Tips to Help You Stain a Red Oak Floor

red oak floor – A naturally durable material, red oak wood is a popular choice for flooring and when properly stained or sealed, provides a beautiful surface that is easy to clean and maintain. The open pores in red oak absorb more stain than most other species, helping to bring out the wood’s warm, rich color and strong grain pattern. Though a time-consuming task, buying unfinished red oak flooring and staining it yourself can save you a lot of money and allow you to pick the perfect stain color to complement your home’s decor.

red oak floor
Red Oak – Cherry Stain – Hardwood Flooring Home Interior Design Ideas

How to Stain red oak floor

  1. Vacuum the red oak flooring to remove dust and dirt, paying special attention to the corners of the room. Wipe the surface with a cloth to ensure the floor is clean.
  2. Shake the unopened can of stain for several minutes to thoroughly mix it. Open the can with a flat-head screwdriver, and mix the stain with the screwdriver or a stirring stick.
  3. Dip a clean, dry cloth or sponge in a small amount of stain, and gently rub it on the red oak flooring to apply the stain. Use long, straight strokes to evenly blend the stain together and reduce the appearance of streaks and blotches. Wipe excess stain away with another clean, dry cloth. Continue until the entire floor is covered.
  4. Allow the stain to dry for 24 hours or as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions until the surface is dry to the touch.
  5. Apply multiple coats of stain in the same manner to achieve a darker, richer shade. Allow the stain to dry for approximately 24 hours between coats.
  6. Allow the final coat to dry, then wipe a clean, dry cloth over the floor to polish the surface.

Things You Will Need

  • Breathing mask
  • Vacuum
  • Clean cloths
  • Sponge
  • Water- or oil-based stain
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Stirring stick


  • Try applying grain filler, also called “pore filler,” before applying stain to reduce the dark grain pattern commonly found in red oak flooring.
  • Test a small area of the floor with stain before beginning the whole floor to check the appearance because the color can sometimes vary from the samples in the store.
  • To prevent an uneven appearance, do not allow excess stain to puddle on the floor.


  • Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for your specific type of stain.
  • Most stains produce harmful, flammable vapors. Wear a breathing mask, keep your work area well-ventilated and extinguish pilot lights, cigarettes and open flames in the area.

Red Oak Floor

Scroll to Top