I hope you all realize that this blog is definitely not being written in anything close to real time. We have been spending all of our "free time" working at the house leaving no time to do much of anything else. I felt the need to point that out so people aren't thinking, "Well, no wonder they haven't moved in yet. Lazy bums . . ." Not that ya'll would think that, you are much nicer, I'm sure.
So, back to a month ago. After sanding for an entire day, we got about an hour of sleep and headed back to start staining. Staining, that's quick, we should have it done in half of a day, right? Haha. Ridiculous that we even thought that. We had stained plenty before, but always furniture. I'm going to blame the time estimate on our complete lack of sleep. So thankful that neither one of us is a doctor.
We chose Minwax's Dark Walnut as our stain color. Greg tends to prefer medium wood tones, cherry especially, and I tend to lean towards really dark wood colors like espresso or ebony finishes. This was a good compromise. A dark enough stain to achieve a rich color that I wanted but you can see the grain and it has a bit of a honey tone to it when the natural light hits it.
We had read lots of blogs and articles on staining floors and the method we decided upon ended up working really, really well. I would stain 2x2 foot square outlines on the floor and then Greg would come behind with a lambs wool pad and fill in the square. This allowed us to work across room in a methodical way (you have to be careful to always stain with the grain of the wood and work towards an exit) and ensure that the rows blended well together. Using the brush where the rows met instead of the lambs wool meant I could feather the stain at the seam instead of the thicker coat the pad left.
And somehow we didn't get any pictures of the next step (we were either rushing or delirious), but it's highly important. After we let the stain sit for about 5-10 minutes on each row we took clean, white rags and wiped off the excess (again, going with the grain). This ensures an even color and further allows you to feather between rows. This step is why you can't just paint it all on really fast and be done in half a day. You have to make sure you are not staining father than you can reach to wipe it off. We also found it was helpful to have one person (Greg) do all the wiping so that the pressure was even throughout the room.
|Finished bedroom, unfinished hallway.|
|Master bedroom with stain, no polyurethane yet.|
|The living room. You can't even tell where the seam of the replacement wood is. Notice how the finish is still a really rough finish.|
|The hallway coming out of the kitchen.|