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Staining and Painting a New Staircase and What Stain or Varnish to use

Postby DIYDeb » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:46 pm

Help! We've had a brand new staircase put in and I would like to paint it all white with the exception of the treads and the handrail. The painting part I can do but when it comes to the treads and handrail I'm very nervous - because it's all new I just don't want to ruin it!

I've looked around at stains, dyes, oils, varnishes, waxes and all sorts of other things and to be honest, I'm just completely confused!

The end goal is for them to look nice and not wear too quickly (there will be a runner on the stairs one day, but that's definitely a while away so for now, they'll be used with no carpet).

I'm looking for a colour that is similar to our floors and I've done test patches on the underside of the stairs with dyes and oils so far... the dye seemed to come out very patchy but that could have been me applying it poorly! I'm even finding the colour matching difficult because the lighting is different. Small pots of stain don't seem to exist either and where they do they're fairly expensive and I also don't want to shed out lots of money on stains that I might not like!

My other concern is that the stairs are pine and whilst I like to see the grain, I want the finish to be as even as possible... this also adds to my colour choice confusion and as I think the pine will affect the final look of the stairs?

So I guess my questions are:

What would people reccommend? A stain, a dye, oil, straight in with a coloured varnish, a stain and then varnish, a stain and wax?

And secondly, can anyone recommend a colour that they've used that has come out quite well? I've attached a picture is the stairs and our floors for reference.

I'm very confused so any help at all would be appreciated!!

Many thanks
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Postby TommyPurdyPnD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:39 am

Hi DIY Deb-From your picture it looks like you've got a fair range of tones in the floor so you have a little lee way with your colour-I'd start off with something like a light oak and if it's not quite right then maybe walnut (darker brown but not very very dark) or rosewood (deepish red tone). You can go darker after light a lot more easily than going lighter after dark.
I'm a big fan of the sadolin classic interior stain, easy to apply and pretty strong-probs three coats on the treads, maybe even start your light coat off on the treads so your building a coat up whether you like the colour or not-the first coat will suck in quite a lot so thin it a little.
A half decent merchants should be able to provide you with some wood samples of the stains-Brewer's often do depending on the size.
Hope this helps, good luck-send us a completion pic!
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