Wooden floors have become a favorite to many. This is due to their natural beauty and minimal maintenance needs. Their ability to keep a space warm and comfortable throughout all seasons makes them a go-to option for homeowners and designers alike.
To boost the durability and appearance of wood, you may paint or varnish it. Most people prefer varnish as it helps retain the natural beauty and lasts long. It also prevents scratching and discoloring. How should you go about varnishing your floor? Below is a systematic guide on how to do it:
1) Prepare the Floor
While working with a wooden floor, you need to prepare it first. Remove any furniture on the space that you are working on. This helps in easy application of the varnish and hastens the drying process.
In case of some old floor, you need to remove the previously applied varnish. This can be done using an orbital or belt sander. There are manual and electric sanders, but the most ideal is the electric one.
There are many types and brands of sanders in the market. You can find more details on woodworknation.com on this and more tools you may need during the varnishing process. Once you are done sanding, clean the floor by vacuuming it to remove wood and dust particles. Seal all openings to avoid particles from getting on the floor again.
2) Choose the Varnish
There are different types of varnish available. Varnish can be either oil-based, water-based or solvent-based. They differ in texture, price, and durability. Oil-based varnish takes longer to dry. It also adds a shade of color to the wood. Water-based varnish does not have any odor, and this is ideal for those who find paint and varnish scents unpleasant. It can also be used in a household with children. The solvent-based varnish is smelly and has a high concentration of V.O.C. It can be used when you need fast curing or in spaces that will take time before occupancy for the smell to have varnished. This requires an expert as it dries fast and if poorly applied can leave uneven layers. Once you settle on the varnish to use for your space, it is time to apply it.
3) Apply Varnish
When it comes to varnish application, the first rule is to avoid shaking the varnish container. Shaking the container creates air bubbles. You can use a cloth to apply or quality brushes that do not leave any brush hairs on the floor. Wear protective gear to protect your eyes and body from the smell and chemical composition of the varnish. Apply the varnish in the same direction as the wood grain. This eases the movement of the brush and creates harmony between the wood and varnish. Apply one coat at a time and avoid ruining the smoothness achieved and to avoid bubble formation too. For water and solvent-based varnish, you need to apply two to three layers.
You may need to use a primer to hold them in place while starting. To achieve a perfect or smoother finish, sand lightly through each coat. You can also apply a top coat for a finish. Keep the room ventilated to increase the rate of drying. Avoid stepping and walking on the floor for a day to ensure it achieves the desired compactness.