Nothing beats the beauty of having wood floors in a house. But good wood floors don’t just happen on their own. They require commitment, patience, and technique to make them durable, attractive, and long-lasting. The secret of maintaining wood floors is the finishing process. In this article, we shall guide you on how to finish wood floors, step by step.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Sanding
For a perfect finish, you need to sand the wood floors before starting the finishing process. You can use a drum sander or orbital sander, which is effective in removing scratches, dents, or marks from the floor. Start by sanding the room’s perimeter with sandpaper around the edges and corners, where the larger machine cannot reach. Gradually work your way around the floor from one corner to the other until you have finished sanding the entire room.
After sanding, vacuum the floor and remove any particles or debris that may have been left behind. Then use a tack cloth to clean up the remaining dust. You can also wipe the floor with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits, ethanol or methylated spirits to clean it thoroughly. Ensure that the floor is spotless before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Staining
The next step is staining. Staining helps to add color and character to the wood floors. You can choose from a variety of stain types, including oil-based, water-based, and gel stains. First, test the stain on a small part of the floor to see how well the color matches the room’s aesthetics. Once you have selected the right color, apply it evenly, using a brush or rag, following the grain of the wood. Allow the stain to dry, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, before applying the next coat.
Note: Before applying the stain, ensure that the room is adequately ventilated to minimize the smell of the chemicals used in the process. You can use a fan to increase air circulation.
Step 3: Sealing
Sealing is a crucial step that helps to protect the wood floors from moisture, spills, and scratches. Sealing also makes the floors easier to clean and maintain. You can choose from three types of sealers- water-based, oil-based, or solvent-based sealers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to know the recommended drying time of the sealer you choose, and ensure that the room is well-ventilated as you apply the sealer.
Most sealers require at least two coats, and it is advisable to use a lambswool applicator or brush to avoid unsightly brush marks or bubbles. Allow the first coat to dry before applying the second coat. After the second coat, allow the sealer to dry for at least 24 hours before stepping on the floors.
Step 4: Finishing
The final stage is finishing. Finishes help to complete the look of the floors by adding shine and depth to the colors. There are two types of finishes- water-based and oil-based finishes. Water-based finishes are popular due to their fast drying time, low odor, and clear finish, while oil-based finishes are preferred for their durability and resistance to scratches and wear.
Apply the finish with a paintbrush or roller in thin, even coats, and allow each coat to dry before applying the next. For the best results, apply at least three coats of finishes, with an interval of at least 24 hours between each coat. After the final coat, allow the floor to dry and cure for at least 48 hours before replacing furniture or area rugs on the floor.
In conclusion, finishing the wood floors is not an easy task, but it is essential if you want to maintain the beauty and durability of your floors. If you are not confident with your skills, it is advisable to seek the services of a professional to do the job for you. However, with the proper tools, technique, and patience, you can do a perfect job and add value to your house’s aesthetics. Happy finishing!
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