How to Stain Pine Flooring

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The final step in completing your new pine floor installation is applying a protective finish. Unlike hardwoods, pine is a soft wood and this limits the options for staining. Keeping to the clear or more transparent shades works best, and then completing the application process with a good quality wax will nurture the natural beauty and warmth of your pine floor.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Stain pad or roller
  • Floor stain
  • Roller pan
  • 4-inch staining brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean cloth rags
  • Floor buffer
  • Paste floor wax
  • Sweep and vacuum the flooring to be stained to clean it of any dirt or sawdust.

  • Pour the floor stain into a roller pan and use a stain roller to spread the stain over the flooring. Use long, smooth strokes, keeping the roller saturated with stain. Apply the stain liberally to insure thorough penetration of the wood. Cover an area of about six square feet and proceed to Step 3.

  • Use rags to wipe over the stained floor surface to even out the coverage and to remove any excess stain from the wood. Use a four-inch staining brush to cut in the stain at the perimeter edges of the floor. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from any possible skin irritation from handling the stain-soaked rags.

  • Repeat Steps 2 and 3 to over the entire floor area. Allow the finished stained floor to dry for a minimum of 24 hours.

  • Apply paste floor wax to a buffing and polishing pad of a floor buffer according to the manufacturer's directions. Begin waxing the floor surface in smooth, broad sweeping side-to-side motions. The buffing action heats the wax slightly and enables it to penetrate and bond with the wood surface resulting in a semi-glossy luster. Apply the wax liberally in the first waxing of the newly stained floor the first time.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most floor finishing contractors will advise using only a clear or natural stain on pine flooring to enhance the grain and slight hue changes brought out by the staining, and to avoid sealing the floor with a urethane sealer because it makes repair of small dents or scratches much more difficult to sand and blend in.
  • Many chemical-based stains are toxic. Care should be taken to protect the eyes and skin from contact with the stain. Be sure the work area is well ventilated.

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