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Old 05-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
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Any stain gurus in da house - stair refinishing


I have a set of quartersawn white oak stairs that need some stain and finish.
Treads, stringers, handrails, etc.

The goal is to sand to 120, stain, seal, seal, seal and then sand 180, 220 and maybe more.

Can any of ya'll recommend any product recommendations or stain coloring.
Here's a picture of the finished flooring. The 1st pic is fairly true to color. I'd like the stairs to be a couple shades lighter than the floor but still *match* the overall color of the flooring.

Water or Oil based.
I don't mind the time involved between oil coats...
I've read water can be real watery to apply - was looking at Bon Kemi Mega or Basic Street Shoes.

I would not even have the slightest clue on staining yet.
Thoughts, suggestions.





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Old 05-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #2
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Any stain gurus in da house - stair refinishing


Making a custom stain, and enough of it to do the whole job, is kinda an art form itself. It is blending stains together and testing on a sample piece of the actual wood that will be used. That floor is already a darker wood than the reddish sample you showed.
Take fingerful of mineral spirits and put it on the raw wood- that is what color it would look like with just a clear oil finish.
I would stain in oil and finish in either oil or a really good floor rated waterborne.
I like ZAR products- and either their stain or Modern Masters. My fav clear is Zar Ultra Max- waterborne Alkyd .
If you can get some pro help on the staining, it would be worth it. At least good local hands on advice. Have samples of the actual wood and where you want it to go.

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Old 05-06-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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Any stain gurus in da house - stair refinishing


Ignore the red flooring. The tile in that pic is what is *true to color* to the finished flooring in the pic below.
Thanks for the feedback. I figuerd and you confirmed - it's above the skillset on quality on what I want this stairs to be.....getting it right the 1st time on both finish and color..

I've looked on - off for a finisher. Not sure what tradesman I should be calling.
Wood flooring guy.
The finishers I found were more furniture finishers.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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Any stain gurus in da house - stair refinishing


Yes- a floor finisher is what you want. They have access to some pretty specific products- even better than the ZAR. But Not all are equal- get some references. And be very clear on what you expect- better communication leads to better results.

The white tile? So you are looking for what is sometimes called a 'pickled" finish- meaning more of a colored semi transparent look. You def want to finish with a waterborne. An oil will yellow on that and look pretty bad.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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Any stain gurus in da house - stair refinishing


Actually, it's the wood tile that I'm looking to compliment the stair color-finish wise.
There is alot more dark undertones .....than light. I don't want to go too dark on the stairs though.

Underneath the stairs, there will be a walnut built in...so I'm not looking to keep with the dark wood tones. The finish on the built in is just oil rubbed finish - no stain , well maybe a hint of orange but it's a very natural finish.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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Any stain gurus in da house - stair refinishing


Again Mobile, I am totally confused by another of your posts. Please explain again what picture one and two are about? In relation to each other and your desire to find a stain expert?

Your are trying to match the unfinished piece in photo one to what the floor is in photo 2 but again you don't actually have anything that looks like photo 2 but the finished floor in photo one.

On to either the floor shown in photo 1 or photo 2 you are going to build custom walnut something under the staircase and one supposes stain that to pick up the dark tones in photo 2. But not to dark and should you use oil or water based? Or call somebody to do this for you?

We have yet to see any piece of your stair structure and what it might actually look like.

What exactly are you asking us to do? Or stain?

I personally think what you really need is to find an interior designer that can work with you. I think you will like the experience. You seem to have some money but they work mostly on commission with regard to things they find for you and you cannot on your own. A good one will find you all the people you need to pull of your ideas too. And will be closer at hand to you to try to understand them.

Last edited by user1007; 05-08-2012 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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Any stain gurus in da house - stair refinishing


The product is quartersawn white oak stairs.
I did not take a picture as I assume ya'll know what quartersawn white oak looks like raw

The 1st pic - ignore the wood flooring in the background but the wood tile that is on the left. On my monitor, the color of the tile is true to color (colors on every monitor, scree, etc) is hard to judge.
The 2nd pic is the finished tiled flooring.

I was simply asking what stain would you recommend for the stairs to be somewhat with the same *color species* of the tiled flooring. I don't want it to go too dark, like most stairs are or just plain yellow oil, like most oiled oak floors.

BJ was on point and cleared up that stain guys make up their own receipe...
Prior to his confirmation, I was just doing homework as getting it right and done the 1st time, requires homework...

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