When refinishing a staircase, railing or interior stained surface, the most important part is preparation. A refinishing project causes a lot of dust and mess. Tape, plastic and a variety of various sandpaper are just the basic requirements. Preparing wood to be re-stained requires a very thorough sanding procedure that eliminates all the previous colour & finish. The sanding portion is the part that causes the most headache. Going over the entire surface top to bottom, 3 different grits are used to eliminate the clear polyurethane finish along with the colour stain that has been previously applied. The final wave of sanding gets the step or surface smooth to the touch.
While performing the sanding, it is important to always cover all register vents and to seal all doors & pathways to contain the dust carry from room to room.
When choosing the stain you would like to use, check to see if the product is water based or oil based. Differences between the 2 include different drying time, degree of penetration into the wood, the depth of colour, the ability to layer colours, etc.
When matching stain, such as railings and stairs to the floor, it's important to note what is the composition of the surface that is to be stained. The types of wood that are commonly stained are Oak, Maple, Ash, Cedar and tend to dry differently. Mixing up this part may result in an undesired colour.
In most cases, 2 coats of stain are applied, dry time in between coats for water based products & oil based products are 8hrs to 24hrs. Temperature, humidity, and air movement all contribute to the duration of cure time and vary from 1 project to another.
When selecting a Clear Poly-Urethane finish, it is important to know what is the final look that desire. Clear finishes can be dull and unnoticeable or glossy and very firm. The majority of customers we have served for interior projects have preferred Satin, a midway point.
It is noted that Interior and Exterior stains & Polyurethanes are not the same and perform differently in different climates. Interior products are not suitable for exterior use & vice versa.