We talked about the basics of water popping in the last blog and how easily it can make certain species appear richer and more vibrant of colour. Among all, oak is the best recipient for water popping when it is sandwiched between the acts of sanding and staining. Some species such as Maple, Birch and more are better off without this process altogether.
As we discussed before, the layer of water needs to be even and thin. The same is also true for the wood of the floor, it has to be evenly sanded as well for the procedure to be successful. That means you have to be careful during all aspects of your flooring renovations.
In this article, we will be going over how to perform the water popping process, what benefits it has or what precaution you have to take. It has to be noted that if you don’t feel totally confident handling everything on your own, you can always call on the professional’s help. That may cost you a little, but in comparison, a botched job at water popping would cost you twice as much.
How to Perform Water Popping
At its most basic level, water popping is just putting some water on the floor. That is all. Sure, other nuances come into play but if you feel daunted by the project for some reason, it helps to remember how simple it really is.
Now when it comes to the first step i.e. sanding of the floor, it is essential that you sand the floor evenly and don’t leave out any areas uneven. It is not advised to pass the grit half-heartedly or use different machines for different parts of the room. Everything has to be the same throughout the room. This way, you drastically decrease the chances of doing a bad job with water popping itself.
Next up is the act of laying out a thin mist or sheet of water on your floor’s wood in order to open up the pores in the wood and make it more susceptible to accepting the stains. There are many ways you can complete this step. Mop the floor carefully, ensuring equal amounts of water. It is simple and accessible but leaves something be desired as there is a chance that you will drench some parts of the floor in more water than others. Still, when done carefully, it can be effective.
You can also use a T-bar which is a tool often used in the finishing of floors. It can be utilised rather easily compared to a mop and can distribute the water evenly across the length and breadth of the floor. You can also sprinkle water on the freshly sanded floor if you think it is the easiest way for you to guarantee the uniformity of water layer atop the floor. Either way, the point is to make certain there are no areas given more or less water than others.
Once you are finished with both of these steps, you have to leave the floor to rest, for the wood to absorb the moisture and open itself up. Refrain from walking or putting any heavy objects on the floor for a day or two, whatever suits your schedule. If you have to, wear socks and move about within but it is advised to keep the room empty and devoid of any traffic.
Finally, you can apply the stains to the floor and see the results for yourself. If the colour is blotchy in places, you would have to do everything again if you want the blotchiness gone. That happens either due to uneven sanding that cancels out the even spread of water, or it happens due to uneven application of water. That is why it is important to take great care when doing either of those two jobs.
If you did everything right, you would then have a floor with vibrant and deep colours which means success and a job done right.