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Thread: Painting/staining a staircase

  1. #1
    Master
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    Painting/staining a staircase

    We live in a new build house and I am pretty sure the staircase is a fairly bland timber (softwood?) underneath the carpet.

    I would like to get rid of the carpet and either paint or stain the existing staircase or possibly clad it in oak - the banister is oak. I have seen a some cladding kits on Amazon - though none seem to cover a large, square step that changes the stair direction through 90 degrees.

    Has anyone got experience of painting/staining or cladding? Or advice on how best to go about such a project?

    Many thanks in anticipation

    Jon

  2. #2
    Master
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    My old neighbour's clad their stairs with engineered wood flooring. Bloody death trap it was. Really, really slippery.

  3. #3
    Craftsman Franco's Avatar
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    Agree the slippery consistency of modern wood cladding. You would have to use a central runner anyway so.. perhaps best combination is to paint white the steps, and then choose a really good looking runner to use through it. Something along these lines:

    Last edited by Franco; 15th May 2019 at 14:53.

  4. #4
    Master
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    Yes:

    • Lot's of work plus you have to consider how you'll get up and down stairs while the stuff is drying. I made some stair bridges and worked on one stair at a time.
    • The timber it is made from will be fairly rough and need lots of sanding including in to lots of awkward corners. Plus you'll have nail holes from the gripper strip.
    • They will always be dusty, carpet is very good at trapping and hiding dust 'till you hoover. You'll dust the stained stairs and an hour later (ok a day maybe) and they are dusty again.
    • As other's have said, they can tend to be slippery though there are products such as Bourne Seal that can help here.



    The stain on ours is wearing now (after 10+ years) and we have young children so we plan to get them carpeted again fairly soon.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Many thanks guys.

    I'll give it a bit more thought before diving in!

    ATB

    Jon

    Sent from my moto e5 play using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    The only time Iíve ever ordered a new staircase the joinery shop used MDF risers - better to check as that might revise any notion of stripping/staining.

    I had engineered oak cladding fitted to the tired old staircase in my London home. It transformed its appearance but wasnít cheap to have fitted. Worth considering IMHO.

    Iím not sure why one poster said that you would ďhave toĒ use a runner. Oak is hard wearing. Plus any carpet semi-permanently fixed to the fabric of a house is a minging trap for dead skin cells and worse- yuk.

  7. #7
    Craftsman Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    The only time Iíve ever ordered a new staircase the joinery shop used MDF risers - better to check as that might revise any notion of stripping/staining.

    I had engineered oak cladding fitted to the tired old staircase in my London home. It transformed its appearance but wasnít cheap to have fitted. Worth considering IMHO.

    Iím not sure why one poster said that you would ďhave toĒ use a runner. Oak is hard wearing. Plus any carpet semi-permanently fixed to the fabric of a house is a minging trap for dead skin cells and worse- yuk.
    Bare wood can be slippery. hence the runner

  8. #8
    I had a similar situation in my first house in the early 80s. We decided to give it a try with a painted floor.

    I started with a dark 80s brown. Paint or stain, I can't remember. I suppose it was stain because that was 'en vogue' in Holland back then. I did every other step so that we were able to get upstairs/downstairs by using the unpainted stairs. It took several coats. Then, after proper drying, I sealed the paint with the hardest and sturdiest parquet lacquer available [how often does one use two words in a row with a 'q'!?]. In fact, it was several coats of lacquer. Then I repeated the process for the other alternating steps.

    A few things I can remember:
    • It's a pretty long process between the start and finish, doing all the steps. Back then, the drying process was pretty slow.
    • I can't remember the 'slippery hazard' anymore, but I'm sure that it was a risk. Mind you, we didn't have kids back then.
    • A painted stair is a dust trap. Every speck of dust can be seen on the running boards. You need to vacuum the steps on a fairly regular basis to keep it clean.
    • We lived in the house for 4 years. No visual damage spotted.
    • I guess we weren't happy with it. After moving to the next house, we didn't repeat the process and got the stairs covered with carpet. But honestly, I cannot remember the exact reason for that change, other than that it was easy for us: my first wife's father had an upholsterer's shop.


    Menno
    Last edited by thieuster; 17th May 2019 at 14:37.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Thanks all - I've knocked the idea on the head. The thought of training my dog to walk on alternate treads while the paint dries was too much for me ;)

    Sent from my moto e5 play using Tapatalk

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