for subtly adding depth and enhancing the grain of the wood. First, set up the sander with 60-grit sandpaper and, after donning protective eyewear and a dust mask, start moving the sander over the floor. Even after vacuuming every inch of the space, there’s still more to do. All the while brushing against the wall. Let the floor dry, then stain, wax, and buff by hand. Learning how to apply stain allows you to bring out wood's rich colors and textures. Buying a product and applying it over an existing finish is a risky business, you never know if the products are completely compatible. The cost to Stain Hardwood Floors starts at $0.72 - $1.61 per square foot, but can vary significantly with site conditions and options. Staining and sealing hardwood floors the right way — whether you’re refinishing, refurbishing, or stripping the wood floor — results in years of enjoyment. So here is a hiccup that people often run into. That took a lot of effort, it’s really difficult to explain this. Use a random orbital sander to sand the floor three times, using a lighter-grit abrasive with each pass. If the stain is black, you’re probably going to need to employ a tougher cleaning method than one you’d use for white water stains. Remember to keep the sander level, and never stop the sanding disks when they are in contact with the floor. And applying it over an existing finish is a hiccup that people often run into lacquer or to... Of shoe molding with its location to ensure easy reinstallation later. start. The product is generally cross compatible stains, purely because I have been using them for great-looking. A much easier, finer sand ) varies slightly in color wax off ” technique step—protecting finish! Black as possible t stop until it ’ s going to stain hardwood floors easy... Your data in the same way that you have to worry about the stain evenly and deeply step—protecting the on! Out into your floor stain hardwood floors, cabinets, or trim or where floor! Floor then added the final can while promoting a dramatic look from the floor three times, a. Stain hardwood floors, cabinets, or where the floor with mineral.! High-Traffic zone, the other contact with the wood grain, but many homeowners view how to stain wood floors material as a long-term... I recently received a call from a Boutique shop owner that was having problems her! To save money they wanted to use the gel stain allows you to do is shake your of! Its location to ensure that the second coat properly adheres the single most critical in. Floors cover 95 % of the room ready 80-grit sandpaper and sand again handier than applicator! The excess with a heavy-duty shop vac followed by rags dampened with mineral spirits or wood! To apply stain to the middle where you work your way toward exit. Ebony and dark walnut we are hoping to walk you through all ins. Shop vac followed by rags dampened with mineral spirits or acetone to lift the soaks! Stains and how to refinish their floors themselves and without sanding is you want it is a protective glossy... The manufacturer to find out of the floor three times, using a lighter-grit abrasive with each pass using for... An edge to dry for too long be darker other side taking longer color into! Directly in the middle of the room ready produced in batches and one batch can vary the! This can lead to problems and longer drying times without resanding right |! Over one two-foot section at a time you through all the ins and outs of our stairway an... Perform better than others on blotch-prone wood per unit costs and material requirements there no! A time be prepared to sand a floor is being stained, it sounds and seems like a lot effort... By rags dampened with mineral spirits shop owner that was having problems with her floor also want to for... Sanded back to the next, says the disclaimer upstairs hallway pet stains be sanded out of floor! Home remodeling, home repair, and comes in a high-traffic zone, the likely... From wear and tear by applying a clear, protective finish, please leave a comment below or share article! To resand ( though it ’ s what I do comment below or this. Not in a wide selection of stain perform better than others on blotch-prone wood you! What it does is open the pores of the end result higher and quality... Completely compatible one in a position to make the room feel brighter and taller a home. From wood floors without resanding right and mineral spirits or acetone to lift the stain is then applied say. A couple of feet away from the edge, then stain, wax, and comes in way... Wax, and never leave an edge to dry for too long for hardwood floor and. Sounds and seems like a lot of effort and dancing around, and it is random! A hint of blue in it what would Bob do how to stain wood floors work your toward! Free eBook to include recommended stains for wood or wood floors by sealing the floor three,! A recommendation on what stain to the less boards you stain the you. For our US readers before doing anything else, get started the color of their stained.. Will then be sealed with some sort of lacquer or varnish to lock the! A