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Wood Treatments for Stairs

Posted on Mon February 1st 2016 by Dan

Wood Treatments for Stairs

Wooden stairs are a beautiful thing which not only have the potential of becoming a feature of your home, but also being something that can awe and inspire guests and visitors alike. A well built, and maintained staircase can last a lifetime, however one that is badly maintained or built with inferior materials could be dangerous, or against building regulations. You can avoid this by choosing high quality stair components like the ones we sell at UK Stair Parts, as well as properly treating and maintaining them, using stair finishes and treatments like those available from Wood Finishes Direct.

There are a lot of different treatments available for wooden stairs, each having their own different and unique finish. By knowing what each finish offers, you can better decide which one suits what you, and your style.

Stair Stains

Stair stains add colour to the wood, whilst enhancing the natural grain, and colouring the timber. Unlike a paint this does not cover the wood grain. Stair stains come in a range of colours and shades, creating a magnitude of different styles to suit your desired look. Though bear in mind wood stains have no protective qualities, so they should be coated with an oil or a varnish to prevent and protect the stain and the wood. Stair stains are a great way of adding extra colour and character with ease, and they are easy to apply. There are also tinted oils and varnishes available that combine the colour of a stain, with the protective qualities of an oil, more information can be found at e.

Stair Oils

Clear oils will slightly darken the area you are treating, bringing out the natural colour of the grain. You can get a rough idea of how much it will darken untreated wood by wiping a dampened cloth across it. Oils come in a range of sheen levels including matt, satin and gloss. An oil offers a more a natural look and feel to the touch. Oils do have protective qualities offering excellent water and dirt repellency making it perfect for domestic stairs. However when it does stain or wear is extremely easy to patch repair. For lighter stains or slightly damaged areas simply clean the area with a suitable cleaner, and re-apply a thin coat of oil. For more serious stains or damages, simply knock the area back with a fine sandpaper and re-apply. Anti-slip oils are also available if your want an added level of safety.

Varnish for Stairs

Varnishes for stairs will slightly darken the wood and bring out the natural colour of the grain. Varnishes provide a hardwearing durable covering for the wood, protecting it from damage and wear. Like oils they come in different sheen levels, but offers a more durable finish that requires less maintenance which is ideal for homes, as well as commercial stairs with high foot traffic. The likelihood though is once a varnish starts to wear it will need to be completely sanded and re coated, patch repairs are possible but they are rarely seamless.

Stair Paints

If you want to add colour, and cover the grain of a wood then a stair paint is perfect, although not all paints are durable enough for stairs, so you need to find the right paint. Ideally you want a floor paint, or a stair paint, as these paints are designed be more robust, unlike traditional wall paints. Painting can be a fun and creative project you can embark on with your stairs, you can find plenty of great paint based ideas for stairs on Pinterest. A great resource for suitable and durable paints can be found here in the stair paints section at Wood Finishes Direct.

There is so much you can do to renovate your stairs, and make them a feature of your home, be that adding a touch of colour, or installing a new set of spindles or handrails. This can all help turn an old and tired staircase, into a talking point.

Top Tip: When adding any wood finishing product, to any piece of wood, always do a test area first, as different woods react differently to different products. A test area will allow you to see how it will look before committing too much time and effort.