How to Stain Hardwood Floors Dark

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If you're not satisfied with the color of your hardwood floor, you may want to re-stain it with a darker color. Before you apply a new, dark stain to the entire floor, test a small amount on an inconspicuous spot on the floor and allow it to dry. The color of the stain will change slightly once it sets in, and this will assure you that you like the dark color you chose. All the materials for staining a hardwood floor can be found at a local home improvement store.

Things You'll Need

  • Dark wood stain (oil or latex based)
  • Floor sander
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Coarse grit sandpaper
  • Vacuum
  • Goggles
  • Breathing mask
  • Water-based stain brush
  • Lamb wool applicator (if using oil-based stain)
  • Cotton rags
  • Load the coarse grit sandpaper into the floor sander and sand down the entire floor, being sure to go with the grain of the wood to avoid scratching. Vacuum up all debris.

  • Sand the floor again, this time using the fine grit sandpaper. Vacuum the floor again when you are finished.

  • Begin applying the stain to the floor. If you are using a water-based stain, you can paint the entire floor with a water-based stain brush. If you are using an oil-based stain, paint the perimeter of the room with an oil-based stain brush, then apply the stain to the center of the room with the lamb wool applicator. Always paint with the grain of the wood to avoid streak marks. The lamb wool applicator will allow you to stain several floorboards at a time.

  • Dry the entire floor with the cotton rags. This will rub the stain into the wood so that it can be properly absorbed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear a breathing mask and safety goggles when operating a floor sander. Continue using the breathing mask when applying an oil-based stain, and open windows and doors so that fumes do not build up.

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