DIY Network

How to Stain a Hardwood Floor

Tackle this project yourself to save a bundle while giving your floors a fresh look.

More in Floors

  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Sand Floor

Sand the floor completely and vacuum thoroughly to remove all sawdust.

Step 2: Condition Wood

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. Allow approximately 30 minutes drying time before staining.

Step 3: Apply the Stain

Dip rag or sponge into stain and apply stain to floor, going with the grain rather than against. Work from one side of the room to the other, frequently wringing out rag or sponge so coverage is even and stain doesn't pool on floor.

Step 4: Remove Excess Stain

After 5 or 10 minutes, vigorously wipe to remove excess stain. The amount of time you allow stain to soak into wood will determine the darkness of the final product.

Step 5: Allow Dry Time

Following manufacturers' instructions, allow time for stain to fully dry then brush on a coat of polyurethane for a durable finish.

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