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secutanudu 03-02-2010 07:37 AM

Finishing bare wood stairs
 
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For some reason, the stairs leading to my second floor are unfinished. I'm not sure what type of wood (pine maybe?) they are.

What is the best way to finish them? I was thinking the stair backs would be white, so sanding/priming/painting that section seems easy.

I've never done any staining before. WHat do I do with th tops? Sand..stain...then polyurethane?

Thanks.

housepaintingny 03-02-2010 07:54 PM

If your stair treads(walking surface) is bare wood and your staing them, you'll have to sand them, wipe them down with a tack cloth to remove dust, use a wood cleaner(such as nuwood), if it's pine then you'll need to use a wood conditioner, because pine is a soft wood(minwax wood conditioner) apply your stain, sand between coats with 220 grit sandpaper, de-dust, apply a floor polyurethane(sand and de-dust between coats) its easier to stain and poly the stair treads first, because when you paint your risers(the back part of the stairs) you don't want to get paint onto the treads, it will bleed through the stain, so if the treads are polyed and you get paint on them the paint will wipe rite off.

secutanudu 03-02-2010 08:50 PM

Awesome info, thanks. Sounds like a lot of work, but worth doing. How do I know what type of wood the stairs are?

mark942 03-04-2010 06:30 AM

From the looks of the pictures there is a sheen to your stairs. That would make me think there is a sealer or a poly on them already. If you could post up some better pictures ( Closer ) a comment could be made about what type of wood you have. Your flooring to the stairs or landing looks like it is still raw/ unfinished.

secutanudu 03-04-2010 09:12 AM

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I don't see any sheen, but the hardwood at the bottom is finished. I took these pics quickly this morning,I'll try and get better ones if these aren't good enough. Thanks.

Big N8 03-04-2010 11:19 AM

You will still need to sand the stair even if there is no sheen. This will if nothing else give you the best chance at a good result.

secutanudu 03-04-2010 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big N8 (Post 409406)
You will still need to sand the stair even if there is no sheen. This will if nothing else give you the best chance at a good result.

Oh I plan on sanding it anyway. It has lots of marks on it.

secutanudu 03-05-2010 07:23 AM

I also plan to re-finish my downstairs '50s oak floors. I assume I should pick the same color stain for that as I do the stairs. Can my (pine) stairs take the same type of stain?

Also, I see oil-based and water-based poly and stain. Recommendations?

How many coats of stain?
How many coats of poly?

Thanks!

Rcon 03-05-2010 07:50 AM

In your photos above it looks like the stairs have got a clearcoat on them. If that is the case then you won't be able to stain them with anything unless you strip the finish off first (followed by a lot of sanding).

As for stains, you can use the same type on Oak and Pine but they will look different as Pine is porous and Oak is not. A wood conditioner would help even the look out, but doing samples first is always advisable. Oil based wiping stains are some of my favorites.

As for the Poly topcoats, waterbased poly has come a long way and gives a nice durable finish - don't skimp on your finishes get the best stuff you can find. MLC makes good clear finishes. Ideally, you want a sealer coat over the stain and at least 2 topcoats.

secutanudu 03-05-2010 08:23 AM

If they "basically" look the same, that'll be fine. I'll try to get some better pictures of the stairs. They don't look finished at all to me, but if you guys are seeing sheen, you're probably right. Tough to see in those crappy cellphone pictures though.

I'll probably post here before buying the actual stuff to make sure all the products (conditioner, stain, poly, etc) will work together.

Is the sealer coat a different product than the top coats?

Is the minwax stuff I can get at Home Depot good, or should I go to a specialty store to get some higher quality stuff?

housepaintingny 03-06-2010 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by secutanudu (Post 409862)
I also plan to re-finish my downstairs '50s oak floors. I assume I should pick the same color stain for that as I do the stairs. Can my (pine) stairs take the same type of stain?

