Water will raise the grain of the wood (make little fibers stand up). Before water staining a floor I recommend wetting the entire floor with water first allowing the grain to rise then sanding with the grain when dry. You may need to do this twice. Once the grain has been raised and sanded it will not keep coming up. You would then mix up the water-soluble aniline dye concentration and stain the wood floor.
Stain boards lengthwise one end to the other from one side of the room to the other. Only stop at a seam between the boards. You may get a lap mark if you allow the stain to dry in the middle of a board. You can use a paintbrush, roller, sponge, or sponge mop for application. (Wrap sponge mop with a nylon stocking to stop it from breaking up). Once you have the color you want, proceed to finishing. Don’t worry if the grain is still raised in a couple of spots. You can go cut those rough areas off with grit sandpaper after the first or second coat of floor finish.
Oil stains are soluble in oil base solvents such as mineral spirits (paint thinner) turpentine, naphtha, and also our Citrus Solvent. Mix the oil-soluble aniline dye crystals to the proper dilution with solvent. Once you have the color you like proceed to staining the floor, working the baseboards lengthwise with the grain from one side of the room to another. You can use an applicator such as a brush roller, sponge, or sponge mop to apply stain. With oil solvents, the room must be properly ventilated. Usually, a box fan blowing out a window will draw enough air out. The advantage of oil-soluble stains is that they do not raise the grain. Also Citrus Solvent and mineral spirits tend to dry slower providing more time to work the excess stain. When dry proceed with finishing.
Because oil stains are oil soluble. When the tung oil is applied over an oil dye stain. The tung oil and solvent can lift the oil stain into the finish. You need to be very careful not to have a smeary result.
Mixing Stain and Pure Tung Oil
You can also mix oil-soluble aniline dye crystals with Pure Tung Oil. First mix the crystals with a very concentrated solution of solvents such as odorless mineral spirits, Citrus Solvent, and crystals. Be sure all the crystals are dissolved into the solvent. When they are dissolved add to the Pure Tung Oil. This will make the oil tinted. You will not be able to get your wood colored as dark as if you stained the wood directly itself but this can add some color if you just want a little color.
Anilines dissolved in alcohol have too fast drying times for large applications such as floors. There can also be lapping problems because of the speed at which the solvent evaporates.
The above methods will provide a clear transparent wood finish for your entire floor. The results you see will be dramatic if you have only used over-the-counter stains in the past for DIY home improvement projects.
Anilines are available from: