It may have been a slow day. Staring at your hardwood floor, you realise that its colour is not ‘woody’ enough. The idea pops into your head and within hours you are ready with the tools to stain your floor.

Here are the five simple steps to carrying out this major project you just casually decided to take up:

1.       Sand the Floor

Professionals from Handy Sanders, a company of flooring specialists from Auckland, recommend thoroughly sanding the floor before commencing any work. Not only does this clean a wood floor down to the grain, but it also primes the floor for staining. They recommend renting out a mechanical wood sander (assuming you do not already own one) and a vacuum to remove all that (inhalable) dust after.

2.      Pop the Water

water popping involves wiping the sanded floor with a wet cloth or mop. This conditions the floor to absorb the wood stain you are about to apply. The moisture re-raises the grain of the smooth floor to hold the colour according to the composition of the wood itself.

3.       Apply the Stain

Use a thoroughly wrung sponge or rag to avoid pooling the wood stain on your floor. Do not go against the grain, and begin applying the solution the same way you would clean a room: from the inner corners.

4.       Wipe Off the Excess

Despite your best wringing efforts, a few concentrated areas of wood stain remain. You do not have to wipe these areas immediately, since you would have to walk over areas you have already stained. Wait at least 5 minutes or more (dependent on the type of stain you are using) before vigorously wiping these areas down. Take note that the longer you leave the wood stain to dry, the darker your floor will end up being.

5.       Apply a finish

After the wood absorbs all the remaining colour, it is now time to apply a neat polyurethane finish. Different sealants have different properties and often your wood stain can have a coating blended into it. Many staining products may come with different specifications, so be sure to carry them out as per the manufacturers instructions.

Floors are one of the parts of a home that have to endure an extremely large amount of wear throughout their (extremely long) lifetimes. Do not hesitate to call in a professional if you are unable to stain the hardwood floor yourself. Sanding and staining your floor can breathe new life into your home and give you a floor to be proud of.

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