If you’re looking to refinish your existing wood floor or if you’re having one installed for the first time, you might want to stain it a certain shade. Stain is a thin liquid that will penetrate into the pores of the wood and change the overall tone of the wood. It can change a wood from a natural color to something unnatural such as gray or even a bold color such as blue. Alternately, the stain be used simply to deepen and enrich the colors of the wood. Before you apply stain, you need to do several different things.
Remove the Old Finish
You need to remove the old finish before you’re able to apply a stain to the wood. The finish is likely a waterproof layer of wax or polyurethane. There are multiple different ways to remove that wax or polyurethane. If you want to use a purely mechanical process, you can send away the finish with a power sander. That will take a considerable amount of time but if you can rent a flooring sander, it will speed up the process considerably. You can also speed up the process using solvents that will eat away at the wax or the polyurethane. Once you’ve stripped the finish, you might want to strip the old stain as well.
Remove the Old Stain
If there is old stain on the wood, you might want to strip it so that the new stain does not interfere with it. It will also expose the natural wood. You might see the color of the natural wood and decide that you like it better than any color you were thinking of staining it.
Removing the old stain typically involves sanding away the layers of wood. Since the stain penetrates into the wood, it is very difficult to remove it in any way except for removing wood itself. Once you’ve gotten down to the bare wood, you’re almost ready to apply your new stain.
Clean the Floor
You need to clean the hardwood floor of sawdust from the sanding away of the stain. You can use a damp rag or damp push broom to pick up the sawdust off the floor. You can clean it more effectively with mineral spirits that evaporate quickly. Once you’ve got the floor clean, you’re ready to stain.
Staining the floor is fairly simple. You can use a brush, rag, or sponge. A rag or sponge is the best option for staining a floor. Make sure to stain with the grain.