Hardwood Floor Refinishing – What is Water Popping?
Water popping is a process that opens the pores in hardwood flooring for more consistent stain penetration. It involves adding water to the wood before applying the stain. It will make the stain/color look more even and can allow you to go a bit darker and deeper with very dark stains (such as ebony, Jacobean and dark walnut).
The process of water-popping entails applying water to the floor after sanding it, and before applying stain. When done right, water-popping can help you achieve a more even and rich appearance in the stain. The water-popping process also makes sanding marks blend into the rest of the wood grain, helping to reduce swirl marks and other marks from the big machine.
A few benefits of water-popping a floor before staining it include:
Allows for a more even application of the stain
Helps the stain penetrate the wood
Helps to reduce sanding marks
More intense color
By raising the wood fibers, the finish will penetrate deeper and result in a stronger finish.
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FLIP2 professional opinion is that it’s better to leave water popping and staining of hardwood floors up to the experts. FLIP2 have spent years perfecting our techniques, and both water popping and staining – while not extremely difficult – have many failure points that could easily and very quickly ruin all the time, effort and money you’ve put into your hardwood floors.