How to Stain and Polyurethane Hardwood Floors

Learn about the difference between water based and oil based polyurethane and how to be able to apply water based polyurethane over oil based stain.

Installing and finishing hardwood floors is not as scary as it seems as long as you do your research and are fully prepared before beginning. My husband and I recently ripped up ceramic tile, installed new, unfinished red oak flooring in several rooms that butted up to existing red oak flooring that we then completely sanded, stained and polyurethaned. It was a lot of work, but the end result has been more than worth the work!

How to stain and polyurethane hardwood floors

This tutorial is about staining the hardwood floors. I have many videos that showed the process along the way, however, the main video in this tutorial explains all of the tips and tricks I learned along the way, plus tips from Minwax.

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Supplies Needed:

I have included the products that I used along with easy shopping and reference links.


(Minwax has changed from matte to semi-gloss finish)

Wool Applicator

Wool Refills

Push Stick

Dust Mask

Mineral Spirits

Disposable Rubber Gloves

Old t-shirts

Pair of socks (I prefer to wear a pair of old but clean socks rather than shoes)

Applying Stain to Unfinished Wood + Supplies Needed:

YouTube video

Applying Polyurethane: A water based polyurethane over an oil based stain

YouTube video


Tips and Tricks of the Trade:

YouTube video


One Comment

  1. Pingback: Farmhouse Flooring Ideas for Every Room in the House - Atta Girl Says

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