Staining the living room floor was by far the easiest part of the project.
The main goal at this point was color matching the stain with the hardwood throughout the rest of the house. I picked two samples at Home Depot: Minwax Natural and Golden Oak. The Golden Oak was too dark, but the Natural was perfect!
Then I did a floor check using a small 36 grit sandpaper block over a few drool spots that The Beast had left me (in order for Lindsay to get outside he has to go through a small area of the living room).
Then I used a Shop-Vac to suck up any remaining wood dust left over from the sanding process.
To apply the stain on the hardwood I used wiping cloths bought at Home Depot, because the packaging promised me that they were ideal for staining. Which, they were. Yay!
As I mentioned above, the staining process was super easy. I dabbed a bit of the cloth into the stain:
Then wiped into the hardwood, following the direction of the grain:
NOTE: a mask, knee pads and gloves are recommended. I started with just knee pads, but quickly realized that I needed the mask and gloves because the stain is pungent and prone to get all over your hands.
I worked my way across the floor:
Stained myself into a corner:
And finally made my way out of the room:
As you can see the stain was a perfect match for the adjoining room and thusly the hardwood throughout!
That bit of the floor took less than an hour which was thrilling after the many time-consuming steps beforehand.
Now to seal it. The Minwax said it would seal along with staining, but it was apparent that if anything spilled (or drooled) on the floor it would be ruined. Once the floor was completely dry I used Minwax Polyurethane in Clear Satin to super seal it.
A couple of things to make sure of when choosing polyurethane. First, if you use an oil-based stain like I did, also use an oil-based sealer. Second, pay attention to how glossy you want your floor. I chose Clear Satin because it is the least glossy (clear gloss is the most glossy).
Glossy is a weird word.
I applied it with a foam brush and like the stain I went with the grain.
Once it was dry I lightly sanded with a 220 grit sandpaper block and applied a second coat. A necessary evil to really get the poly absorbed.
It looks gorgeous!
Wondering about the plywood?
I stained it too.
I think we can all agree that next to the beautiful hardwood it kind of hurts your eyes.
My eyes! My eyes!
As much and I do mean AS MUCH as I want to be done, I just can’t look at that every day.
I’ve been looking at painted floors on Pinterest and I’m about 95% sure that I’m going to go that route. I am, however, willing to entertain any and all ideas! I’d love to hear yours in the comments.