Have you recently moved into a house that was built a while ago and whose wooden floor is showing signs of wear and tear? No reason to worry. With the right information, you can easily give back your floor its original shine by staining it. Here are 6 steps on how to do it yourself.
1. Remove the Covering
If the previous owner had covered the wooden floor, you would need to first remove it. Carpeting is particularly popular with many homeowners. To remove the carpeting, pull it right up and off the tack strips, a few feet at a time. You can then use a carpet cutter to slice off chunks. Use a skinny pry bar, a flat screwdriver and a hammer to remove tack strips and carpet staples.
The flathead screwdriver is particularly effective in removing the carpet staples. Use the same procedure to remove any other type of semi-permanent covering on the wooden floor. Once this is done, you proceed to the next step.
For the next step on how to stain wood floors, you should start sanding the floor effectively. Take precaution to prevent dust from entering the other rooms or from covering items in the house. Hanging a plastic drop cloth across any adjacent door jams, and covering the items, would be ideal. You need an industrial-sized sander. These are commonly found in most home maintenance stores at a friendly fee. The sander is easy to use; it does not require a lot of energy from you.
The sale agents ought to help you with critical operational tips to ease your work. Start your sanding with a 60 grit paper and go over it again using a 120 grit paper for a smooth finish. Wear a respirator mask before you begin the task to protect your lungs from the dust particles.
While at it, slowly move back-and-forth, avoiding circular movements. After all the old varnish is removed, go over the floor using a 120 grit sandpaper to soften the texture while making it uniform.
3. Sweeping, Vacuuming and Washing
After sanding, you need to sweep away any layer of dust that may have been left behind. The next step would be to vacuum the floor and remove any excess dust. Next, wash the floor with a damp mop; avoid applying water directly on the wooden floor or any chemical detergents to prevent damage.
After carefully cleaning the floor using a minimum amount of water, give it about an hour to dry. Sweeping, vacuuming and washing remove all traces of dust.
4. Staining the Wood
The wood is at this point at its natural state. It is now time to top it with a stain or sealant. You may choose to use a coloured or colourless stain. Begin by opening the windows and doors for better ventilation. Put on some disposable plastic gloves to keep your hands from getting stained. Use a lamb’s wool applicator for applying the stain. It should not be difficult to get one from a hardware store. Get with it an extension pole to help you reach parts not easily reachable with your bare hand.
After dabbing the applicator into the stain, remove the excess stain by pressing the applicator against the empty paint tray. Work on 3ft square sections. Placing the applicator at the top of this section, press it gently and then drag it towards yourself. Repeat the process until the section is completely stained. A single motion should be enough.
5. Removing Excess Stain
If you notice any pooling on the stain, gently wipe it out using a towel. When you are done with the entire floor, allow it to dry overnight before you go to the next step. How much time you give the stain to soak into the wood determines how dark the wooden floor looks.
6. Applying a Clear Top Coat
Applying a transparent layer will protect your wooden floor, besides adding a shine to it. Use the same method above to apply the clear coat. However, a clear coat does not pool, and therefore wiping with a towel is not necessary. Besides, such a move would rob the stain of its shiny finish. A single coat should be enough.
In case you want to apply a second coat, wait for at least 12 hours to allow it to dry correctly. Among precautions you should take while performing this task include opening all the windows and doors for adequate ventilation. After the job is done, leave it for 12-24 hours to dry. If this your only home, you may need to consider getting a hotel room for the night.
There you go, an easy way to stain your floor. Hardwood floors are some of the best in terms of quality and aesthetic value. Do not settle for less. With these steps, you do not need to use cumbersome carpeting or do a complete floor replacement. Revert your wooden floor to its original state and enjoy the full benefits of a hardwood floor.