Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Help Finishing My Stairs, I have read too much information!!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:47 pm 
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I think I have read too much information for my own good and now have myself a bit stuck... Hoping for some suggestions. I am a very capable DIY person but not a pro by any means. I wish to do this right so the cost of the materials is not my primary concern.

I am installing Red Oak treads on a staircase. They are cut and fit and ready to stain. I have mixed up some colors of varathane and have a good color match with some existing hardwood floor in another room (testing on scrap). Now I am ready to finish the treads. Here are my questions:

Is varathane ok to use?

It seems like Bona Traffic HD is the best poly finish but I keep reading conflicting info. Is this easy enough for a non-pro to apply and get good results?

What should I apply the Bona with?

Bona makes an "Anti-Slip" version but it is satin. The rest of the floor is more of a semi-gloss. Is this something I should worry about or is the semi ok for stairs.

My plan is to stain the treads, let them dry for three days+, then do at least three coats of finish light sanding between each coat. Any other recommendations?

I know all of this has been answered 100's of times but after everything I have read I just want some current feedback from a person to clear my brain :D


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Amish made hardwood

 Post subject: Re: Help Finishing My Stairs, I have read too much information!!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:05 pm
Posts: 510
WBoweIII wrote:
I think I have read too much information for my own good and now have myself a bit stuck... Hoping for some suggestions. I am a very capable DIY person but not a pro by any means. I wish to do this right so the cost of the materials is not my primary concern.

I am installing Red Oak treads on a staircase. They are cut and fit and ready to stain. I have mixed up some colors of varathane and have a good color match with some existing hardwood floor in another room (testing on scrap). Now I am ready to finish the treads. Here are my questions:

Is varathane ok to use?

It seems like Bona Traffic HD is the best poly finish but I keep reading conflicting info. Is this easy enough for a non-pro to apply and get good results?

What should I apply the Bona with?

Bona makes an "Anti-Slip" version but it is satin. The rest of the floor is more of a semi-gloss. Is this something I should worry about or is the semi ok for stairs.

My plan is to stain the treads, let them dry for three days+, then do at least three coats of finish light sanding between each coat. Any other recommendations?

I know all of this has been answered 100's of times but after everything I have read I just want some current feedback from a person to clear my brain :D

If you haven't installed the treads yet you'd probably be better off staining them and polying them before installing. Reasons: you won't have the smell in the living area and you'll be able to get up and down the stairs. If the treads are down you might consider doing every other tread so you can walk on every other tread to get between the floors. I'd use a good flooring polyurethane......Last N Last is an excellent product. Spar Varathane will be thinner than a flooring poly and will require several coats to get a good build that will last a long time.....don't want to have to redo the stairs too soon. The Last N Last can be applied with a good foam brush and is quite doable for a DIYer......I don't work for Last N Last.
A semi-gloss on stairs will be slippery with the wrong footwear e.g. socks. Consider installing a stair runner......also doable by a capable DIYer.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Finishing My Stairs, I have read too much information!!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:31 pm
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Thanks for the reply and advice,

I have not installed them yet and do plan on finishing before I do. I will check out "Last n Last". For clarity I am planning on using varathane stain not finish.

Anyone else that can chime in would be appreciated. Would love to get some additional feedback on my original questions (below)


Is varathane (stain) ok to use?

It seems like Bona Traffic HD is the best poly finish but I keep reading conflicting info. Is this easy enough for a non-pro to apply and get good results?

What should I apply the Bona with?

Bona makes an "Anti-Slip" version but it is satin. The rest of the floor is more of a semi-gloss. Is this something I should worry about or is the semi ok for stairs.

My plan is to stain the treads, let them dry for three days+, then do at least three coats of finish light sanding between each coat. Any other recommendations?


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 Post subject: Re: Help Finishing My Stairs, I have read too much information!!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:02 am
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A water-based finish with a catalyst will wear better than a single component finish, but will be more expensive. It is hard to mix just the right amount, too, so you will have some waste.
I would go with the satin on the steps, cause it will show wear less. Steps get plenty of wear.
An oil based stain will seal the wood so you will not need to use a water-based sealer, just finish with three coats. Follow directions on container. I like to buff the stain after it is good and dry with synthetic steel wool before the first coat of finish.
Water-based finish is tough, but not quite as hard as regular oil based poly-urethane, so scuffs show as dull area, but the finish is tough so it doesn't wear off. Oil-based finishes usually keep their shine longer. Keep in the habit of holding on to the handrail when going down the steps, in case you slip.
Apply the finish with a foam pad with short "mohair" nap. Put on thinner coats rather than thick coats. A chip brush is handy for the nosing areas.


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