Why do I need to seal my Wooden Floor, and what are my options?

It is important to protect the wooden surface with an oil and/or sealer; this could be with a Varnish/lacquer or water based oils.

Varnishes/lacquers are low-maintenance but would require sanding of the entire surface to do maintenance or repairs.

Water based Oils require a bit more care, but are easier to repair and maintain and they do not normally require the floor to be sanded down to do a restoration of colour. Water based Oils are also available in a variety of colours giving you many options and finishes to use.

You could also have a sealer applied over the water based oil to increase the wearing abilities of the Oil.

Staining a wooden floor can result in many desired effects:

  • Enhancing the woods natural grain
  • Highlighting the texture of the wood
  • Adding a splash of exotic colour
  • Creating a complimentary or contrasting effect against the finishing product

Sealing the floor with an Oil or Varnish:

  • Even though a stain might be applied to the floor for the desired effect, it still needs to be sealed to protect the wood.
  • Hard-Wax Oils can add colour, highlighting the wood natural patina and keeping its inherent beauty
  • Refreshing or updating the look of your flooring to be in line with current trends

While staining wood is predominantly used as an option for aesthetic purposes only and offers little or no protection to the actual wood, Some Water based Oils have great protective qualities and can be used to add colour as well.

Repeated exposure to water and sunlight can damage the wood. By using a Wax overlay, you can protect the wood from being damaged or discoloured. Wax overlays form a barrier over your wood that assists in making the surface waterproof.

Wax Overlays, penetrate the wood deeply or bond to the surface molecules of the wood, protecting and enhancing it, thus allowing it to be easily maintained. This is particularly effective on heavy-duty surfaces such as floors. An extra layer of protection can be added with a Varnish if needed for commercial applications, or even the application of a 2K sealer can be applied after oiling.

Take into account the colour of the stain, the species of your wood and how porous this is, as this will affect the final finish of your surface. Every type of wood and wood surface finish (Smooth or Brushed) accepts stain differently. It is very important that you test your stain on a piece of scrap wood first, or on a less visible area, to ensure you will get the desired effect.

Stains can be mixed together to create the exact tone you require. You can lighten a stain by adding a natural finish stain. You can match an existing wood by mixing stains together. Ensure that you mix enough to complete the entire job as mixing a second batch might result in the colours not matching exactly.

At FinFloor we offer 2 ranges to choose from either Oleum or Rubio Monocoat.

How to Stain Wooden Floors


If the wood has been previously treated or painted this will need to be stripped first right down to the natural raw wood. In order for the stain to penetrate the wood, and/or for the water based oil to bond effectively to achieve the best result the wood has to be in a raw state and be free of dust or dirt.

    • Fill any cracks and joints using wood filler.
      Pro Tip: A small amount of the water based oil stain/ wax that will be used in the project can be mixed with the wood filler to achieve better results.
    • Sand your wood according to the desired surface treatment (Smooth or Brushed). Always sand in the direction of the wood grain and not across it. At first, use coarser grit paper such as P80 and work your way to a finer grade such as a P120. The higher the number, the finer the grit. Clean away all the sanding dust with a vacuum, paint brush or tack cloth. Make sure at this stage that the surface is smooth and free from any dried glue, especially in the joint areas.
      Pro Tip: Use a wood cleaner to achieve the best results

Staining (Optional):

Depending on the product to be used, you may want to apply a wood sealer, water based oil with 2k sealer or conditioner to help the stain cure more evenly. This will help prevent your stain from looking blotchy.

  • Apply the desired stain, lacquer or varnish in the direction of the wood grain, or when applying water based oils, these must be applied in a circular motion. Cloths, sponges ( for water based oils) or paint brushes (varnishes/lacquers) could be used depending on the product being applied. Take care to apply the stain evenly to prevent overlaps (darker/lighter areas). Some products require more than 1 application to achieve the desired result. Remember to clean/wash all cloths, sponges or brushes when complete.


  • Using the brush-on method, for lacquers and varnishes, will flood the wood and allow the stain to soak in deeply. It is however very important to wipe off the excess stain. You will need to do this in the direction of the wood grain. Depending on your desired effect, the excess stain can be wiped off shortly after application creating a lighter softer colour, or left on longer creating a deeper colour effect. Work the paintbrush in long even strokes gradually lifting your brush/roller towards the end as to avoid demarcation lines. This technique is called feathering.
  • Respect the drying times as per the Technical Data Sheets (TDS) of the respective products before applying additional coats or applying the desired sealer.

Pro Tip: When working with wood stain wear rubber gloves.

Protect, colour and seal your wood:

Make sure to stir or shake the can thoroughly before application to bring the dyes and pigments up off of the bottom of the tin.
There are two possible methods you can use when applying a Wax/Oil on wood:
Hand Application – Use an application pad, cloth or rag for small areas and repairs
Machine Application – Use a floor buffing machine

  • Hand application for small areas or touch-ups: Use a hand applicator pad, cloth or rag. Dampen the pad/rag with the oil to be used, and apply in a circular motion applying pressure so the product can penetrate the grain of the wood. This method should leave very little excess and is more of a one step process. Depending on the product, you may leave the product to react/penetrate with the wood for 5-10 minutes, and remove surplus oils with a clean cloth/rag. Depending on the product used a 2nd or 3rd application might be required as per the TDS (Technical Data Sheet).
    Pro Tip: An applicator pad will use less of the product.
  • Machine application for large areas/restoration of floors: Use a floor buffing machine for the best results. Use a red buffing pad on the floor buffing machine to apply the Wax/Oil to the Wooden Floor. Work in small sections where you apply for 5-10 minutes, and then remove surplus oils with a white buffing pad. Work in sections like this until the entire area has been sealed.
    Pro Tip: Buff the floor a second time with a clean white/beige pad to ensure the best results.