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Old 01-09-2013, 01:11 AM   #1
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What to finish my pine stairs with


Hello everyone, I'm John, new here and I am remodeling my house. I believe this to be southern yellow pine. There's so many opinions on what to use on pine, my heads spinning. Is this yellow pine and what would be the best option for staining to match my railings. Previously had carpet and the railings were done when I was a kid and have no idea what they are color wise or wood wise. So far I have sanded with 60, 120 n 220.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:17 AM   #2
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What to finish my pine stairs with


Here's the railing
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:58 AM   #3
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What to finish my pine stairs with


Hey J, first thing I would do until you figure it out is put rosin paper on the steps to protect them. It looks to me like they just put a clear right over the pine handrail. In looking down on the top pic I see no difference between the rail and the treads, and I thought it was all brand new. Since the rail was done when you were a kid, I would assume it was an oil/alkyd clear, which will have ambered by this time. I'd feel safe to say that's all you need. You might want to run this thread through the flooring forum. My opinion is of a painter.

Guess I should add. Whatever you get, and that depends on what the government in your area will let you have, just be sure that it is a floor grade clear. Not all clears are floor grade. Three coats, with light sanding after coats one and two. Or, you could use a sanding sealer for the first and two coats of finish.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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What to finish my pine stairs with


If he's sanded it I'd guess some of the stain was also removed.
Clean it, apply some wood conditioner, natural color stain then the seal is what's worked for me.
Oil based sealer last the longest but sticks and takes a long time to dry.
Using A water based seal you can get up to three coats in one day.
The more coats of seal the longer it's going to last so do not skimp the number of coats or you'll be back doing this again.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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What to finish my pine stairs with


I am not a painter but that rail and post look to me like Oak and the treads and risers look like common pine instead of yellow pine. JMHO
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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What to finish my pine stairs with


That's what I was thinking BigJim.......the handrail and spindles are oak. With the steps being pine it will be hard to get an exact match. If you clear coat the pine with an oil polyurethane it will bring out the yellowish tones of the pine. If you clear coat with a water-based poly, the pine will look very light colored next to the oak. You may have to play around with some stain on pine to get the exact tone to match the oak. Try that out on some scrap pine that is similar to your stair treads.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:41 PM   #7
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Good call on the handrail being oak. I missed that, oops. Good thing there's more than one of us here.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:43 AM   #8
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Could I sand the railings down n redo them to make it easier? I wasn't sure which pine it was. These stairs were put in around 1982 when i was 1 and I've since inherited the house from my parents passing
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:53 AM   #9
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Make what easyer, that's not going to change what wood the rails made of.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:15 AM   #10
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I cant tell from the pics if the railing is stained or just cleared but it looks stained to me.You need a sample of the oak,or at least a good close picture of it.Take it to a real paint store and have them make you a stain that matches the color as closely as possible on a piece of pine.Whether or not the oak railing is stained,you are going to have to have a stain made to match it on pine.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:57 AM   #11
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John, I think in the end you're going to have to buy some yellow pine board comparable to your tread material, and just do some sampling, which is the point we all eventually come to. There's no pat answer when it comes to staining, especially matching different woods, even two different pieces of the same wood, even from the same tree. And doing it through pics is not going to work.
Fortunately, you're not looking at a huge color difference here. I still say the handrail only has a clear coat. I've never seen a new construction job where handrails were anything but just clear coated, but all areas are different. Remember, even if you get the color right, you're not going to mask the difference in the grains, even though I missed it initially.

Personally, I still think this is a better question for the flooring forum. While painters do stain, hardwood flooring guys do a lot more, and I can imagine this would be a more routine question for them. Or, hire a floor guy to do it for you.

Or, you could hire a carpenter to install oak tread and riser overlays. I've done two jobs in the last year where they did that, and I just came in and clear coated them.

What you do depends on your patience, and your handiness.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:08 PM   #12
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Cdaniels, I just noticed your name on your avatar. What happened, did that fiddle not work out for ya?
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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Times are tuff! lol

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