Just finish installing my stairs, and need help on finishing them. They are red oak stairs, do I polyurtethane them, or do I have to put a sealer on them first? Also, looking for suggestions, should I stain them? Can something like polyshades be used, or should I stain and then poly them? Also what is better oil or water based. Just hate the smell of oil, and the time it takes to dry. All suggestions welcomed. Thanks.
IF you dont like oil, I would go with water based such as Bona Kemi's Traffic or Basic Coatings Street Shoe. With either you should use a sealer coat; Bona Mega or Basic Coatings Emulsion or equivalent.
If you want to stain, Bona offers a ton of colors.