How To Prep And Stain Your Hardwood Flooring

7 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Hardwood floors are beautiful, especially older hardwood floors. Older floors with their dents, dings, bumps, and knots tell a story, so if you have older floors that are still in great shape, don't remove them just yet. Try to have them sanded down and re-stained in order to save them and preserve their beauty. If you live in an older home, you may have hardwood floors beneath your carpeting and not even know it. If this is the case, you can pull up that carpeting and have beautiful hardwood floors. See below for tips and instructions on how to prep and stain your hardwood floors.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Floor Sander (with both fine- and coarse-grit sandpaper)
  • Mop
  • Rags
  • Crowbar
  • Hammer
  • Vacuum
  • Wood fill
  • Stain
  • Foam rollers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Polyurethane


  1. First, if you have carpeting on your hardwood floors, you'll need to remove it to inspect the floors below. Carefully pull up the carpeting beginning in one corner of the room and working your way to the other side. Use a utility knife to cut the carpeting into smaller sections so you can remove the carpet easier. Roll the carpet into smaller rolls and hold it in place using twine or thin rope.
  2. Next, remove the padding below the carpeting. If the padding is stuck to the floors, you may need to use a long-handled scraper to carefully remove the padding. If tack strips were used, you'll need to use a crowbar to carefully remove the tack strips from the wood floors. If you have a lot of holes in the floor from the carpet/tack strips, you can use the wood fill to fill in the holes. Go over the floors to remove all staples that may still be stuck in the floors, and carefully remove them using a pair of pliers.
  3. Once the wood floor is fully exposed, you can begin sanding it down using the floor sander. You can rent a floor sander from a rental company. Be sure to listen to the directions on how to use the sander. Sand the floors carefully, so as to not damage the floors. You can contact a floor refinishing company if you are leery about using a floor sander on your floors. Wear a respirator and protective eye-wear when sanding your floors. Work your way from one side to the other, using the coarse sandpaper first. Vacuum up the sanding dust, then sand the floor again using the fine grit paper.
  4. After your floors are completely sanded down, vacuum up the dust once more and then use a slightly damp mop to wipe down your floors. Be sure not to saturate them. Then allow the floors to dry.
  5. Finally, you can begin the staining process. Begin on the outer edges of your floors and cut in the stain about 6 inches using a paint brush, then wipe the stain using an old rag. Use a roller to roll the stain across the rest of the floors, and wipe the stain to buff it in as you go. This step may require a secondary person to help you. Be sure to wear old clothing, gloves, and old shoes when staining, as it can get messy. Allow the stain to dry and set. Then apply a second coating of stain if need be to darken your floors if you prefer.
  6. Once your floors are dry, you'll need to apply a thin coating of polyurethane to help protect your floors. Apply it evenly with brushes and rollers, working from one end of the floor to the other. Allow the polyurethane to cure completely before replacing furniture or walking on the floors. Read the manufacturer's directions for an exact curing time.

Refinishing your floors is a great way to preserve your beautiful wood floors. Contact a floor refinishing company to have your floors refinished by a professional if you aren't sure about tackling such a big job yourself. Click here for additional info.