Refinished stairs in hardwood

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Project by Seeharlez posted 07-23-2012 02:15 AM 6706 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some said it was a bad idea, some said why not pay someone to do it, stairs are really hard… but I never listen to “those” people…

In actual fact, it was quite difficult and took a lot of patience. I used pre-stained hardwood (actually bamboo stained to look like brazillian walnut – got it for a screamin deal…) and the nosing I made from beech which was also on clearance at the local dealer. The biggest challenge in doing stairs is working with surfaces that are way out of square. I had to make a little jig to measure the exact length and angle of each strip and then transfer the measurements and cut each one to exact size on the table saw. If you have ever noticed a DYI stair refinish where there is quarter round along all the corners, its because it’s very time consuming to get each piece to fit correctly. In the end it came out great. the largest gap anywhere is probably less than 1/32”.

The other challenge was cutting the skirting to fit well and then shimming it against the wall to try and get it relatively straight. The skirting is made from 1/2” MDF and just simple corner trim from lowes.

This was also the first project I got to use my new router table on (Router table). Since then I have used it a lot and I don’t know what I would do without it now!

The nosing is stained using an mixed analine dye from LV and top coated with 5 coats of diamond varathane floor finish – semi-gloss.

I still have some trim work to do on the landing but I am waiting to complete the other side of the stairs (there are 2 sets of stairs leading up to the common landing.) You can see the before pic (dirty beige burber carpet) in pic 6.

Of course before doing anything I sketched it all up in sketchup – mainly because I was concerned about how the two-tone would look.Now that it’s done I’m really happy with the final look.

Thanks for looking!


-- Greg - Vancouver, BC

8 comments so far

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 3138 days

#1 posted 07-23-2012 02:17 AM

Looks really nice

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View dustyal's profile


1299 posts in 3619 days

#2 posted 07-23-2012 01:29 PM

well done!

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2708 days

#3 posted 07-24-2012 01:45 AM

did you have to trim down the thickness of each stairnose? Typically hardwood is 3/4” and bamboo is 5/8” must have been a pain, but it looks good now.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View ShaneA's profile


7033 posts in 2742 days

#4 posted 07-24-2012 02:07 AM

they look great, thanks for posting.

View Seeharlez's profile


83 posts in 3137 days

#5 posted 07-24-2012 03:23 AM

@bentheViking, actually the nosing was made from 1-1/4” rough stock so I milled it down to about 1-1/16” and then notched the back down to about 3/4” and added a gentle rounded bevel to the edge where it meets the bamboo. It creates a nice grip for the foot without the typical sharp edge. Thanks for asking!

-- Greg - Vancouver, BC

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2704 days

#6 posted 04-22-2013 02:39 AM

Really outstanding, great job.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View DAC's profile


148 posts in 2140 days

#7 posted 05-11-2013 11:58 PM


-- Wood is a zen like experiance.

View jimmyb's profile


185 posts in 2036 days

#8 posted 05-12-2013 02:15 AM

Excellent job

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

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