Two Hardwood Floor Staining Mistakes To Avoid


If you have hardwood flooring in your home that has been scratched and damaged due to years of use, then you may want to think about refinishing the floor instead of replacing it entirely. If you want a dark and luxurious color, then you should opt for a stain with a mahogany, walnut, chestnut, or cherry tone. While a hardwood floor can be successfully refinished by a homeowner, the stain may not turn out the way you hope if you make some common floor staining mistakes. Keep reading to learn about a few of these mistakes and what you really need to do.

Mistake - Rushing The Sanding Job

Refinishing a wooden floor requires you to remove the old finish and all the imperfections, like dents and dings. This means you need to sand the wood with an electric sander. Drum sanders are most commonly used for floor sanding, and it is advised to sand the floor's surface several times before applying any stain. This means sanding in sessions.

Each session should be completed with a different sandpaper grit. Start with 30, switch to 60, then end with a piece of 100 grit sandpaper. If you are using the drum sander, start with the 30 grit sandpaper and work the machine across the floor diagonal to the grain. Afterwards, run the sander across the grain, and then sand with the grain. Make the same three directional passes across the floor as you switch to 60 grit and 100 grit paper. This will allow you to sand the floor while minimizing the scratches of sand marks that are made in the floor. 

Reducing sanding marks is extremely important, because stain will settle in marks or scratches and highlight them. If you do not want to put the effort into sanding in different directions, you can use a tool called a random orbital sander instead. The sanding disc or head on this tool moves at different angles as you sand the floor. This helps to randomize the movements so that swirl marks and deep sanding patterns do not appear on the floor. Most orbital sanders are smaller handheld tools, so you may need to spend a bit more time sanding with the head. Use the same types of sandpaper grit when working the device across the floor.

Mistake - Using A Brush To Add Stain

Once you have completed all the sanding and have made sure that the floor is as smooth as possible, you will need to thoroughly clean the floor. Suck up the sawdust with a shop vacuum cleaner. You can start staining at this time. The last thing you will want to do is use a brush or a roller when applying the stain. The brush bristles may create a pattern on the floor, and this can also happen with the roller nap. A cotton cloth or a sponge should be used instead. 

Before you stain, you should dampen a mop or a clean cotton cloth with water. Run the damp cloth across the floor. This is called water popping or raising the grain, and this allows the wood grain to open up. When the wood becomes damp, it can absorb more of the stain so the finish appears more smooth, even, and consistent. Colors also absorb deeper into the wood and the stain will look darker. 

Once the wood is damp, dip your cloth or sponge in the bucket of stain and wring it out. Move the sponge with the grain of the wood as you apply it to the floor. Work from left to right across the floor and allow the stain to soak in for about 10 minutes. Use a clean rag to gently wipe the stained floor to remove excess stain. This will help to reduce marks on the floor that may occur due to stain pooling.

For more information and assistance with maintenance or repair, contact hardwood flooring professionals or visit their websites online. 


13 June 2016

Understanding Interior Design Techniques

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