Ideas for Staining Wood Floors

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    • The kind of pre-treatment that you place on the surface of the wood determines how the wood soaks up the stain. Soft wood, such as pine, absorbs stains unevenly if not treated with a wood conditioner before applying the stain. Harder woods, such as oak, also absorb stains differently after the application of a wood conditioner. The best way to determine if you want to treat your floor with a wood conditioner is to test two or more separate pieces of wood. Put the conditioner on one and nothing on another. Decide which look you prefer, and treat your floor accordingly.

    Wood Stains

    • Different colors of wood stains completely alter the look of a room. A darker stain makes the room look more traditional and formal. Lighter stains look more casual and rustic; however, not all light stains make a room look rustic nor do all dark stains look formal. Choose a color that fits with your overall decorative scheme and with the furniture in your room.

    Staining Patterns

    • Consider several different ways to stain a floor. Circular staining uses circular motions to apply the stain to the floor, which produces a somewhat uneven stain. Staining along with the grain of the wood produces a finish that penetrates deeply and evenly. You do not even have to use one color of stain. You can stack stain colors to create a dimensional color, or make a pattern on the floor with different stain colors by staining one board one color and the next one a different color.


    • The finish that you place on the floor also changes how the floor looks. A common polyurethane coating is a clear, shiny finish applied over the floor. A varnish finish produces a warmer appearance with more golden tones. An oil finish causes the floor to darken over time. The kind of finish used can drastically alter the appearance of the floor, making it an important part of the staining process.

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