How to Stain or Varnish a Wood Floor

There is nothing quite like a beautiful natural wood floors. While laminate flooring is available in a vast amount of colours and timber types, there is still no beating mother nature and a wooden floor looks stunning in any home.

A wood floor does require looking after as it can take a beating from the foot traffic, especially in living rooms and recreation rooms for example. In this guide we’ll show you how to prepare, stain or varnish your wooden floors so they remain their natural beauty.

Step 1

This is going to be a messy job and will produce a lot of dust, so prepare the room first by removing everything in the room. A good idea is to put a note on the outside of the door telling others not to enter.

Once you’ve done that you can close the door and place masking tape at the bottom, sides and top of the door to prevent dust escaping. Finally open any patio doors and windows to allow for better air circulation.

Step 2

SAFETY – Before you start to sand down the floor ensure you are wearing safety goggles and a dust mask. Again, this job produces a lot of dust so you must protect your eyes and lungs.

Step 3

Standing the floor can be done with a standard Belt Sander providing the room is not too big. If you do have a large room then it’s advisable to hire a Floor Sander.

These can be hired from any good Tool Hire Centre. Note that Floor Sanders come with a dust collection bag so this will heavily reduce the amount of dust produced but you should still wear your protective mask and eye goggles.

Step 4

Fit a course or medium grain sandpaper and remove the existing varnish or stain by working your way from one corner of the room to the other – working in a diagonally across the room.

Step 5

Don’t forget to sand the edges and corners. This can be done with an Orbital Sander or Mouse Sander using either a course or medium grade sandpaper.

Step 6

Sweep up the room and then sand again, but this time sand with the grain of the floor boards, using a fine grade sandpaper.

Step 7

Once you have finished sanding it’s a good idea to leave the room for a day. This will allow any dust to settle which can be cleaned with a damp mop and allow to dry before applying a varnish or stain.

Step 8

There are lots of clear varnish or colouring stains available. The finish you want is a personal preference, so choose and buy a varnish or stain to suit your taste.

Step 9

Apply the varnish or stain with a fine Mohair paint roller as this will produce a really nice finish. You should apply 3 coats for maximum durability when varnishing. If staining then 2 coats should be sufficient.

Step 10

Lightly sand down with a fine grade sandpaper between each coat and remember to let each coat dry before applying the next. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines on the tin for application and drying times.

Check out what people are talking about in our DIY Flooring Group.


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