How To: Prep Wood For Stain

Refresh your hardwood floors, but first, learn how to prep wood for stain.

Are you tired of seeing stains, scratches, dents, scuffs and other damages on your hardwood floors? If so, then it is time to sand and refinish your wood floors. However, there are some necessary steps you need to take to get started, like preparing your floors. Preparing wood for staining is more important than you may realize. When wood is not properly prepared, flaws that were previously invisible emerge, lowering the project’s quality. That’s why we created this simple guide on how to prepare wood for stain.

Follow these tips to prepare for wood stain.

Choose a Stain

Consumers can generally choose from three types of stains: traditional oil-based stains, gel stains and water-based stains. Traditional oil-based stains are inexpensive and widely available. It’s usually just labeled “wood stain,” and that’s what you were going to use until you read this section. Water-based stains are non-toxic but require more coats to achieve a deep color than oil-based or gel stains. Because an oil-based wood stain underneath a water-based finish can interfere with adhesion, some people use them primarily when staining underneath a water-based finish. While each stain type is best suited to specific situations, no stain cannot be used in another way. Gel stain is excellent for controlling stain absorption on softwoods, but if you’re using an oil-based stain, there are other options. Valor Home Services uses Bona stains. Here is the selection you can choose from.

Choose a Finish

Oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane and shellac are your three main options. Lacquer requires expensive spraying systems, which you most likely don’t have if you’re reading this post. Waxes aren’t particularly protective and are best used for painting. 100% oils are great for cutting boards but not very protective for much else. Oil-based polyurethane and other cryptically named varnishes such as Waterlox and Seal-A-Cell are extremely durable. To help you pick your finish, check out this free resource we provide.

Clean the Area

Once you have the stain and finish picked out, it’s time to start the project. However, before you sand and apply the finish, you need to clean the area you want to work on. Remove furniture and smaller objects. Sweep, vacuum and mop the area. Once the space is cleared out, you can start the project. However, cleaning does not end just at the start. You also need to clean the area before applying stain and finish. When you sand your wood floors, it will produce sawdust and other debris. After you finish sanding, you will want to sweep and vacuum the area again. If you have large built-in furniture like bookshelves and cabinets, we recommend placing plastic covering to avoid dust sticking.

Find the Right Team

While you can sand and stain your floors on your own, it can be a very cumbersome process that requires the right skills and equipment. Our team at Valor Home Services has heard many different horror stories of homeowners taking on hardwood floor refinishing on their own. Many of these projects result in uneven results, more damage, more costs and more stress. Do not let this happen to you. Instead, keep the project to the professionals like our skilled team of refinishing experts. Let’s check out your hardwood floors. Contact us today to get started.