Floor Sanding, Staining and Restoration Tips
Restoring your wooden floors to their former glory needn’t be a difficult or complicated job. With the right information, and some handy hints and tips, your floor can be quickly reinvigorated at a very reasonable price.
Cost vs effort?
There are really two options for breathing life back into your wooden floor; taking the DIY approach, or hiring a professional. It goes without saying that hiring a professional is more expensive, but it will get the job done much faster to a good standard. However, while doing it yourself is more labour intensive, it is still a very straightforward operation and this approach will save you a significant amount of money.
If you do opt for the DIY option there are some things that are very important to remember, especially when it comes to sanding. Having the correct equipment is very important, and there are 3 specific machines you will require. In general terms, the drum sander is the main sander that is used to do the majority of the floor, although an orbital sander is an appropriate alternative. I personally prefer the drum sander as it is more efficient, even though it’s slightly less manoeuvrable. In addition you will need an edge sander, and depending on your room possibly a vibrating sander to buff out any imperfections caused during the sanding of the main body of wood.
Regardless of the sander you choose it is imperative to find an area of floor (or alternatively a sizeable piece of scrap wood) to get used to the weight and movement of the sanders before you actually tackle the majority of the floor. Sanding is a permanent process, so being prepared is well worth the time and effort.
Staining your floor is a good way to change the colour and general look of the boards in your room by applying a stain to the freshly sanded top layer of wood. Depending on the type of finish you’ve chosen a stain may or may not be suitable, or compatible, so again this is something worth checking with a professional if you are unsure. In terms of actually applying the stain, and the finish afterwards, the first step is to wet the floor with a mop. You don’t want to drench the floor, but it should be wet certainly.
You then want to repeat that process using a mop or a rag to apply the stain liberally to the floor. Once completed it is important to let it dry, and decide whether you are happy with the colour as it may need more than one coat to achieve the desired effect.
The big finish
Once you are happy with the stain, it is time to apply the finish. Normally, this will be a polyurethane solution or varnish, but do check before applying it that your chosen finish is compatible with the stain you’ve used. This may also require two coats, and it is worth bearing in mind that some areas of the floor might need some extra sanding in between coats to ensure that the texture of the floor remains consistent.
These are the main tips for restoring your floor, which are tried and tested, and genuinely do work. Preparation and research is key, and although it will require some effort and graft, the finished results speak for themselves, refreshing and reinvigorating any room for a very small investment.
For our recent tutorial on refinishing wood floors follow this link.