Should I Refinish my Stairs?

Most hardwood surfaces usually require a refinish at some point in its lifetime. We’ve noticed that this point is usually around the 20-30 year mark. For stairs, it is not only a general upkeep to help preserve the protective finish, but can also be a cosmetic transformation that will truly redesign the entire feel of the room. Whether you desire staining the stairs to a darker tone or just color correcting wear and tear areas as needed, you should consider refinishing your stairs if you are noticing a damage to the clear coat finish. This may look like a plastic-like peeling, or a raw appearance in the color from frequent wear on the commonly treaded paths. Like paint peeling on a car, an indication of this is a sure sign it’s only going to get worse, and should be addressed as soon as possible.

How much does it cost to refinish a staircase?

Depending on the nature of the project, a standard refinish which includes light color correction and adding a new protective coat is going to be about $75 per step. Resurrect Wood Refinishing can also refinish bannisters at about a similar price per linear foot. Staining will be a little more expensive as it requires additional quoting. We do offer free estimates and calculators to help assist with your specific needs. 

Prices for refinishing stairs are significantly less expensive than sanding and purchasing new floors. We are experienced enough to determine whether or not your stairs would be a good candidate or if it would only temporarily postpone an inevitable stair replacement. Rest assured, if you have taken care of your stairs and only have light scratches, you will be better off saving money by refinishing instead of sanding your stairs completely. 

Should I paint or stain my stairs?

You should never paint your stairs with latex or enamel paint. The product is not designed to be stepped on and will quickly wear, rip, peel, etc. when used. Refinishing adds a protective polyurethane acrylic over the wood which is not possible with regular paint. That protective coat will uphold and preserve the color for years to come, taking the hit before it wears into the color. Staining should only be done if it is properly mixed with finish. Resurrect Wood Refinishing offers a variety of stains that are designed for wooden surfaces including stairs.

Keep in mind, when you stain your stairs, they will always be a darker color than the original. This is because when you add stain to stain, it increases the density of the pigment.

How can I refinish my stairs without sanding?

We recommend you hire a professional (like us!) if you are seriously considering refinishing your stairs. Our process is completely sand-free and is only possible because of our methods as well as our proprietary product. With stairs, we use a variety of stains to help darken and color correct. The polyurethane acrylic works great with most pre-finished surfaces and adheres to your already finished stairs. Resurrect Wood Refinishing works in several steps. We first mask around the staircase to help protect adjacent walls and furniture from overspray. Then we clean and neutralize the wood, getting it free of any grease and oils that would bleed through. We seal the wood to help prepare the surface to absorb new finish and neutralize the ph levels. We then, by hand with a meticulous paint brush, go through and color correct wear, tear and scratches as needed. Our technicians are able to blend raw spots back to their original color. Once that’s all finished, we stain the entire surface to help bring balance and then finish it with a final coat of protective polyurethane acrylic clear coat top finish. 

All of this can be done without sanding if the wood doesn’t have excessive damage from scratching or moisture. In those cases sanding, traditional sanding refinish is going to be the only option.  Feel free to email or give us a call if you are uncertain. We will be happy to provide our opinion and suggestions. 

What happens if you stain over stain?

If you decide to stain over a stain it will increase the density of the pigment. So for example, if you have a stair that is a cherry maple color, adding a cherry stain to it will deepen the red and make it both richer and darker. Unfortunately, you can not lighten a stain without sanding, you can only go darker. Resurrect Wood Refinishing provides sample templates to help you understand what your existing stain would look if you decided to darken it into a new color. If you wish to keep the stain color the same and only require a traditional refinish, then keep in mind that there will still be a shade darker than the original.