Stain Instead of Paint Your Hardwood Floors

Painting hardwood, concrete or tile floors can open up a new world of color palettes that add just the right amount of panache to your home’s interior. Yet some, like designer Stephanie Wirth, question the durability of painted hardwood floors, complaining that the paint has a tendency to chip.
The alternative?
As Wirth shares in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Chicago Home + Garden, stained floors are her go-to method, and not just any stain: a deep, dark ebony that imbues a richness and depth to any room.

Before you begin, consult with a flooring professional or research the staining process. You may need to tweak your plans and materials depending on your floor type. Pine, for example, tends not to stain well because of its sap, so you’ll need to tint the finish to ensure an even color upon completion.
You’ll also want to rent a power-sander and use two grades of sandpaper that will create a smooth, even surface upon which to apply the stain. For dark colors like ebony, at least three coats are recommended–and you’ll want to allow 12 hours drying time between each coat, followed by two coats of varnish to seal the stain and add a pleasing sheen that further enhances the stain’s color.

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