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Old 05-04-2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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Refinishing wood steps that were covered by carpet, removing discoloration.


I'm trying to finish wood steps that were carpeted. After sanding them I've noticed they are discolored where they were carpeted compared to the small area that was exposed for the banister spindles. Also discolored around scratch mark apparently from where carpet was cut. I've tried oxalic acid to bleach it. It only worked for the black marks from the tack strip nails not for the discolored area. How can I even out the natural wood color?

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Old 05-04-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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Refinishing wood steps that were covered by carpet, removing discoloration.


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Originally Posted by ransmit View Post
I'm trying to finish wood steps that were carpeted. After sanding them I've noticed they are discolored where they were carpeted compared to the small area that was exposed for the banister spindles. Also discolored around scratch mark apparently from where carpet was cut. I've tried oxalic acid to bleach it. It only worked for the black marks from the tack strip nails not for the discolored area. How can I even out the natural wood color?
Not sure if the discoloration can be reversed or evened out. If it can't be done, why not consider painting the steps (treads) a dark rich brown or even black, and paint the risers, spindles and trim a light complimentary color or white semigloss. Not sure what style the rest of your house is, but I like the look of painted steps I'm about to do mine too, my steps and spindles are stained a dark walnut but the look seems dated to me.

An example of painted treads.

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Old 05-04-2011, 11:39 PM   #3
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Refinishing wood steps that were covered by carpet, removing discoloration.


How much sanding did you do?? I've redone stairs once before and they needed a lot of sanding to get the colour to match.

I had to sand with a very corse grit to really get through some layers and once the colour matched I went to a finer grit to smooth it all out before adding the finish.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:01 AM   #4
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Refinishing wood steps that were covered by carpet, removing discoloration.


The issue you'll have is the cut mark from removing the carpet. When you stain the stairs, this will be much darker then the surrounding wood.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:57 AM   #5
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Refinishing wood steps that were covered by carpet, removing discoloration.


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Originally Posted by Ron6519
The issue you'll have is the cut mark from removing the carpet. When you stain the stairs, this will be much darker then the surrounding wood.
Ron
But that "wood"  depend on how deep the cut marks are. If he sands to the depth of the cut marks that will eliminate them all together.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:28 AM   #6
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Refinishing wood steps that were covered by carpet, removing discoloration.


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But that "wood"  depend on how deep the cut marks are. If he sands to the depth of the cut marks that will eliminate them all together.
Not necessarily. The knife blade will compress the wood fibers below the cut line and cause the stain to absorb differently in that area. I'd experiment using a wood conditioner on scrap wood before I applied it to the stairs.
Ron

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