How to Seal Red Oak Floors for Staining


Red oak is a beautiful wood and is wonderful to work with, but it does have one potential flaw when it comes to staining - red oak is very porous. Because of this, it soaks up stains, which can often result in a blotchy or uneven-looking staining job. One way to solve this problem is to partially seal your red oak before you stain it.

Step 1

Clear out all furniture, throw rugs and anything else in the room and then vacuum the floor thoroughly, getting up as much dirt and grime as possible.

Step 2

Damp mop the floor lightly with warm water. Wring your mop well before putting it on the floor as you do not want the floor wet; all you want is to pick up any remaining dirt and wipe off any remaining stuck-on grime. Allow the floor to dry thoroughly. Use fans to speed up the drying process.

Step 3

Mix a solution that is 3/4 de-waxed flooring shellac and 1/4 rubbing alcohol in a bucket and use your floor mop to spread an even, light coat on your floor. You may need to cut in all the edges and corners first using a paint brush.

Step 4

Allow the shellac/alcohol sealer to dry thoroughly. Two thin coats should be sufficient, with 6 to 8 hours of drying time per coat. Again, fans may speed up the drying process.

Step 5

Stain your floors following the manufacturer's instructions once your shellac/alcohol sealer has completely dried.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear a breathing mask when using shellac. Have plenty of ventilation to the outside when using shellac

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • De-waxed flooring shellac
  • Paint brush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Breathing mask
  • Fans
  • Varnish mop


  • Sealing and staining red oak floors
Keywords: sealing red oak floors, staining wood floors, coloring floors

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Seal Red Oak Floors for Staining