Wooden stairs are an undeniable decoration of the interior. Depending on the design, they perfectly complement both classic and modern arrangement, Scandinavian or rustic. They catch the eye and delight, of course, provided that we remember about some maintenance and plan their renovation as soon as we notice scratches and abrasions. Wooden stairs are beautiful and bring a certain mood to the apartment. At the same time, stair treads belong to the most exploited surfaces in the house. Over time, they begin to show inevitable signs of wear. But this is not a disaster: scratches, holes and squeaky steps can also be repaired by yourself, and the whole stairs renovated.
Stair renovation requires a thoughtful and carefully prepared plan. We must take into account, among others the fact that for some time this “communication path” in the house or apartment will be inaccessible and thus the rooms to which the stairs lead. Therefore, it is necessary to plan the use of the interior in such a way that the lack of access to stairs is not a problem for us, that is, to move the most necessary equipment and objects to other available rooms.
Some practical issues also require proper organization from us. In order to prepare for renovation work in the best way, let’s first conduct a thorough inspection and assess the condition of the stairs. Are the abrasions delicate or already perfectly visible? Or maybe the damage has already hit the layers of raw wood? If painting wooden stairs was carried out, for example, by the previous owner of the house or apartment, let’s try to determine what product was used: paint, varnish or varnish.
Renovation of wooden stairs: we remove cracked layers of paint
We can only remove fragments of the previous coating (if the surface is in rather good condition, and in addition we intend to paint with the same type of product and strive to achieve the same aesthetic effect) or sand it completely (when the old varnish layer is visibly damaged or if we plan to paint wooden stairs with paint, and now they are covered with a layer of varnish or vice versa). The simplest, but also the most labor-intensive solution is grinding old varnish layers with coarse-grained sandpaper and abrasive blocks. Due to the fact that this method takes the most time and because of the large surface, it is worth renting a wood grinder.
Renovation of wooden stairs: choose paint
Before we start painting stairs, we should choose the right product that will protect their surface as effectively as possible. In the case of a structure used in such an intensive way, we need maximum protection against abrasion, i.e. high mechanical resistance. This is key, otherwise we will quickly notice new abrasions at subsequent stages. How the product should be applied and the drying time are individual issues related to the specificity of the product. All information on application methods should be sought in the varnish technical data sheet.
Renovation of wooden stairs: wood sealing
We have to look very carefully at all wooden elements of the stairs and check whether there are no cracks in the steps or between the individual elements of the stairs. Even in good daylight and artificial light, we may not notice that the wooden stairs have cavities. Therefore, a good flashlight will be needed for inspection. The cracks must be filled with wood putty, which is sold in cartridges. It is a one-component flexible sealing compound with a cream consistency that hardens after drying. After curing it can be perfectly sanded and painted. It has very good adhesion to both smooth and porous surfaces. The putty is applied with a hand squeezer, after attaching the mass cartouche and cutting off the plastic tip. We cut it off so that the hole has a width similar to the width of the gap. After drying, the putty hardens, it can be cut, sanded and even drilled. Wood putty is available in the colors of typical wood species, e.g. pine, oak, walnut or mahogany. When the gap is too small, we gently stick a wooden or plastic wedge with a triangular cross-section to spread the elements slightly.
Renovation of wooden stairs: painting, oiling
If we want to renew old stairs, we just need to varnish them with a special varnish for stairs. It is best to choose the type that was applied earlier. We apply the varnish on the steps in at least 3 layers to obtain the appropriate thickness and elasticity of the coating. Cheeks and risers are also worth covering – 2 layers of varnish are enough. If we want the wooden stairs to gain a new color, then we first cover them with pigment varnish, and then colorless varnish for stairs.
We also increasingly use oil to renovate wooden stairs. It penetrates deep into the wood structure and reveals its beauty. Stairs protected in this way have vapor permeable properties. The wood breathes and creates a good microclimate. Renovation of wooden stairs is also a good time to finish them with fashionable opaque paint. Modern wood paints are great for this.