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Staining or Varnishing Wood Floors - How to Repair & Maintain Floors - Flooring Maintenance. Finishing a wood floor requires a number of preparation steps, but the result is a wood floor with all its warmth and richness.
If you're planning to refinish an existing floor, pull up a floor register to make sure you have enough wood for another sanding. When the floor is sanded to a rough-cut smoothness, fill the entire surface with a wood filler as recommended by your floor products retailer. Rough-cutting the floor will leave the edges slightly higher than the main body of the floor. Buff the floor with a 100-grit screen to remove any remaining imperfections and to bring the floor to a consistent level from edges to center, leaving the surface at its finished smoothness.
Stain the floor (optional) with a rag or the applicator recommended, removing the excess if required.
Interior stains are generally wiping stains applied to bare wood with a protective clear coat. Step 2: Test the StainTest the stain in an inconspicuous area of the floor or on a sample piece of wood before applying it to the entire floor.

Step 4: Add Protective CoatingThe stain only adds color or tone to the wood but does not protect the wood.
Unless you plan to sand many floors in your lifetime, random orbital sanders are the best choice for do-it-yourself floor refinishers.
Avoid back injury when transporting sanders from the rental store to your house (or up stairs) by always having a helper. A sealer coat is not normally needed, but if your floor takes stain unevenly, it will help ensure even stain coverage. Applying stain evenly, especially over a large expanse, isn’t as easy as it might seem. Many pros pour polyurethane along the floor and then spread it with an 18-inch lamb’s wool applicator, but for the novice this is likely to result in a layer that’s too thick. Because depressions in an old floor are inevitable, they'll show up as you're sanding them. Rough-sand the floor with a heavy-grit paper, keeping the sander moving and working with the grain.
To even out this difference in floor levels, scrape down the edges so they're level with the sanded surface.

Start about two-thirds of the way along the length of one wall and sand with the grain, pulling the sander towards you.
They take longer to remove old finishes than drum sanders, but they do not require a lot of experience to use and are less likely to damage your floor. Test for this by applying stain to an area that will not be visible once furniture is moved back into place.
Using a lamb's wool or other suitable applicator, apply the finish coats, letting each coat dry.
To hire a pro to sand, seal, stain, and apply several finish coats of an oil-based poly will cost $4 per square foot, or more.

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