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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Painted Plywood Floors - Basketball Court - Applying the Stain

With the hard part out of the way, your plywood should start to resemble a hardwood court, but it's much too high in contrast.  The wood grain is definitely there, but it's a little overbearing at the moment.  Let's take care of that by adding a wood stain, the final color of the court itself and something to bring all the steps together.

Right now, your floor looks something like this:


Painted Plywood - Gel stain applied...time for the final color!
Gel stain applied...time for the final color!

I chose to paint sections at a time, separating the planks individually.  I felt that this would give me a nice, subtle variation in color to make the planks look separate, as opposed to painting a large section at a time.  It may have taken a little longer as a result, but I think the final product turned out much better because of it.

My daughter chose a very dark stain for her final color.  Personally, I think I would have taken it down a step or two...or 5 :)  But she really wanted a dark court, and the color she chose definitely gave her that.  After laying down a plastic painters sheet, I began working, going row by row, distibuting the stain as evenly as possible across the floor.  After several minutes, it began to take shape:

Painted Plywood - Applying wood stain
Slowly applying wood stain, one section at a time

You can still see the subtle wood grain coming through the stain, and slight color variations giving it a more natural look.  We were all really excited to see the results of all of our work, and within a few more minutes, we had a finished floor!  Admittedly, toward the end I started to cheat and did larger sections at a time.  As it dried, the color variations became more subtle, but for a time, it stood out where I had stopped with each pass.  I would advise patience in your project to get the most consistent results possible.

Painted Plywood - Finished!  Wood Stain Applied
Finished!  Wood stain applied over gel stain

Congratulations on making it this far!  You have a pretty realistic hardwood floor, and if that was all you were going for, then your work is finished!  Start applying polyeurethane and call it done.  But we're not finished...in fact, we're just getting started.  In our next step, we'll step setting the groundwork for our court lines and bring this basketball court to life!