How to Stain Hardwood Floors

How to Stain Hardwood Floors

Staining a hardwood floor can be a tough, but rewarding job. Once completed, your floor will look shiny and new, instead of looking old and dreary. Staining will had an extra depth of colour and shine to your floor and will improve the appearance of the room. But, how easy or difficult is it to do?

Getting Started

For starters, it’s not for those that are afraid of getting their hands dirty, and clothes dusty. It also not for those that are afraid of putting in a little bit of hard work in order to achieve some amazing results.


Ryobi EBS800VBefore you buy a tin of varnish from your local DIY store, you will need to sand your floor to remove any unevenness and rough edges. Another reason for sanding is because you can’t apply wood stain on a floor that already has a finish applied to it. So, by sanding, you are removing the previously applied finish.

A floor sander is a powerful tool and should not be used near children. When using this tool make sure you are wearing a dust mask, protective eyewear and old clothing, as sanding creates a lot of dust and you certainly do not want to inhale it, get it in your eyes or ruin your favourite garments. It would also be wise to wear some form of protective ear-wear too, as sanders can be very loud.

Also, make sure you have enough sandpaper as you may go through more than one sheet, depending on the size of the room.

Clean the Floor

Once you have sanded the whole floor and it is smooth and there is no sign of the old dark colour; your next step is to vacuum and sweep the floor to remove all of the sawdust.

Once the floor is clean and dust-free, grab a mop and bucket and gently mop the entire floor. Leave it to dry for approximately half-an- hour. This process will help the wood to stain better.

Staining the Floor

Now, for the exciting part! Grab your stain and a brush and give it a good mix before you start applying. Test the product in a corner of the room, just to make sure you are happy with the colour of the stain. Although be aware that once it has dried the colour density will differ. You can wear a mask to help prevent you breathing the fumes, but it is not a necessity. You could open a window, if you feel as though the fumes are becoming overwhelming.

Make sure though, your hands and eyes are protected from sudden brush splash backs. If it does get on your skin, it isn’t the end of the world, but it may require a couple of minutes of scrubbing to remove it.

Staining Technique

When applying the stain, start from one side of the room and work yourself to the other, whilst making sure to apply fine brush strokes and not heavy puddles of stain varnish. If you are applying too much, make sure you have a sponge or cloth handy to mop up any excess liquid. Be extra careful around the edges so not to stain the skirting board. Use a fine brush if you can, around the edges.

Apply Polyurethane

Once you have stained the entire floor and you are happy, wait until it is completely dry (see given times on the tin by the manufacture) and then apply polyurethane. This is not essential, but by doing so, it will add extra durability and will make the flooring more sustainable.  And Voila! You now have a perfectly stained floor.

Brief Summary of How To Stain a Hardwood Floor

So, staining a floor is perhaps not the most straightforward of home improvement tasks, as it does require some expensive tools and hard work. Depending on what model you get, a sander can cost between £20-238; so, whatever your budget is, there will definitely be a sander that will meet your demands.

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