Sanding and Stain

Looking to change the color of your floor? It's all in the prep. For this you need to be a little more careful on how you sand your floor. I would give this a difficulty level of 8 or 9 out of 10, depending on how dark you want the wood to look. The darker the stain, the less forgiven your sanding will be.

Preparing your Floors for Stain

Let’s get started. Remember, for a natural finish you end with 80 grit sandpaper. We Know we will want to end with 100 grit for this application. Repeat your sanding process, but now you will finish with 100 grit.

Choosing the Right Sandpaper Grit

You’ll want to work with “the big machine” and edge it over. You will need a good quality orbital sander and a buffing machine. Whichever grit you use on your orbital sander, you’ll need to use on your buffer. Failing to do this could result in (ring around the collar) basically the border will come out either lighter or darker than the body of the floor. (Refer to Floor Fact #8 for the nitty-gritty on sandpaper and matching grit.)

Sanding Marks - Body, Borders, and Corners

You want to pay special attention to any sanding marks around the border, and any marks left behind by “the big machine”. Get right down on your hands and knees and look for sanding marks. If you can see marks from 2 feet away when the wood is raw, you will definitely be able to see them from 6 feet away after you apply the stain.

Once you are satisfied that you have gotten the sanding marks out, you can go ahead and buff the body of the floor.

Then to the corners, this is what you’ll need the hand scraper and file. The use of a fine file will get your hand scraper very sharp, making that hand work go much smoother. After you have scraped the corners, make sure to hand sand them with the same grit you used on the rest of the floor. Now you're ready to stain!

Check back for my next fact on applying stain. Thanks!

~ Floorman

(Photo above by Jenny Rebecca McNulty. Floor installation we like to call Portland Pine by Maine Wood Floors)