How to Stain Hardwood Floors

Are you tired of the color of your hardwood flooring? Or, maybe it’s lost its luster over the years. Regardless of the reason, if you are wanting to stain your hardwood floors, there are a few things you should know before you do.

Benefits of Staining Hardwood Floors

Being able to stain your wood flooring is one of the best benefits of having them. Rather than ruining them, you’ll be adding to their quality because you’ll be sanding or scraping off any imperfections and wear and tear. And, you’ll get a brand new look because you can change the color totally, or spruce up the color they already are.


How to stain Hardwood floors: Step by step

Are you ready to stain your floor? Here’s how:

Select Your Stain

Stains have traditionally been oil-based but the market is now moving to water-based options that do the trick without all the mess and hazard to the environment.

Check out this guide that breaks down some of the different stain products that are available.

Once you have picked your type of stain, choose the color you want. Be sure to purchase more than enough needed for the space you intend to cover. Don’t forget to shake and/or stir the can or you’ll end up with uneven coloring. And, if you have more than one can, mix it all together because one batch can differ from the next and you don’t want to find that out the hard way.

Clean Your Floor

It’s imperative to make sure your floor is squeaky clean. Vacuum or thoroughly sweep the area and then mop it with water mixed with a small amount of floor cleaner or dish detergent. Allow to dry. Go over the floor again if necessary.

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So now you are ready to sand. It’s easy as long as you are aware of the things to watch out for and take your time to get it right. Don’t take short cuts. Begin at the end of the room that is the furthest away from the exit so you can work your way out. Using a palm sander is ideal and be sure to use the right sandpaper grain for your type of wood flooring and by all means, do a patch test prior to taking on the entire room.

If you are wondering if you have to sand your flooring if it’s in good shape. The answer is “yes”. When you sand your floor, it takes off the layers that prevent the wood from soaking up a stain. You can paint a floor without sanding but it really doesn’t work to stain without sanding.


Now it’s time for the fun part…staining. You will want to use a clean rag to apply the stain and a different one to wipe the excess stain off. Again, begin in the side of the room that is the furthest from the exit so you work your way out.

You will want to be able to reach your work area without having to stretch your arm out too far. This will help guarantee a smooth coating. Apply with the rag and the wipe off with the rag, repeating for the entirety of the room. Allow to dry and then repeat unless you specifically only want one coat. If you want a sealer on it, apply it with a brush the same way you applied the stain, working small areas thoroughly.

Once you’ve finished the floor, don’t forget to step back and pat yourself on the shoulder. Staining is a huge accomplishment and will add luster and life to your wood flooring. Well done!

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