Now that the sanding is done as seen here in my prior post http://agirlcandoit.com/2011/05/09/how-to-refinish-hardwood-floors/ the floors are ready to apply the new finish. For hardwoods, I recommend a stain and 3 coats of polyurethane. I chose MinWax’s oil based stain in Jacobean, which is a dark brownish black color like coffee beans. I chose the darker color not only for aesthetic purposes, but as I discovered, it hides imperfections in the floors very well.
In small spaces, I recommend using a brush. but in the larger areas, the stain is applied easily with a paint roller and an extension pole. Here you can see how it hides all the imperfections and repairs made to the original hardwoods very well. When patching wood to be sealed, make sure you get the wood filler that says “paintable AND stainable”.
The stain will be “tacky” to the touch for several hours. You don’t want to proceed to sealing until the stain is completely dry which typically takes at least 24 hours if not slightly more, especially in humid conditions.
Once the stain is completely dry, you can proceed to sealing. Minwax makes a Polyurethane for Floors; I chose a satin finish which will look shiny when wet as you can see in the below photo but dries to a nice subdued finish. It applies easily with a lambswool applicator attached to a painters pole. After about 4 hours, the manufacturers label says that you can reapply a 2nd coat without sanding in between. If you wait to let the first coat dry, you should plan to sand the area with a fine grit sandpaper and remove all sanding dust before proceeding. In this case, I opted to reapply the 2nd and 3rd coats so that I could eliminate the sanding. A word of warning here and that is to wear a face mask meant to block odors because this stuff is very noxious! Allow at least 48 hours before walking on the surface.
The finished look: