Changing the Color of your Hardwood Floors: How Hard Can it Be?

Let’s face it, hardwood floors are easier on allergies and cleaning hardwood floors is usually pretty easy. When you live with children, however, it is likely that your hardwood floors have dulled or become scratched over time. This can make your home feel dreary or even dirty no matter how hard you clean. One way to fix this is to have the floors refinished. But what happens if you are just plain tired of the color all together? Maybe it’s time to change the color of your hardwood flooring all together.

When Can I Change the Color of My Hardwood Floor?

In general, you can usually change the color of your hardwood flooring as long as the flooring can be sanded and refinished. If the floors are made of solid hardwood, they can be sanded and refinished multiple times. This means that you can change the color of your floor even if you or the previous owner have previously refinished the floor.

There are a few caveats that you should be aware of. If you have hardwood floors that have been worn down to the tongue and groove, you may need to replace your wood flooring if you want to change your floor’s color. Additionally, you may not be able to change the color of engineered hardwood flooring. The thicker the layer of hardwood, the more likely you will be able to change the color.


Sanding and Staining Your Hardwood Floor

It is not typically difficult to sand down your hardwood floor. However, the sanding process can take some time as you may need to do it multiple times depending on the type of hardwood flooring you have. You want to sand your hardwood down until it is smooth and able to hold the color when you add the stain.

The next step is to actually choose the stain that you want. There are many different stains you can go with, including natural stains, dark stains or stains that have a red or gray tone. Be aware that you will want to test several different stains to see which one you like best. Different stains can look very different depending on the type of wood your floors are made of as well as the lighting in the room.

Next, the stain has to be applied to the wood. Once the stain has dried, you will want to add two to three coats of polyurethane to keep the color vibrant and resistant to fading. Each coat should be left to dry for about 24 hours. Buff the hardwood floors in between each coat to keep your floor smooth. Keep in mind, this could be a 4 day job given the proper time it takes to let the stain and polyurethane dry between each of the coats.

Using a Glaze to Change Your Floor Color

When you add a stain to your floor, the color seeps into the flooring. This prevents the color from wearing away over time. Alternatively, a glaze just sits on the surface of the floor. The glaze can be removed when you move furniture around or if you have pets or children that occasionally engage in mad dashes across the floor. Although this can leave patches of lighter wood over time, you do not have to deal with sanding the flooring before changing the color.

With that being said, the floor will still need to be prepared. This can be done by using a floor buffer and a sanding screen to lightly sand the hardwood. You can find a ready-made glaze or even make your own custom color by adding your desired wood-tone pigments to a water- or oil-based finish. This glaze must then be applied to floor in even strokes. Once the glaze dries, you can add several coats of a clear finish to keep the color from wearing off.

Changing the color of your wood flooring can revitalize the room and make your home feel more put together. If you take the time to change the color of your floors correctly, you will love the result.

Bio –
This guest post was contributed by MacDonald Hardwoods of Denver, CO. Macwoods offers a variety of services for your floors from installation to flooring equipment rentals to do it yourself classes.


  • Nikolina

    We just moved in to an old house with really damaged over 40 years old hardwood floors and I’m not sure we’ll have a choice but to replace them completely…

  • Tamra Phelps

    I’ve never had the gumption to try this, lol. But I love hard wood floors & lately I’ve been drawn to the really dark stains.

  • michele soyer

    These floors look beautiful.. When we still lived in the city my husband did a project like this and the floors look awesome…


    All I could think about when reading this was the time my sister owned a huge Victorian house & was renovating it while living in it. She’d sanded the hardwood floors & started painting one of the bedroom floors in white and yes, she painted herself into a corner. Her cellphone was downstairs and rather than ruin her handiwork she sat there & watched the paint dry!

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