Stain & Re-Finish
Staining protects and enhances the natural beauty of oak stairs. If you prefer the look of bare wood to carpet not to mention the greater cleaning ease you will want to stain new oak stairs.
There are many colors to choose from; try to match other stained wood in your house for the most natural look. Staining your new stairs is not a difficult task, but it will require lots of waiting time and will produce fumes.
Wood stain consists of a colorant suspended or dissolved in a ‘vehicle’ or solvent. The suspension agent can be water, alcohol, petroleum distillate, or the actual finishing agent (shellac, lacquer, varnish, polyurethane, etc.). Colored or ‘stained’ finishes, like polyurethane, do not penetrate the pores of the wood to any significant degree and will disappear when the finish itself deteriorates or is removed intentionally.
The type of stain will have different effects, accentuate or obscure, wood grain and neither is superior to the other. Most commercial stains contain both dye and pigment and the degree to which they stain the appropriate wood is mostly dependant on the length of time they are left on the wood. Pigments, regardless of the suspension agent, will not give much color to very dense woods but will deeply color woods with large pores (i.e. oak). Dyes are translucent and pigments are opaque.
- Clean the stairs before you stain by sweeping or vacuuming any debris. Then wipe the stairs down with a tack cloth, which picks up dust and other particles. If you stain without cleaning first, you risk trapping debris in your new stairs.
- Using a rag, apply an even layer of the stain to your stairs. Start at the top and work down to avoid crossing over stained stairs.
- Set up a high-powered fan to blow noxious vapors out of the house and to aid in drying. Do not walk on the stairs until the stain dries, anywhere from one to three hours.
- Determine if a second coat of stain is needed. Adding another coat will deepen the color.
- Seal the finish by applying a coat of polyurethane to the stained stairs, using a second rag. Allow this to dry for six to eight hours.
- Sand away any lumps or debris. Apply a second coat of polyurethane and allow to dry overnight.
Refinishing Stairs takes time, patience, and the proper tools and techniques, but the results can be extraordinary. If your STAIR is starting to look a little worn perhaps all you need to do is refinish it for the TREADS to get a shinier look again. It’s a messy project but well worth the investment.
Don’t be afraid of the designs on the newel posts; you will be able to cover them completely with the new color, and they will be like new again.
In HSP Houston Stair Parts we are professionals that stain stairs every day. We give your stair the full saturation that a high quality job requires and we treat your home with the care and respect that we would our own.