How To: Paint Timber Floors & Tips- Floor Sanding Part 3

August 10, 2018

Once you have chosen the product to suit the finish you require, next step is preparing to paint.

One deciding factor on applying your timber finish can depend on weather- the colder months can be an issue if no one is in the property and it is an older style floor. Often older houses can be drafty underneath which can reduce the temperature, which in-turn affects the drying times. Too hot and it may tack off quickly which means stains can leave lap marks if not maintaining a wet edge.

Make sure you have all your equipment and safety gear ready before starting. Water based clears will be less potent than oil or spirit based, and it is advisable to use a mask when applying the more potent varieties. Be sure to ventilate the home and avoid sleeping in the property if you are sensitive to smells. Banding can occur if your acrylic walls are still curing, when using oil based finishes on the floor. This can be avoided, if you allow at least  7 days before painting with the oil floor coating. Or if you are going to paint the walls after the floor, make sure the floor coating has cured fully. Wear gloves when handling stains, as staining can occur to clothing and fingers.

Applying Floor Finish with the grain along the boards.

Applying Floor Finish with the grain along the boards.

When ready to coat, apply product along the timber grain, across the full length of the boards. Maintain a wet edge to help reduce lap marks. Ensure uniform coverage and thorough saturation of porous timber, joins, cracks and corners. Usually allow overnight to dry with most flooring products, always following the manufacturer’s specifications, or if unsure the team at Paintright Colac can assist with the products requirements to suit your environment.

 Most products are applied by brush, roller or floor applicator.- the exception would be stains where you may also use a rag is you want more control with the depth of colour.

As a general rule 3 coats is minimum when coating floors, unless it has been coated before and only a light sand was required to prepare the floor. When bare timber is first coated, the product can cause the timber grain to stand up. All timber is different, some timber the grain doesn’t lift as much as others.

Haymes - Preparing and Coating a Timber Floor You Tube

Haymes – Preparing and Coating a Timber Floor You Tube

You will need to lightly sand after your 1st coat if this happens, your socks will catch on your floor otherwise. You use an orbital sander (not a drum sander) to lightly sand the area. The orbital sander has sanding screens that just knock the top off the timber grain to smooth the surface for your second coat.


Protect the coating against abrasive contact such as heavy foot traffic and moving furniture for 14  days. After 14-21 days the finish can be cleaned with a mild detergent solution and a broom. To extend the life of the finish, use floor glides under chair and furniture legs and sweep the floor regularly.

Common Issues/ Mistakes to avoid
1. What Not to Do - When Testing Stains

1. What Not to Do – when testing Stains

2. Check flooring before coating for staining before Coating

2. Check flooring before coating for staining before Coating

  1. Each stain will need to be sanded out to re-coat and will leave an imprint in the timber. This will make coating difficult as it will come through patchy



2. Stains that are imbeded in the timber will be more noticable with a clear coat- wood stain may be the only solution to hide these issues. Common problems are water, animal urine and Fats/oils from kitchen.