Sealing and staining is a specialist procedure. It takes a lot of knowledge and experience to master the art, its not a job for the DIY enthusiast nor the everyday carpenter. No matter how well your floor is sanded if the method to which you apply the product is not right you will never get the best possible results. Thus leaving blotchy looking finish to your floor.
At the same time if your floor has any twirl stain marks left from bad sanding or not buffing then its at this stage when they show up its the same principle when a wall is plastered, its not until a coat of paint goes on to it that you see all the imperfections and marks will show through.
We would say that out of 10 floors we see stained by others, only 1 perhaps 2 would pass as ok work!
When applied correctly your stained or sealed floor should be of a natural even colour which as plenty of depth and character. Its our advice to always ask for pictures of completed work from any professional before committing to any contract of works.
And if they say its easy and that they can get you any colour you want! Send them back out the door.
One of the worst examples of a bad floor sanding company is the missing out of a very important procedure we call de nibbing or cutting back of the floor inbetween coats of seal. Not many of them do it, mention it or even know about it. You will never get that smooth silky like touch or look of the floor unless this is done. Its basically a very light sand or buff that takes place after the first coat of seal has dried using a very fine screening disc ( 150 – 200 ) grit.
When sanding or restoring an old wooden floor you will have either old floor protecting products on there ie oils / varnishes and even paint. The other scenario is that there is no products on there which can in some cases be even worse for the floor as over years spills and leaks of fluids penetrate into the wood to cause blotchy stains. This is not too much of an issue as we just have to sand a little deeper into the wood.
Removing these top layers by sanding will leave the bare surface a little soft and tender.
Any wooden floor that’s been fully sanded will loose the surface hardness that its acquired over the years, it usually takes about a year to fully harden to its former glory but it’s a gradual process that starts from the day we finish the last coat.
What you will find with any species of wood is that as soon as you apply any seal or finish
( any fluids really ) after you have sanded and cleaned up is that the wood will react by making all the surface fibres of the wood stick up on end, we call them nibs or firrings. Basically very small fibres of grain that have been pushed over flat from all the sanding and buffing treatment that has occurred will react when drying and spring up on end, but what the first coat of finish will do is hold them up vertically so the next time we run the buffers over the floor it cuts them back (off) leaving a silky smooth look and touch to the surface. We call this process cutting back or denibbing / firring.
Before choosing your stain, varnish or clear finish, it is important to know a little about the timber you will be treating. Each of the popular timbers have some characteristics that could affect the final outcome of your finish and determine your choice of products as most hardwoods and some softwoods contain oils, resins and tannins