How to Burn-Stain Hardwood Floors

Burn-staining your hardwood floors will provide a rustic look that other methods can't match. Burn-staining requires the use of a torch and water to stain your hardwood floor, but the utmost care is required when using this method. The average do-it-yourself homeowner can burn-stain her wood floors in one to two days, depending on the size and scope of the project.

Step 1

Sand the wood floors using a hardwood floor sander. Use various sanding grits, such as 60-, 80- and 120- grit papers, to prepare and smooth your wood floor before burn-staining. Then use a floor polisher loaded with sanding screen to completely smooth the wood surface.

Step 2

Vacuum all dust from the wood floor using a shop vac. Leaving the wood dust on the floor could cause a fire when the torch is applied to the wood.

Step 3

Apply light heat to your wood floor using a hand-held torch. Don't leave the heat in one area too long, and try to burn the floor in patterns that look natural, such as with the wood grain; however, if you wish, you can burn circles or dots to make the floor look industrially aged. You may also choose to burn some areas a little deeper than others. Whatever pattern you choose is up to you.

Step 4

Keep the burned areas of your floor sponged with water after you have completed the burning. Never leave an area smoking or simmering with sparks; this could result in a house fire.

Step 5

Smooth the burned wood surface with a floor polisher and sanding screen. Use 220-grit screen to complete this step. Because water will raise the grain of the wood, you may need to screen the floor several times in between each burning procedure. Try not to remove the burn marks from the floor, but sand enough so that the floor regains its smooth feel.

Step 6

Finish the floor with a satin, semi-gloss or gloss polyurethane finish. The finish will preserve your work and prevent the burn marks from being worn away by foot traffic. You will need to screen in between each coat of finish, as well. Use a brush applicator specifically designed for applying polyurethane finish. Pour the finish directly from the can and onto the floor, spreading the finish out with the applicator.

Billy McCarley

Billy McCarley has been freelancing online since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.