Monday, February 2, 2009

Staining And Finishing Hardwood Flooring

Staining will help bring out your hardwood flooring's character and uniqueness. Before applying your stain you need to make sure your floor is completely free of dust, grit and other particles. Dust likes to hide deep in the wood grain, be sure to really get in there to get those dust monsters out. More tips for thorough cleaning can be found at

Make sure the area you are working in is well ventilated. Inhaling fumes from the wood stain can cause you to pass out if you breathe them in for too long. Most stains are solvent based which makes them flammable. Do not smoke while you are applying the stain. If you are working near a pilot light take the precaution and extinguish it, it's better not to take the chance.

Wood floor stains are either oil based or water based. Oil based are most common and preferred because they are easy to use. Water based is a newer type which accounts for the difference in popularity. Always test your stain in a corner or, better yet, on a scrap piece of wood before applying it to the whole floor.

Make sure traffic is diverted from the area before beginning. No one should come near your floor while you are staining or waiting for it to dry. To apply the stain, work from the corners and rub the stain in using a rag. Go with the wood grain and wipe off any excess as you go along. Stain should not sit on the wood, it will raise the grain of the wood and show every imperfection when it dries.

It is a best practice to allow your floor to dry overnight before attempting to walk on it or apply any type of finish. Once you're sure your wood is completely dry you are ready to put on your wood flooring finish.

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