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Old 11-09-2017, 05:24 PM   #1
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trouble sanding hardwood stairs

I removed carpeting from my stairs and I want to paint the risers and sand and poly the stairs and bannisters.

The poly is a clear coat (im not staining- keeping the natural wood color) oil based product.

I was able to sand the banisters down using 60,100 and 120 grit paper with a combination of an orbital hand sander, a palm sander and an oscillating tool with attachment heads and sand paper.

However when I tried to sand the stairs themselves it doesnt feel like I am accomplishing much.. except making it a little cleaner

I am wondering what type of wood this is and maybe I need to go to a coarser grit?

The stairs are not in too bad of shape and they may have been poly'ed once before (probably 30+ years ago).

I dont know if they just need a good cleaning and sanding with less coarse paper before applying the oil based clear poly..

Any suggestions?

BTW.. the stuff between the edge of the steps and the risers are plastic wood.. Most of the steps had noticeable gaps in them so i spread this stuff in there like you would spread caulk..Filled in some minor chips too..Hoping it will absorb the stain and not be so noticable..

First picture is steps I have sanded with 60 grit
Second pic is unsanded and messy plastic wood spread across (sorry it came out sideways)
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trouble sanding hardwood stairs-steps1.jpg   trouble sanding hardwood stairs-steps2.jpg  
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:38 AM   #2
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Re: trouble sanding hardwood stairs

Looks like oak treads to me. The plastic filler may be problematic, generally they don't take stain well. Treads are basically done the same way as flooring, start out with a coarse grit and finish with a finer grit. Since it's next to impossible to sand the corners you'd use a sharp scraper there to remove the old finish there.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:12 PM   #3
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Re: trouble sanding hardwood stairs

I would suggest renting a floor edger it will make for much easier work on the stairs. Most tool rental shops have them available, including Home Depot. Hope this helps.
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