I’m going to continue the procedure I started in the sanding article. I will talk about what type of stains to use on particular woods, and the best methods to apply them. I will also talk about the dreaded white pigmented stain, dye stains, and ebonizing wood floors. I hope you find the article enjoyable and informative.
Well, I hope for your sake, the sanding has gone well, and you have checked for edger and “drum chatter” marks. So now is the time for a really thorough vacuuming. You must get the dust out of the wood grain, especially on ring porous woods like oak. Use a powerful industrial vacuum, even if you have to rent one. Go over the whole floor at least twice, and don’t forget the corners and edges should be done with a crevice attachment.
The stain should be one that is suitable to the species of your wood floor and one that applies easily to a large wood floor surface. There are 4 basic types of stains. The pigmented wiping stains are the most prevalent. They contain a small amount of pigment, which is carried along by the large amount of solvent in these stains. The pigment particles are fairly large, and lodge in the pores of the wood. Oak, ash and hickory do well by this sort of stain. There is a binder in this type of stain, that is a diluted form of varnish. When the stain is dry the binder will keep the pigment particles (being dust-like if they dried on their own) from being wiped from the pores.
Use a rag to apply this stain, as you will be flooding the surface with the stain and then working the stain into the pores of the wood and any cracks. Only rags seem to do this well. Try to use the most lint free cotton rags you can find. This may seem fussy, but will save you from having to sand lint out of the dried floor finish later.