Refinishing Wood Stair Parts: A Complete How-To

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Wooden staircases are a classic feature in many homes, adding warmth and character to any space. However, over time, the finish on wood stair parts can become worn or damaged, detracting from their beauty. Refinishing wood stair parts is a great way to restore their appearance and protect them from further damage. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of refinishing wood stair parts, from preparing the surface to applying the final coat of finish.

Materials Needed

Before you begin, gather the following materials:

  • Sandpaper (80, 120, 220 grit)
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Polyurethane or varnish
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Drop cloth or plastic sheeting
  • Gloves and safety glasses

Prepare the Surface

Start by removing any carpet or other coverings from the stairs. Use a putty knife to scrape off any old paint or finish. Fill any holes or cracks with wood filler, and sand the entire surface with 80-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining finish and smooth out imperfections.

Sand the Surface

Next, sand the surface again with 120-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots and prepare the wood for staining or painting. Use a tack cloth to remove any dust and debris from the surface.

Apply Stain or Paint

If you’re staining the wood, apply the stain with a paintbrush or foam brush, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the stain to dry completely before applying a second coat, if desired. If you’re painting the wood, apply the paint with a paintbrush or foam brush, and allow it to dry completely before applying a second coat.

Apply Finish

Once the stain or paint has dried, apply a coat of polyurethane or varnish with a paintbrush or foam brush. Allow the finish to dry completely before lightly sanding the surface with 220-grit sandpaper and applying a second coat. Repeat this process until you achieve the desired level of protection and sheen.

Clean Up

Once the finish has dried, remove any tape or plastic sheeting from the surrounding area, and clean up any spills or drips with a damp cloth. Dispose of any used materials properly, and store any leftover finish in a cool, dry place.


Refinishing wood stair parts is a great way to restore their appearance and protect them from further damage. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can achieve professional-looking results and enjoy your beautiful staircase for years to come. Remember to take your time, follow safety precautions, and use the right materials for the job. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can transform your worn or damaged wood stair parts into a stunning focal point in your home.

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