Posted on: 14 September 2016
If you're just purchased an old country cottage and have found that the kitchen floor's original oak flooring is in bad shape, don't panic. You can definitely fix the situation. If you have the time, the right materials, and the understanding of what needs to be done, then you will get that floor looking great in no time. Here's how you can do it.
Strip The Floor Bare
The first step in the process of fixing your oak floor is to remove any stain or paint that the previous owners used. You should look for a paste style stripper that you can paint onto the floor. Try and pick one that has low VOC (volatile organic compounds) that cause noxious fumes. There are special paint and stain strippers made to be used indoors. These are less dangerous than the highly odorous ones. You should still keep the area well ventilated. Apply the chemical stripper with a paint brush and let it sit on the wood for the time mentioned on the container. Then remove the paste using old rags and a paint scraper.
Use A Belt Sander To Smooth Down the Floor
Your next step is to smooth down the surface of the floor. This will remove any splinters and also remove any of the stain or paint that was let on after the stripper was used. If you don't have access to belt sander, you can use a sanding block.
If there are any big cracks or holes in the floor, use this time to fill them in with wood putty. Then, after the putty has dried, sand the putty down so that it is flush with the floor.
Clean Up The Dust
When you are done sanding the floor the wood should look fresh. Sweep up the dust and then wipe down the floor with mineral spirits. Don't use water because it will soak into the fresh wood and delay the process. Mineral spirits evaporate quickly and you can wet a rag and use them to clean up the dust that doesn't get swept up.
Stain The Floor
Pick out a stain that you like and test it out on a small section of the floor. Let the stain dry so that you can see the final color. Some stains dry lighter or darker than they appear on the can. When you are satisfied that the stain is the right color, you can stain the whole floor. You can either use staining rags (special cloth that you buy at the home improvement store alongside the stain) or you can use small foam brushes. The one important aspect of the staining process is that you don't allow the stain to pool up in any one spot. This stain will be too thick and will crack or bubble. You want to apply an even coat that is absorbed into the wood.
Because it's a kitchen floor, and you will want to occasionally use a wet mop, you should choose a stain that has poly included in the mix. This polyurethane finish will seal and protect the floor and prevent the stain from being removed if you use a wet sponge. Let the floor dry completely before you step foot on it or place tables or chairs back onto the surface. Poly takes longer to dry than stain, so make sure to read the directions on the can. If you place a table or chair on the floor too soon, it will leave a permanent mark in the poly.
For professional tips, contact a wood floor finishing contractor.Share