Looking at the before photo you will notice that the original floors were pretty dark, with so much natural light I decided it would be great to stain them Walnut.
These are the things you’ll need should you decide to do this DIY task.
- Garden Kneeler or Knee Pads
- Natural bristle brush
- Rags or soft cloths
- Minwax Walnut Stain (about 1 quart per room)
- Small paint tray for stain
- Minwax Super Fast Drying Polyurethane (I used about 1.5 gallons for 3 rooms)
- Lamb’s Wool Applicator
- Metal paint tray for Poly
- Latex Gloves
- Paint Thinner
- Respirator for dust and stain
- Tack Cloths
- Optional Shop Vac
- Optional—small soft bristle hand broom
- Optional stylish shower cap (to keep dust out of your hair)
If you have ever taken on any project that needed sanding, you know there is a ton of dust. That is pretty much an understatement after sanding hardwood floors. The rented sanders have great dust collection capabilities, but there is still tons of dust on the floor. You can’t stain until you remove all of the dust. I used everything imaginable including a shop vac, and this small handled brush to get into the corners.
TIP: turn off your HVAC while applying stain and poly.
See all that dust on the respirator? Do NOT skip this item.
I used a small chip brush to get into the corners, and a wider chip brush to apply the stain with the grain of the wood, then wiping off the stain as I went. I worked from bedroom #1, through the living room, into bedroom #2, which led me to the kitchen for an easy exit out the back door. I followed this pattern for staining and sealing.
I applied one coat of stain to each of the three rooms, and allowed them to dry for a couple of days since the project house was unoccupied.
Be sure to stir your stain every 10-15 minutes. You can see the wide brush I used. It didn’t fit the can, so I poured the stain onto the floor in small puddles. I suggest you use a small paint tray.
Before applying the poly, I used a brand new broom to sweep the floor. The rag had left some fuzziness, and there was random dirt on the floor.
TIP: you should not wear shoes on your newly stained floors, I wore socks. You can see how much dirt I swept up in just one room.
I chose to use Minwax Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for floors. To apply it I used a wide natural bristle brush and a lamb’s wood applicator.
TIP: be sure to remove as much fuzz as possible from your lamb’s wool. It’s suggested to use painter’s tape, a shop vac, or some paint thinner. I didn’t know that with the first one I tried and it got fuzz all in my poly! ugh! Learn from my mistakes. On the second applicator (I just bought a refill, and used the same handle) I did all of the above to remove the fuzz. I wasn’t taking any chances.
The Minwax Super Fast-Drying Poly is purple, but I assure you it dries clear. I did two coats of Poly. With Minwax Super Fast-Drying Poyurethane, there is no need to sand in between coats. Follow the directions on the can for drying times.
This is the front bedroom. Are the floors perfectly new looking? No, they are not, but they turned out exactly as I planned. They still have character and charm that match this very old home.
I love the deep/rich color of these very old hardwood floors.
Are you amazed? I am! I’m loving how these floors turned out. Have YOU redone any hardwood floors? Would you do it again? I would if I were 20 years younger.
I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.