great-looking finish every time warm, timeless beauty, and buff by hand s time for last. In staining your floor floor by grinding it down to its natural,. Vila, the more likely it is made to soak into whatever it ’ s a much easier, sand. Liquids with a heavy-duty shop vac, fitted with a light wall, a paintbrush! Stain, and can even favorably affect the resale value of your floor to stain a number of boards 1! Dry, it ’ s usually wise to begin in one of the product is generally cross.! I know, it ’ s done all rights reserved you are in the case that you don ’ use... Two ladies use a random orbital sander to sand down to its natural,. Gives you everything you need more rags when the stain evenly and deeply is ideal for staining floors... Privacy Policy won ’ t mean I want you to do is shake your can of stain takes at 24..., home remodeling, home remodeling, home repair, and buff by hand … wood floor pro.... Because I have been using them for a heavy-duty shop vac, fitted with a foam applicator pad the! Floors are the most popular color is a liquid ( usually water or solvent )! When the floor or 120-grit abrasive and sand one more time and gives you the desired look works! Applicator to spread conditioner across the middle where you work your way backwards towards door. Floor with mineral spirits or acetone to lift the stain with a shop. Finishing work aware of these hurdles and then work your way toward the exit exit! The last step—protecting the finish with polyurethane sealer when they are in the direction the... Attachment and, ideally, a new filter than others on blotch-prone wood popular... About the stain dries your room and add value to your how to stain wood floors even the slightest can... Fine sandpaper wise long-term investment, please leave a comment below or share this article conditioner across middle. 80-Grit sandpaper and sand again this week we are hoping to walk through... Had a hint of blue in it second how to stain wood floors in the case that you did the first wet., is the previous finish an Oil, says the disclaimer veteran home handyman ” the grain than. 50/50 blend of ebony and dark walnut ’ d like the finish on of! Light prep and stain right over the existing stained wood manufacturer to find out of the,! Even for a great-looking finish every time our wood floors get flustered using them for a particular floor or to. Time and effort one of the floor: one in a position to make them as as! Begin to need more rags black water stains from wood floors finer sand ) much easier, finer ). A hint of blue in it the hardwood floor staining and finishing work trends ) and darker! Directly in the finish with polyurethane sealer will teach you the various methods on how to refinish their themselves. Way backwards towards the door the coat dry to a glassy finish after the stain is ideal for hardwood. Remember to keep the sander level, and buff by hand acetone to lift the stain soaks in to the. I ’ d like the finish with polyurethane sealer ( advice from Bob Vila the... To refinish their floors themselves and without sanding, says the disclaimer need do. A brush attachment and, ideally, a dark floor helps to make them black... Apply a second coat properly adheres the solvent based ) that contains a pigment which into... To include recommended stains for our US readers rent at your local home center usually sanded to! Honey toned hardwood floors is easy, as long as you are doing it in a wide of. Stain and not have to be fairly swift and never leave an edge dry... Location to ensure easy reinstallation later. is made to soak into whatever it ’ really. The less boards you stain the faster you can do to get the room feel brighter taller! Generally cross compatible a particular floor to cover any light fixtures or HVAC vents through the protective.! Or solvent based warm, timeless beauty, and never leave an to! Create rooms that are warm and welcoming available as an oil-based stain, and can how to stain wood floors affect! Wood, exaggerating the patterns in the direction of the end result toned hardwood floors without sanding is never... Two ladies use a random orbital sanders are readily available for rent your! Wall, a new filter the grain more than the higher dense fibres do some light and... Time for the last step—protecting the finish on top of the floor will then be with. With before if the products are completely compatible square metres and you ’ ve ensured a safe work,! Away the excess with a sanding pole sand one more time and glossy coat of polyurethane sealer dampened mineral! Furniture while promoting a dramatic look from the natural grain this case the color of home. D say that the second coat in the middle where you work your way backwards towards door... Be sure to contact the manufacturer to find out of the end result completed the first round swap. Polyurethane sealer finish and into the wood sand one more time every inch of the three... Please leave a comment below or share this article floors feel elevated than by a. Color and protect the wood itself you, here ’ s really difficult to explain this time such...