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Old 06-16-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
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Refinishing Painted Hardwood Stairs


I am a newbie considering refinishing my painted hardwood steps. I believe the stairs are oak (based on the rest of the house) and they are painted dark brown with an ugly anti-slip rubber/metal runner the whole way up. How best would I go about refinishing and staining them? I have a small (5" ?) orbital disc sander but otherwise I am completely unprepared. Will a paint stripper get it down to a point where I can stain and skip the sanding? How difficult a project is sanding steps? What sanding tools do I need? Thanks in advance for your help.


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Old 06-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #2
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Refinishing Painted Hardwood Stairs


If I were you I would consider renting an edge sander. You can find these at Home Depot or most other tool rental shops. You will also need a carbide scraper and a file to sharpen it. The scraper is for areas that the sander can not get. I would just start with a 24 grit sand paper, then go over them again with a 36, then again with 50, then again with 100.

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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Refinishing Painted Hardwood Stairs


Okay... so don't use a chemical stripper first? Just start right in with sanding?
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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Refinishing Painted Hardwood Stairs


We never use chemical strippers. However, they probably would help remove a lot of the paint. If you choose to do this first, you could just put on some of the stripper, let it sit for a bit then use a scraper to take off the majority of the paint. If you did this you could probably then start with a 36 grit sand paper.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:46 PM   #5
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Refinishing Painted Hardwood Stairs


Okay. I'll consider the stripper option. And you think the edge sander is advisable as opposed to the cheap hand sander I have? To save myself some work I'm thinking about painting the risers white but if i do choose to restore down to wood, will the edge sander work there too or is there a different tool I should seek out?
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Refinishing Painted Hardwood Stairs


The edge sander will not work on the risers. For these you would need to use a palm sander and a scraper. The edge sander will save lots of time and labor, I do think it is a much better option. It will be well worth the 30-$40 rental fee.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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Refinishing Painted Hardwood Stairs


Duly noted... I'm a do-it-yourself-er at heart but have to admit I'm very intimidated by this project... I've never refinished a wood floor (yet). Oh, one more thing, what about the landings? Probably a total of about 50 sq ft in landings/floor that leads up to the stairs. Do I rent another tool for this area or try to use the edge sander for the whole thing?
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:00 PM   #8
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Refinishing Painted Hardwood Stairs


The edge sander will work just fine for the landings too. Just be sure to use the sanding progression I noted before. This will ensure that you get sanding marks out from the previous grit.

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