Never did anything like this. We have a hardwood floor in our foyer
and it's a lighter color wood. We want to stain it a darker color to
match our paint and stairway banisters. I don't know what kind of
wood it is...but it's a 3 year old house and the wood seems
soft...stepping on cat litter on the floor makes pits in the wood. My
plan is to rent a u-sand machine (www.u-sand.com) to sand the floor
down, then use some kind of stain to stain it and then polyurethane to
seal it. Anyone have any advice for doing this? Type/brand of stain
to use? Polyurethane? Number of coats of each? Or any gotcha's to
watch out for?
We did our oak floors. About 1000 sf. I wouldn't suggest using a drum sander
if the wood is soft
You'll need some type of small sander for the edges.Wear a mask.
Minwax oil based stain. 2 - 3 coats. Follow directions carefully. I used
rags to apply. Wear disposable gloves.
Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane as many coats as you can. At least 4. Follow
directions to the letter. I applied with a quality paint brush. Allow plenty
of time for drying. Go by the directions drying time and double it. Don't do
on humid day.
Gotcha's: We used a drum sander for the initial sanding. I tried as hard as
I could to avoid divots but they are almost impossible to eliminate with a
drum sander but it is the most efficient way to get the old finish off.
You'll probably have a lot of trouble matching the color because of wood
types. Different grains/wood types stain drastically different.
Make sure you get ten times as much sand paper than you think you'll need.
Especially if you are using a reciprocating sander.
Get a good assortment of sand paper. Rough to fine. You can return your
Hard work but rewarding. I think your big challenge is going to be matching
your colors. I'd try to get a wood sample and buy small containers of stain
Hire a pro-
You will have to look at your mistakes for years and years, and the
finish that a pro pays $50 / gallon for will outlast the $20 / gallon
stuff you can buy at the Borg.
Write a check!
JMHO - but I have done several floors by myself, and will never do it
You do have a good point. I'm kind of handy and can take on stuff like
finishing floors. It's hard work and requires some skills with wood working.
I thought I was using a drum sander properly but I did end up with some
divots that I had to sand out with a reciprocating sander. If I had left the
divots, the job would of been less than professional looking. I've heard
horror stories about people doing floors with divots all over them. I have a
way of working a job until I get it right but I could of made a mess out of
it. The floors came out nice. I sold the house right after and they were a
Since he's not using a drum sander, I don't think he'll have the divot
problem. But he is trying to match a stain on a different type of wood.
That's a challenge.
I'd do wood floors again. I wouldn't want to do it for a living. ;-)
Matching stains is a bear, and won't in all likelihood work if this is
a DIY. Pros are better at this, though even they won't be able to
match exactly. Maybe you're better off going with a contrasting tint.
Or, if you're into the time and expense, have accent pieces placed in
the floor that are stained close to (but not exactly) the tint of the
There's the crux of your decision: "I don't know what kind of wood it
is". If the house is only three years old, contact the builder and ASK
before you even THINK of sanding. You could have a hardwood floor, or
you could have an inexpensive laminate floor, and if you've never
refinished a floor before you could sand right through the laminate
and ruin the floor entirely.
Even then, because the wood is soft you still run a very high risk of
leaving grooves and other random marks in the floor from where you
didn't quite sand perfectly, even if you use a random-motion,
reciprocating, whatever professional upright sander.
If you're going for the distressed look, or if you'll be putting down
an area rug, then you might be fine. But if you're planning on showing
off this floor and you're an obsessive perfectionist (like me), the
polyurethane finish will only accentuate the flaws and it will drive
you bonkers every time you walk in the house.
The DIY adventurer in me says you should go for it and do it yourself
- think of the pride you'll have in showing off this floor you
refinished on your own. The pragmatist in me recommends investing in
the lack of headaches and peace of mind you'll find in hiring a
professional to do the work.
It looks that the area you consider damaged is relatively small and in
heavy traffic zone.
I would suggest to replace the wood with some pre-finished, hard
You can get mahogany for below $5.00/sqfeet this days. Why bother with
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