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Wear resistant finish for cherry stair treads

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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 05-09-2011 09:52 AM 3424 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newwoodbutcher

380 posts in 1547 days


05-09-2011 09:52 AM

My wife has asked me to replace twelve carpeted stair treads with Solid Cherry Treads (the carpet always looks dirty). I’m thinking cherry treads will look great for about two years then the wear will require refinishing. I am however hopeful that a few of you have a known finish that wears like steel but still shows off the cherry tread. Anyone got experience with this?

-- Ken


17 replies so far

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2519 days


#1 posted 05-09-2011 12:13 PM

Ken, polyurethane will work just fine for your situation. I put down brazillian cherry treads and risers on our stairway over 15 years ago and they still look as good today as they did then. Our stairway is a high traffic area that has survived dogs, my two sons, and now the grandchildren.

Whatever you ultimately to go with I would advise you to put a finish on both sides of the tread to even out the moisture adsorption. With respect to the treads I put on 4 coats of poly.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2824 days


#2 posted 05-09-2011 02:19 PM

“Although Jatoba is sometimes referred to as Brazilian Cherry or South American Cherry, it is not a cherry tree and it is in no way, botanically or otherwise related to the Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), a very common North American hardwood.”

For real North American cherry wood stair treads, I have used WaterLox products with great success.
Easy to apply and easy to repair. The results are stunning.

-- 温故知新

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Loren

7746 posts in 2345 days


#3 posted 05-09-2011 04:52 PM

2 part urethanes are the hardest wearing by far. West System 3 is a
good one, but perhaps overkill for you.

Standard poly wears pretty well on floors too.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Steven H

1114 posts in 1757 days


#4 posted 05-09-2011 05:00 PM

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newwoodbutcher

380 posts in 1547 days


#5 posted 05-09-2011 07:28 PM

Thanks guys. I expected to hear it was a bad idea. I’m guessing it will look pretty nice. I’m thinking I’ll try a few test pieces with West System 3, Verathane Floor Finish and Waterlox to check out the look. I went to West System ’s website and didn’t see anything on West System 3 info. Loren, can you help me find any info on it?
Thank you all

-- Ken

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hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2824 days


#6 posted 05-10-2011 01:16 AM

Polyurethane is an ingredient, not a product.

Products that contain polyurethane can vary so much in their composition and components that there is no such thing as a “standard poly.”

Chicken soup contains chicken. It is not chicken.

Just saying… :)

-- 温故知新

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newwoodbutcher

380 posts in 1547 days


#7 posted 05-10-2011 03:20 AM

Hey Hobomonk,
Thank you I didn’t know that about Polyurethane although now that you said it it makes perfect sense

-- Ken

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11793 posts in 1802 days


#8 posted 05-10-2011 05:19 AM

I would get a bowling alley finish if possible. I think they use a hard wearing lacquer. There are a lot of good wearing polyurethane floor finishes too. I have not seen if for sale, but Harris Tarket makes a laminated floor with a titanium coating that is guaranteed for 25 years. We have that floor and it is as hard wearing as tile. I don’t know if that type of finish is available for home use.

I have not seen West System 3 but if it is like the 5to1 West System Epoxy, I’ll bet it would be good for wear and moisture protection..

Maybe you could get wide Cherry flooring boards all prefinished by Harris Tarket and make the stair treads and risers out of them!! Think outside the box!!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Loren's profile

Loren

7746 posts in 2345 days


#9 posted 05-10-2011 05:44 AM

System 3 is probably not around anymore. It was the best of the best
when I was learning about finishes. West System is probably overkill
for most applications. It’s about the toughest of the tough from what
I’ve heard.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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newwoodbutcher

380 posts in 1547 days


#10 posted 05-11-2011 07:29 AM

Thanks Loren

-- Ken

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Earlextech

1002 posts in 1387 days


#11 posted 05-11-2011 03:04 PM

Something to chew on.

All pro basketball courts are finished with waterbased poly top coats. They are hard enough, long lasting and safe to apply.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View MrMeasureTwice's profile

MrMeasureTwice

115 posts in 1118 days


#12 posted 08-05-2012 05:26 AM

Hey newwoodbutcher – so, what did you end up doing for the stairs?

-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

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newwoodbutcher

380 posts in 1547 days


#13 posted 08-05-2012 07:06 AM

Thanks for asking. I finally went with Potassium Dichromate for color and Waterlox Original base/sealer coat. They turned out fabulously! However…... the Waterlox fumes while applying and curing were very, very noxious. One whiff gave me a major headache. I ended up finishing them in the shop with fans blowing, respirator on, doors and windows open for a week before you could go in there without a respirator. But the finish is exquisite. I’ll post pictures tomorrow. I only completed one flight and have one more to go. I will use the same coloring and top coat for the second flight( cause the results are so great) but the whole finishing job will be completed in the shop with fans blowing.

-- Ken

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MrMeasureTwice

115 posts in 1118 days


#14 posted 08-05-2012 04:15 PM

@Ken – Yes, please show off your handiwork – would love to see the stairs.

I have a set of stairs that I am going to be recovering with cherry, most likely, and I was hoping to see your stairs.

My stair way is 7 steps up, a landing a U-turn and then 7 more stairs. Currently covered in carpet, but VERY soon to be uncovered and left NEKKID (naked) while I build my treads and riders.

My wife and I looked online at various things people have done and I think we will be completely redoing the stairs, balusters and rails too.

I smell another BIG project coming!!!!

-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

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newwoodbutcher

380 posts in 1547 days


#15 posted 08-05-2012 05:28 PM

Between ambient light, using a phone for a camera and my lack of skill, here’s the best I can do. The color isn’t right because of the flash but It’s sort of close

-- Ken

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