How to Seal Unfinished Wood Floor – 6 Easy Steps

how to seal unfinished wood floor

If you’re looking for a fun home improvement project to embark on, then you should think of sealing your unfinished wood floor. If you’re confused about how to go about it, this post on how to seal unfinished wood floors will be quite useful.

Once you have gotten the right sealant, clean the area with a mop and apply the sealant with a brush or rollers.

The advantages of sealing your unfinished wood floor cannot be overstated. Sealants protect your wood floor from damage caused by excessive moisture and sharp objects.

Read: How to seal hardwood floors without sanding

Tools Needed in Sealing Unfinished Wood Floors

  • Paintbrush or roller
  • Vacuum or Broom
  • Polyurethane wood floor sealant
  • Sandpaper
  • Fan
  • Protective gears like respirator masks, gloves

How To Seal Unfinished Wood Floor

Below are steps to steps guide on how to seal unfinished wood floor:

1. Get the Right Sealant

Most homeowners recommend polyurethane sealant as the best sealant for your unfinished floor. Getting the appropriate sealant determines the success of your project.

There are different types of polyurethane wood sealants meant for fences and decks. Make sure you get the sealant specified for indoor hardwood floor use.

Note that polyurethane products have a level of toxicity and thus should be used in ventilated areas. If you have respiratory issues, avoid using it or wear a respirator mask and other safety equipment while applying it.

Read: How to clean unsealed hardwood floor

2. Remove all pieces of Furniture and Open the Windows

You need to clear the room completely. It means all furniture like table, chairs, bed, wardrobe, etc., needs to be removed immediately. You don’t want heavy furniture obstructing your workflow.

You also need to remove all curtains and open the doors to make sure there is cross ventilation. This is because polyurethane products are toxic, and inhalation can cause respiratory issues.

Read: How to move furniture without scratching floor

3. Clean the Area

First, use a broom or vacuum cleaner to clean the floor thoroughly. A vacuum cleaner is recommended for this process because you need to get all the dirt and debris in hidden corners and cervices.

Note that any dirt on the floor will permanently stick to the floor after applying the sealant.

To make sure the floor is properly clean, mop with a microfiber floor. Remember that unfinished wood floor has no business with excessive moisture, so dry-mop instead of wet-mopping.

4. Now Apply the Sealant

This should probably be the fun part of the project – applying the sealant. We assume that at this stage, you have your polyurethane wood sealant ready to go.

Start by dipping your brush or rollers into the sealant and apply all over the unfinished floor in even strokes. Irrespective of the method used, the end game is to ensure the floor is thoroughly coated with the sealant. Use even brush strokes to apply the sealant so it is distributed evenly.

Read: How to seal porcelain tile floor

5. Allow it to Dry

Remember, we mentioned the need for the room to be ventilated when using polyurethane wood sealants. This is because the chemical used in most polyurethane products are highly toxic.

The windows should be open so that the sealant can dry. Alternatively, you can put on an overhead fan to hasten the drying process. At this point, avoid stepping on the floor until the sealant completely dries off.

The type of sealant used will determine how long it will take to dry. Typically, most polyurethane wood sealants take about 12 hours to dry. Leaving it overnight will also be ideal.

6. Use the Sandpaper to Remove Rough Spot

The work doesn’t end after the sealant dries. Sometimes, no matter how even your brush strokes are when applying the sealant, it will still dry unevenly and leave clumps. Sometimes, dirt and debris are stuck underneath the sealant giving the floor a rough outlook.

To smoothen out these rough spots, use sandpaper and grind out the rough areas. At this stage, you need to wear safety glasses and a respirator or face mask while sanding.

7. Apply Another Coat of Sealant and Allow it Dry

Yes, you are gradually coming to the end of your project. Once you’re satisfied with the smoothness of the floor, sweep out the sandpaper and apply a second coat of polyurethane. Allow it to dry overnight. Optionally, you can apply a third coat depending on how your wood floor absorbed the sealant.

Read: How to make unfinished wood floor shine


This post on how to seal unfinished wood floors discusses all the steps and procedures involved required. It doesn’t sound so difficult, does it?

Remember, safety should be the watchword in all home improvement projects. A visit to the ER during the duration of your project is not part of the plan!

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