Also, I see oil-based and water-based poly and stain. Recommendations?

How many coats of stain?
How many coats of poly?

Thanks!

I would use an oil based stain, the amount of coats that you apply will depened on the look you want to achieve, at least two coats are usually applied, as for what poly to use, water based poly is low oder, dries fast, cleans up with water and is clearer than oil based, oil based poly has more of an amber glow to it, takes longer to dry, cleans up with chemicals, but requires fewer coats, Both offer good protection, a water based poly will require up to 3-4 coats, an oil base 2-3 coats and to prepare your floor to refinish it you will need a drum sander and edger. You can rent them, but if you have never used them you can damage the floor.

Rcon 03-06-2010 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by housepaintingny (Post 410459)
I would use an oil based stain, the amount of coats that you apply will depened on the look you want to achieve, at least two coats are usually applied, as for what poly to use, water based poly is low oder, dries fast, cleans up with water and is clearer than oil based, oil based poly has more of an amber glow to it, takes longer to dry, cleans up with chemicals, but requires fewer coats, Both offer good protection, a water based poly will require up to 3-4 coats, an oil base 2-3 coats and to prepare your floor to refinish it you will need a drum sander and edger. You can rent them, but if you have never used them you can damage the floor.

A drum sander would be all but useless on the stairs (too big) which is why I suggested stripping the finish. It would work on the floor though.

A palm sander might work on the stairs with some very coarse sand paper if there isn't a lot of build to the finish on them (which i'm guessing there isn't if you don't think they're clear coated).

As for your products, don't get them from HD, get them from a cabinet supply store (or wood finishing supply store). They will have every product you'll need for that project in 1 place and will be able to give you advice on how to use them properly (not to mention there will be no concern of about any of the products not being compatible with eachother).

Like I said before, spend the money to get high quality finish products, you're just wasting your time trying to save a few dollars buying them from the box store and you'll be very dissapointed with the finshed result. Don't skimp.

housepaintingny 03-06-2010 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rcon (Post 410568)
A drum sander would be all but useless on the stairs (too big) which is why I suggested stripping the finish. It would work on the floor though.

A palm sander might work on the stairs with some very coarse sand paper if there isn't a lot of build to the finish on them (which i'm guessing there isn't if you don't think they're clear coated).

As for your products, don't get them from HD, get them from a cabinet supply store (or wood finishing supply store). They will have every product you'll need for that project in 1 place and will be able to give you advice on how to use them properly (not to mention there will be no concern of about any of the products not being compatible with eachother).

Like I said before, spend the money to get high quality finish products, you're just wasting your time trying to save a few dollars buying them from the box store and you'll be very dissapointed with the finshed result. Don't skimp.

Why would anyone try a drum sander on stairs? I was talking about the drum sander and edger for the floor restoration. I do know better, as we also specialise in custom staining and floor restoration...a palm sander on the stairs would work well

tea lady 10-28-2011 06:47 PM

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Are any of you folks in the UK?
Reason I ask is I can't seem to find duraseal here. I'm wanting to stain an old stairway in the house.

The stairs are over 125 years old. Have gone through numerous reincarnations through the years.
By the time we bought the house it had ugly carpet on them. We have removed carpet, stair rods, nails and several layers of paint, filled holes and sanded. A couple of questions to pose.

1. The middle of each tread is a darker colour, even though it has been well sanded. Will this colour difference be solved after staining?
The sides of the treads were painted like the risers. The middle area of the treads was not painted through the years.

2. Not sure what sort of wood the treads are made of. There are no knotholes. The risers are of different wood and are now painted in white gloss.
Can you tell from the Picts if the treads are pine or oak?

tea lady 10-28-2011 06:53 PM

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Sorry, it seems the last pict I submitted turned itself sideways in the process.
How does one delete a pict once it has been posted? I went to edit but only the text showed up for editing.

Guess who wants these stairs finished by Dec. 1st of this year?


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