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Refinish hardwood floor - steps after staining

I just finished sanding and staining a hallway with hardwood floors. I used water-based stain. What steps should I take (if any) before applying the water-based polyurethane? Should I vacum and use a damp rag to pick up any dust? I'm worried that the vacum might scuff the stain. I'm worried thatthe damp rag will raise the grain, but does that even matter since I'm putting on polyurethane?

I read that I shouldn't use a tack cloth on water-based stains.

Re: Refinish hardwood floor - steps after staining


If all else fails, read the directions on the polyurethane :)!
The water based urethanes usually have a separate sanding sealer, which is followed by at least 3 coats of the urethane varnish. Oil based urethanes are usually their own sealer and usually only require a total of 3 coats.

Seriously, I would follow the directions on the varnish label as to preparation, sanding, dust removal etc.

Personally, I am still partial to the oil based products. Professionals tend to prefer the water based products because the whole process can be completed in one day, unlike with the oil versions. The water versions also have less odor.

I would doubt that a dampened rag would raise the grain any more than the water based stain already has.

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