Sunday, July 14, 2013

Refinish Your Stairs

When we moved to this house 6 years ago, the floors and stairs where the first things to get done.  The previous owners really USED the house…. lets say it was well worn.  Most of the finish on the hardwood floors and the stairs was worn right off.   This blog was created after most of that work was done, so I don’t have pictures of the major job that it was, but I did leave a little stairway at the side door unfinished until now.
This is what the main stairway looks like now.
Keep in mind, that the original staircase was all natural colour and the board and batten was not there.
Stairs refinished 002a
Just beside this staircase going down to the garage door are 3 more stairs that have remained original until now… looking like this.
Yes these two staircases are beside each other.
All the floors in the house also looked like this .
Stairs refinished 008a
Even though most of the finish was already worn off the stairs, they still needed to be properly prepared before staining.
When we finished all the hardwood floors we used 5 different sand paper grits.  For these stairs I used 4.   Depending on how much finish is on your steps, you may start with 100 grit or 80. I started with 100 (very coarse and should take the finish off any anything.)  This is the sander I used.

Sand with a power sander with the 100 grit until all shiny finish is off.   Move to 120, then 150 then finish with a 180 grit.  Sand in the direction of the grain.  Don’t skip grits because as you move to the finer grit paper that will help smooth out all the ridges or marks left by the previous grit.
Stairs refinished 010a 
With a medium and then finer grit paper I sanded the risers and stringers in preparation for paint.
As always vacuum and wipe down so that no dust remains. I used the same stain as with the other stairs, (have no idea what color it is) just something I saved.  Paint the stain on and wipe off with a clean, dust free rag in the direction of the grain.
Stairs refinished 013a
After staining, drying & ready for finish.
Stairs refinished 016a
Using Flecto Varathane Professional Clear Finish, I finished the stairs with two coats to allow for high durability.
stairs side door 001a
And now both staircases match!
stairs side door 004a
Now all I have to do is freshen up the grout on the landing using the same product I used for the Washroom/Powder Room.
stairs side door 002a
stairs side door 007b
Stairs refinished 008a-tile
What an improvement.  And the best part….. I had everything on hand.  Cost $0

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  1. Have not heard from your blog in a while, and wondered where you were. Good to hear from you again and good job on the stairs.....looks very time consuming and a lot of hard work!

  2. Wow, very nice. My stairs are all carpeted and I so want to change to wood. I am saving this email for when I get to that point. My 'plan' is for painted or picture tiles on the risers. I will get there one day.

  3. Wow, very nice. My stairs are all carpeted and I so want to change to wood. I am saving this email for when I get to that point. My 'plan' is for painted tiles on the risers. One day....

  4. Just curious how you applied the Varathane. With a regular brush, sponge brush, roller? I'd be curious to know. Thanks!

    1. Hi Michelle
      Just a regular (non expensive) brush will do the trick!

  5. Wondering how you applied the Varathane? Rag, brush, sponge brush. I'd love to know. By the way, your stairs are stunning!

  6. That makes such a huge difference! It must feel great walking in that side door and seeing all the same stain. Great tips and I just wish our builder put decent wood under our stair's carpeting.

  7. Looks great! I love the two tone, showing off the natural wood and the white back boards.

  8. Your stairs look great! I really like the darker stain on the treads and white paint on the risers.

  9. this looks so so good! I have been trying for years to talk the boyfriend into doing this, but he isn't interested. we're living with your before...forever! ack!

  10. Nice job. Great improvement and now both staircases match! Love it.

  11. I want to do this! Its taking all my will power not to rip up carpet and just do it! But I am worried I have crap under the carpet!

  12. How do you keep black scuff marks off of the risers?

    1. In 6 or 7 years I've only really had a few small scuff marks. A wet cloth and Vim (or some sort of cleanser) will take most of them right off. If it happens to be a stubborn one, I'll take a disposable foam brush and a bit of paint and give it a quick touch up. It's not a problem though.

  13. That is my favourite price Lisa!! They look fantastic ~ I am finally having my stairs done this fall ~ new railings and everything so I can give this one back the "That 70's Show". I cannot wait. Nice to see you again too.

  14. this has been on my list made it loo soo easy!
    thanks for the tips

  15. Awesome job! I need to do this, they look like new, thanks!


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