Wood Stain

Applying Wood Stain

Wood Stain - The basic application method of this wood finish product is to, Apply and then clean off. Wood floor stains can be applied in many, many different ways. But, they all have to be cleaned off, normally with a rag.

Before you apply your wood floor stains, apply a coat of wood conditioner, or water pop your wood grains first. This will prevent blotching and any unevenness in the color.

Learn more about wood floor stains at Minwax.com wood stain. Then come back, and learn our techniques on how to apply wood floor stain.

You can apply wood stain, using the following methods.

How To Stain Wood - Brush And Lambs Wool Applicator

wood floor 1. Start from furthest from your exit, and work towards it.

Use a brush and lambs wool applicator, to apply your wood stain. Use an angle brush to cut along the edges. Then use a lambs wool applicator to stain the body of the wood flooring.

Note: The lambs wool applicator, really soaks up the stain, avoid fully submerge the applicator in the stain color.

Try and squeeze out the wood floor stain, that's in the lambs wool, and avoid leaving any standing puddles. Some wood species are very porous, puddles can leave darker spots.

Apply a thin, even coat throughout your wood floor. Don't worry about foot prints, these can
be wiped up, later.

Wood Stain Removal - Cleaning

Cleaning - Using a lightly damped stained rag, wipe off any excess wood floor stain. Avoid leaving smudges or lap marks. After, the wood stains dries, it can be difficult to remove and tricky to blend in.

You can also use a floor buffer with a white buffing pad to clean the excess stain, also. This is covered later on, in the article.

Keep an eye out for splashes or drips, when using this method. This cleaning method is useful when your dealing with a large amount of sq. footage.

How To Stain Wood - Rag-On, Rag-Off

2. This method is good for small jobs or small areas. Starting from the furthest wall from your exit, applying the wood floor stain lengthwise of your floor boards or with the grain.

Pre-stain a 18-24 inch depth a depth that is within your reach, and the entire room length or area, with wood floor stain.

Wait about 3-5 minutes for the stain to penetrate, porous wood requires less time, sometimes zero. Then wipe-off any excess stain with a lightly damp stained rag.

Repeat this process until, you've complete the project. Avoid leaving any lap marks, drips, splashes etc..

How To Stain Wood - Hand Spray Bottle And Flooring Buffer

wood floor 3. Using a clean spray or spritz bottle. Fill the bottle with your wood floor stain color.

Note: Wear a mask, when using this method, to prevent from breathing in the over spray.

Use a rag containing stain, apply wood floor stain around the edges. Then, with the spray bottle, apply stain by spraying it or spritzing, directly to the floor.

Note: Avoid getting stain on other finished surfaces, mask off, if necessary.

Spray the entire floor, or a small area. It's more helpful to have a helper do the spraying. While you operate the wood floor buffer
with a white cleaning pad, begin to clean-off excess stain, starting at furthest from exit.

Remove all buff marks and splashes that the buffer may produce.

When you reach the exit, remove the buffer, then clean excess wood floor stain with a damp stained rag.

Do not use this method on soft wood, such as white pine, yellow pine, fir, heart pine, etc. You'll end up with too much blotching even if you use wood conditioner. Use method 2, instead.

How To Stain Wood - Buff-On and Buff-Off

4. Cut in the edge with wood floor stain with either a rag or a brush, then clean wood floor stain.

Using a white cleaning pad, pour your stain directly onto the pad.

Pour a generous amount, but we want the pad damp not soaked. We can always add more when needed.

Buff-on your stain using your buffer, direction which you move is not important for the buff-on process, work from the center of the area out to the edges. Apply wood floor stain to the entire room.

Buff-off your wood floor stain by continuously working the buffer until the pad stops releasing wood stains, and the color is even and free of blemishes and defects. Or by using a separate clean white pad, remove all swirls and splashes as you work your way towards the exit.

As you exit the area, remove the buffer onto a protected surface, away from the work area. Clean-off your shoes and wipe off the remaining wood floor stain with a rag at the exit and allow wood floor stain to dry.

Uneven staining or lap marks Use mineral spirit to clean or lighten stain, then reapply stain. For, a stronger cleaning solution use Acetone.

For a richer looking stain color, apply 2 coats of wood stains, apply a thin second coat of stain.

Do not apply more than 2 coats of wood floor stain, your wood floor stain will start to look like paint and may cause a bonding issue with your wood finish coat.

When the stain is dried, test the wood flooring surface for moisture, using a moisture meter. Before, applying top coats.

Moisture reading should be 6% or less.


Allow wood stain to dry naturally, room temperature should be around 70 degrees.

If, stain is tacky after 8-12 hours, Wipe down with a clean dry rag, turn up the heat to a higher temperature. Then allow to dry.

Keep warm air inside the home, to help dry-off the stain. Use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. Wet air can prevent stain from drying.

If, stain remains tacky after using all these drying methods. Wipe down stain with mineral spirit then re-apply stain, then allow to dry.

White Wood Stain

For white wood stain - wood floor finishes , water pop your wood grain, then apply two coats of white stain, then apply a non-yellowing water based wood finish. Do not use white stain over sappy wood, saps will bleed through.

If, your using white wood stain over white oak flooring, you may need to bleach the hardwood flooring first.

You can also use a white-wash method, dilute paint in water an apply like stain. Multiple coats will result in a painted surface.

Wood species best for a white stain or white wash are: White Ash, White Birch, Maple, Beech, Red Oak, White oak (requires bleaching). Use only select grade or clear grade to get the best looking result.

Using any other wood specie or a lower grade flooring, you will experience color variation, wood character, sap, or natural wood color may bleed through.

Stain Repairs

Repairing wood stain - wood floor finishes can be a tedious job. You can actually turn a small job into a big one with this wood floor finish.

If, it's a small little spot, that may get covered up with furniture or rugs. You should leave it alone.

Otherwise try these tricks and techniques to help you fix your wood floor stain job.

  • Wet Spots or Bleed Backs - These are excessive stain applied to your hardwood floors. Simply wipe away with a dry rag and allow stain to dry.

  • Lap marks,Dark spots and Lines - Wipe down with a rag lightly damped with mineral spirit, to matching tone. If, too light, re-apply a thin coat of wood stain, then allow to dry. If, necessary apply additional coat of stain.

    Clean off overlapping wood stains - wood floor finishes with mineral spirit. For a stronger solvent use Acetone.

  • Note: Lines can be created from a poor sanding job, if so, re-sand spot then re-apply stain.

  • Spot Sand - only spot sand if you discover foot prints or unwanted marks in your stain, that can not cleaned off with mineral spirit.

    Note: The same piece of wood will not stain the same.

    Spot sand using the same final sanding grit. Use the same process that you used prior to applying your wood floor stain coat. This will help you get the best match.

    Apply the stain and use mineral spirit to clean-off overlapping stain, to avoid a blotchy look or sanding ring.

    In some cases, it may be necessary, that you re-sand the area, wall to wall, and as many rows of flooring needed, then re-applying your wood floor stain, to achieve the best match.

  • These four methods are the most effective on how to stain wood floor finishes. Some wood species will be more challenging then others.

    Always test a small area, before applying stain.

    Now, that your a Pro on wood floor staining and applying wood dye. Let's apply the protective top coats.

    Polyurethane Finish

    Not ready to tackle this project? Contact us! We can do it for you. Don't wait, lock up your dates today, before it's too late!

    G and S wood floors Lynn,Massachusetts


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