Make sure the floor is clean before applying any stain.
A stain is only as good as the sanding job underneath it, stain will emphasize irregularities such as edger mark, chatter marks, picture framing, scraping marks and abrasion patterns. It will also highlight problems from skipping too many sandpaper grits.
“Popping the grain” by lightly moistening the wood and letting it dry (confirm dryness with a moisture meter) before the stain is applied allows the stain to penetrate more, making the stain appear more intense.
A finer grit of sandpaper used before staining will leave the wood surface smoother, making the stain color appear lighter than if coarser sandpaper grit is used.
Stains must by completely dry before a coat of sealer or finish is applied.
Stains take differently with different species of wood, make samples to ensure the desired color and, if possible, make samples on the actual job site.
Highly pigmented stains, e.g., white, pastel, mahogany or ebony, can take substantially longer to dry than other stains.
Some wood species such as maple and pine are difficult to stain because they do not accept stain uniformly.
Some stain colors are not compatible with water-based finishes.
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