Staining the floor

Lets talk about the staining of your floors using the most popular oil-based stain.
First and foremost: sand the floor down to the wood! You do not want to apply the stain over the old finish: it will take forever to dry and won’t stick to the floor.You will end up having the floor with what I’d like to call “a marker effect”: try to make a mark with the  magic marker and take it off-comes off very easy!
The bottom line is: if you won’t sand the old finish off completely, you’ll end up making more mess than you used to have before the start of the project.
Next, you’ll need to pick up the color of the stain for your floors: I wouldn’t use the brochures, that they have at the hardware stores,
but buy a couple of sample cans of stain and apply it at home:that way you will know how the stain is going to look like on YOUR floor.
Also, I have to mention, that it’s not a good idea to buy the stain in a 1 gallon cans anymore, because it is a low VOC stain: it is very hard to apply, and it dries up way too quickly, leaving you with uneven, ugly looking finish.If you want to use the oil-based stain, get it in quarts.
Ok, now the floor is sanded and the stain color is picked: what’s next?
I’ll try as much as I can to avoid talking about the application process(you can read all about it on the back of the can), but I have to say a couple of things about the prep work:
1. Before application, I would tape all the baseboards.That way I would avoid messing them up with the stain.The best type to use is blue or green Scotch masking tape: do not buy the cheap white one, because this kind will pull all the paint off the baseboard.
2. Heavy coat, hard wood (such as oak or maple) and high humidity can increase the drying time. In some cases I saw the stain being wet for a week.
The worst time for a staining job is July, August and September due to the highest level of humidity during these months(that of course if you leave near water).
If you have more than one room to stain, consider calling a flooring company: believe me, you will save yourself a lot of time, money and effort.Good luck!

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