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If a hardwood floor is installed in a room with lots of ornate molding and fancy trim, consider dressing it up by adding a border. Marquetry, a technique featuring inlaid wood or other materials, has been around for centuries. Begin with a clean, freshly sanded floor. The old finish must be removed so the new stain can penetrate the wood. Make sure the area is very clean, with no dust remaining. Use a straightedge to draw the pattern on the floor with a pencil. A geometric pattern with straight lines works best.
Use a razor knife and metal straightedge to score or cut along the drawn lines. This separates the various areas of the pattern and will prevent each stain color from bleeding into the area next to it.
After scoring all the pattern lines, begin staining. Mix the stain well, and apply with a small paintbrush, using a different brush for each color. Work slowly, making sure to stay within the scored lines. When the entire border or pattern is stained, let it dry for at least 24 hours, and then seal with two or three coats of polyurethane.