How To Prepare Wood Floor for Staining?

Feb 29, 2024

Staining and refinishing wood floors is a great way to revamp your wood floors and give them a fresh, new look. But before you apply the stain, you need to remove the old finish and get your floor ready to receive the new one.

In this step-by-step guide, our experts will review every detail and show you how to prepare your wood floor for staining. It’ll help you avoid additional expenses and efforts and give your floor an impeccable finish.

Step-By-Step Guide to Prepare Your Wood Floor for Staining

Tools You’ll Need

You’ll have to gather the necessary tools and supplies to prepare your floor for refinishing. So make sure you have equipment like drum sander, orbital sander and edge sander for the edges.

Moreover, gather vacuum, mop and microfiber cloths for cleanup. You’ll also need a good quality wood filler for minor repairs and spare floorboards in case you want to replace something.

1. Clear and Clean the Area

Before you begin, remove all the furniture from the area to give a larger space to work on. Cover the immovable furniture to protect them from dirt and debris.

Then, vacuum the room thoroughly and remove all the dirt accumulated on your floor to minimise dust during sanding. Also, mop the floor with a damp mop to ensure no contaminants remain.

2. Remove Protruding Nails

If you are removing the carpet before staining, there’ll be some Protruding nails on the floor. These nails can damage the sanding machines and even cause injuries if you are not careful. So assess the floor for nails and either remove them or drive them deeper into the floor.

3. Fill the Gaps

You need to fill the gaps in the hardwood floors before you can start sanding. A wood filler is enough to deal with shallow gaps, but for wider gaps, you’ll need to use an organic rope or replace the floorboards entirely.

4. Cover the Vents

Dust from sanding can get everywhere. That’s why you should cover all the vents and doorways in your home with a plastic sheet. It will prevent the dirt from going out of the room to other areas of your home.

Pro Tip: Also cover the vents that blow the air out, as it can lead to dirt accumulating in the ductwork.

5. Remove Old Finish

To apply the new stain, you need to remove the old one with sanding. So insert a 40-grit sandpaper in your sander and start sanding. Move the sander slowly around the floor without stopping at any point for too long.

Ideally, you want to remove just enough wood layer to make your floor ready for refinishing. After the first pass, change the sandpaper to a higher grit and repeat the process.

6. Check Between Sanding

After one or two passes, observe your floor and see if there are any uneven surfaces. If there are, sand the floor once more with 100-120-grit sandpaper to achieve your ideal look.

7. Clean the Dirt

The last step before applying the stain is cleaning the floor. You’ll need to remove all the dirt and debris generated during the sanding to prevent them from interfering with your cleaning.

Start with vacuuming the entire area twice, using attachments to reach difficult spots. Then, mop the area with a microfiber mop to give you a clear view of your floor before sanding.

Bottom Line

It’s necessary to prepare the wood floor for staining to give it the look you want. Our step-by-step guide will help you get the floors ready for refinishing by cleaning them, fixing gaps and removing the older finish for a beautiful-looking hardwood floor.