How to Stain Wood Floor?

Dec 8, 2023

Staining your wood floors enhances their natural beauty and is also a great way to fix imperfections on them. Moreover, it protects your precious hardwood floor from wear and tear.

So, if you are thinking about staining your hardwood floors, this step-by-step guide by our experts will help you stain your floors effectively and achieve the desired results.

Steps to Stain Wood Floor

∗ Things You’ll Need

  • Belt sander and edge sander
  • Vacuum
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Brushes and rollers
  • Polyurethane finish
  • Cloths
  • Duct Tape
  • Wood Filler

1. Prep for Staining

The first step for staining is to get the room ready for the process. So remove all movable furniture and other important items from the room. Cover heavy furniture, electronic appliances and sockets with plastic sheets.

Then, vacuum your room thoroughly to minimise the dust during sanding and ensure a smooth process. Also, apply painter’s tape to baseboards and other areas you want to protect from stains.

2. Sand the Surface

Next, you should sand your floors to remove the old finish, scratches and dents from your flooring. It is also important to ensure an even application of the stain. Start using a belt sander to remove the top layer of your old flooring, and use 55-80 grit sandpaper for the initial sanding.

Then, increase the grit size to 90-115 for the second pass and 120-150 for the final one to get your desired evenness. Run the machine slowly over the floor and follow the wood grain to avoid creating uneven surfaces.

Use an edge sander the same way as the belt sander to sand the corners of the room to achieve a uniform evenness all around the room.

3. Remove all the Dust & Debris

Sanding can create a lot of dirt and dust on your flooring. So you need to clean the dust after sanding. Apart from vacuuming and cleaning the obvious areas, you also need to clean walls, ceilings and other areas that accumulate dirt during sanding.

Vacuum and dust your room thoroughly, and after that, go over the entire area using a damp cloth. It will catch any remaining dirt and grime, preventing them from hindering the staining process. Let the floor dry completely before staining.

4. Apply the Stain

Before applying the stain, test it in a small hidden part of your flooring to ensure it is a good fit. Then, apply the stain along the wood grain. Work in small sections, applying the stain, letting it sit for 2-3 minutes and removing the excess.

The longer you let the stain sit, the darker it will get, so wipe the stain quickly if you want a lighter shade. A good way to prevent over-staining is to take a step back after each coating and inspect your floor to see if it matches your preferred style.

5. Let the Floor Dry

After you finish staining, let the floor sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours, depending on the humidity and temperature of the room. To be safe, read the instructions on the stain label for the precise drying time.

6. Apply Protective Finish

The final step is applying a polyurethane finish on your newly-stained floor to give it a glossy, semi-glossy look. Use a soft bristle brush to apply the finish. Start from the corner of the room and work your way towards the exit.

Apply the finish along the wood’s grain. Maintain a wet edge to prevent overlapping. Let the finish dry for a few hours, then sand with the finest sandpaper to remove any bubbles. Apply the second coat thereafter.

To maintain your floor, let the finish cure for 24-48 hours before walking on it again.


Staining is an effective way to bring out the natural beauty of your hardwood floors. This step-by-step guide will let you stain your floors effectively to ensure a better look and richer-looking coat than before.