Staircase Make-Over {Part 4}: are you kidding me!?!?

What NOT to do when Refinishing Stairs | step by step tutorial for refinishing stairs complete with what NOT to do's! | Simply Designing | #diy #homeremodel #stairs #homeimprovement #tutorial

So we set about staining our stairs, for the second time.

We bought a big package of rags and wearing gloves, so that our hands wouldn’t be permanently stained brown, started to carefully stain the stairs.

There are several tricks to properly stain wood.  Here are a few things to remember:

  • sand your surface really well and be sure to finish sanding using a fine grit sandpaper so that you have nice smooth stairs and so that the stain soaks in properly
  • wear gloves when applying stain
  • use a rag and dip it in the stain
  • use the tiniest bit of stain possible to go as far as possible
  • work the stain from the rag into the wood and help is spread as far as possible, really work it in
  • two coats of stain for a project like stairs is generally enough (be sure the stain dries completely prior to applying the second coat)
How to Stain Properly! | step by step tutorial for refinishing stairs complete with what NOT to do's! | Simply Designing | #diy #homeremodel #stairs #homeimprovement #tutorial

Easy peasy right!?

So we started to stain the stairs, properly this time, we ran into another issue.  As the stain started to dry we realized our stairs looked like this…

What NOT to do when Refinishing Stairs | step by step tutorial for refinishing stairs complete with what NOT to do's! | Simply Designing | #diy #homeremodel #stairs #homeimprovement #tutorial

OH NO!!!  You’ve got to be kidding me!!

What did we do wrong???

We used the belt sander (with the grain of course) to get the majority of the previous stain off our stairs.  And then to get all of the stain out of the nooks and crannies we used a corner (triangle) sander.

There were areas where it was impossible to sand with the grain.  Impossible.  So we just had to sand it in any manner possible to get the stain off.  We had no other options.

However, these “creative sanding techniques” we used totally showed up upon staining the wood.

Big fail.

Do you see those swirls???

What we failed to do was to go over the entire stair with a fine grit sandpaper, using the belt sander, in the proper direction to buff out the areas where we had to sand “creatively”.  Sigh.  You live and you learn right!?

So…once again…it was time to get out our belt sander and fix the stairs that looked like a hot mess.

And once again, it took us HOURS to completely re-sand all of our stairs.

Once again my house was covered in so much sawdust

Big.  Fat.  Sigh.

At this point we worried if we would EVER get this right!!

{to be continued}

You can read the whole Staircase Make-Over Series here:
Staircase Make-Over {Part 1}: the prep
Staircase Make-Over {Part 2}: and it all went downhill
Staircase Make-Over {Part 3}: the downhill spiral continues
Staircase Make-Over {Part 4}: are you kidding me!?!?
Staircase Make-Over {Part 5}: this was our final attempt…no matter what!
Staircase Make-Over {Part 6}: the finishing touches

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