How to Stain Wood Floors: Step by Step Guide

​Staining woods is one of the most effective ways to shine your wooden floor even after years of dust accumulation. Anyone owning wooden floors must know how to stain wood floors even if they can hire a professional every time.

how to stain wood floors

The knowledge becomes part of your daily lifestyle once you live over the wooden base. Experience is also necessary for protecting everyday life, not only to shine it out over the years.

As for the tactics, there are several of them. Here I will show you the most effective tactics causing the least price with the pro-grade result.

So, there you go.

​Learn how to stain wood floors (Updated in 2021)

Things You’ll need

  • ​Dust-free Latex Gloves
  • Stain for wood floors
  • ​Carbon filtering dust mask (for fume filtration)
  • ​Painting kettle (alternative: small bucket)
  • ​Paintbrush
  • ​Rag (Decorators or stocking)

​I will go through simple 9- steps, and that’s all. It will be a comprehensive guide for you for a top-notch output.

Step 1: Removal of the previous finish

Remove all the old finish thoroughly and then decide to stain. Sand the floor for getting rid of dust. Sand using fine-grit later to make sure you omit all the scratches from the rough grit. Hoover your floor and include going along the edges of the pipe.

Step 2: It’s wise to have more than less

Ensure you have 10% more than enough to complete the entire area. That is to say, if you hold more than two stain cans, pour them on to the taken bucket after shaking and mix thoroughly.

Sometimes you may notice variations in color & texture depending on batch. If you take half from a different pack, the difference would be noticeable. That’s not a severe issue; be aware.

Step 3: Preparing the rags

You need to change two rags for every 10 square meter that is 110 square feet. Each rag should have a size like a tea towel, not exceeding a fist full. The purpose of double rags is to dip into the stain and follow ragging where the other is to remove the excess part of paint being the dry one.

Replace the both for every 10 to 15 square meters that are 110 to 165 square feet. The old ones get so full of sticky stain that they can’t perform smoothly for other rounds.

Step 4: Brush the stain towards a far corner

Stir the paint for the last time using a brush from a corner to the other corner following the back edge. Then swipe across the adjacent- edge with a maximum stretch of your arm 18 inches.

Step 5: Rag on the stain thickly

Roll up a rag forming a ball and dip in the paint avoiding dunking in. Now fill an area with that rag which border you have brushed just now. Make use of the other rag to remove the excess stain by wiping over that area. The process will ensure an even exterior with a quick dry.

Step 6: The direction would be along with the board, and brushing should be against the back wall, another 3-5 feet that is, 0.9 to 1.5m before the dipping, rag on the stain. Now stain the area with 18″ deep as same as before. (45.7 cm)

Stain by moving from one to the other side, filling a couple of boards.

Step 7: Step to the other side of the room and start from a new row

Once you complete one side by length, go to the other adjacent side brush along the wall up to 61cm 24 inches. Keep ragging on and off from one side of the treating room to the other till you fill-up the whole room or most of it, and left 24 to 36- inches, which is 61 to 91.4 cm.

Step 8: The very last spot

Brush around the edge for the very last section. Then rug in a small place & rag it off. Step back, and follow the process of brushing, the rug on & rug off. Again step back and repeat the process. By following the procedure, move backward towards the doorway.

Step 9: Giving them time to dry

Let wait for the mentioned time on your purchase can and hoover the floor once it dries. Then go for a protective layer for which you can choose water-based polyurethane.


​Wear double gloves of rubber on each hand. If you are to change the used one, you can remove one from the top and use the brand new one from the bottom.As you are working for hours, typically, you will sweat. Wipe them out & don’t let it get on the floor. Avoid dripping the condensation on foot from the carbon filtering mask; it will damage stain & the bottom leaving behind marks. If the accident takes place, sand it again.Don’t be so stressed about ragging perfectly along the board line. You can overlap the missed place. Move slowly, not trying to cross next board’s line.


​Wearing a mask will be a fundamental part. But it would be good to wear a carbon- filter mask that filtrate fume.

Learn More About how to polish wood floor

FAQ on Staining Wood Floors

What if I prefer to finish the job without sanding?

​Sanding does a real job for the beginning and affects the output as well. The preferable alternative for sanding is a well-known technique called screen & recoat. The method involves scuffing up the room finish using a base buffer & application of a refresher coat.

​Is staining over stain possible without sanding the floor?

​The gel stain will let you stain without sanding to the raw wood finish. You can apply it by smoothing a little.

​What is the average time to walk on a stained floor?

​Wait nearly 24- hours after the stain application. For the next 24 to 48 hours, use socks to walk on. Don’t go barefooted or wearing any shoes. Take a look at the instruction of the product if it recommends any other precaution.

​What are the features of a dried stain?

Among many mentionable ways, let’s pick the two of them:

For the oil-based stuff: The output will bring no tacky texture & smell

For the water-based one: You will witness a powder-like form with sanding a little for the water-based stain, and the paint won’t feel cold to touch.

​Final Words

​Now you got a straightforward and quick answer to the inquiry on staining wood floors. Staining is something you can’t escape while owning a wooden floor house. 

It’s a very likely job as mopping the brick floor every day. Wood absorbs moisture. So, it’s pretty wise to protect it with a protective layer and shine it out using the staining technique.

Read More About how to paint wooden floors

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