Tips and Tricks for Staining Timber Floors


  • Before sanding, all putty should be done. An initial rough sanding can be done if the floors are extremely uneven or rough. 
  • The surface of epoxy putty and resins should be slightly roughened to match that of the timber. It will appear as shiny spots on satin finishes if it is not. To highlight “natural” imperfections, you could use black (or ebony) putty with gum veins. Use a color that is as close to the timber floor staining as possible for man-made holes like nail holes. The putty will absorb any stain that is applied to it.


  • Sanding should be completed at 120 grit. These imperfections are highlighted by pigments that settle into scratches. The less pigment that is absorbed, the finer the sanding.
  • To improve penetration, vacuum the surface.
  • All oils and stains can be purchased in sample sizes if you are unsure about which color is best. Make sure to use the same grit as the floor when you make a sample.
  • You should also consider the color variation of timbers. To ensure that it is exactly what you expect, sample a section with a light and dark section.

Use the non-toxic wood stains to oil

  • You can walk on the oily surface, but not like a varnish. Be sure to wipe the oil off the floor as you leave the room, wiping away any footprints. It is important not to leave the surface wet as it can become sticky and not dry.
  • Not all timbers can withstand staining. E.g. A white stain can cause jarrah to look cloudy if it is stained with red dye. The more wood you have, the easier it will take in a stain.
  • Apply oil to a small area, e.g. 20 Leave it on for 20 minutes depending on the weather, then wipe off any excess. It can become tacky quickly if it is hot, humid, or in full sunlight.
  • If you are working in large areas, it is a good idea to use a machine like a Poly Vac or Canterbury. This is more comfortable for the knees and gives you a smoother finish.
  • You don’t need to “cut back”, as oils won’t cause fibers to stick. A white pad (non-abrasive) can be used to smoothen the surface before applying the second or third coats. The white pad flattens wax crystals, giving it a more shiny appearance.
  • Please allow an additional day between coats on days with high humidity. You can also leave an additional day (2 days) before your clients or you move in. It is important to have adequate light and ventilation.
  • Apply the oil by using a wide brush to paint the skirting boards.
  • Don’t apply two coats at once. The curing process is affected by light and ventilation.


  • Some micro-fiber cloths can strip the oil wax layer, leaving the surface looking “dry”. Use cotton mop, or very old micro fiber (not as aggressive).
  • Important. Important: Do not clean the floor for a short time (at least 6-8 weeks). After that, use Trena Ph neutral cleaner. It is a mild, effective concentrate. You can also use it on other surfaces.