When we were in the beginning stages of this renovation, we had our floors and stair treads refinished. My goal was for them to look light and natural, however, I hadn’t taken into account the fact that they are 1) two different materials (stair treads are soft pine, and our floors are oak), and 2) 140 year old floors!
When the floor guys sanded and poly’d the stair treads they were very orange compared to the golden oak color of our floors. For me, they were fine at the time, and I lived with them, but recently realized how different the color of the stair treads were compared to the railing and it began to bother me. It also doesn’t help that while painting my new trim work (reveal coming next week), I dripped paint all over the treads during the process (#poorplanning) that needed to be sanded off, so it sort of forced me to take this project on.
On a client project recently, I gave gel stain a try for the first time to cover up some very orange pine beams in my client’s kitchen, and it was amazing! No sanding, no drips, no major mess! So I decided to give it a try on my stairs.
First my husband lightly sanded the stair treads to remove the paint splatter and drips. We wiped them down to make sure they were free of debris (aka pine needles from Christmas).
I then taped off the stair treads, grabbed a paint pad, latex gloves, and a rag (it was actually an old sock, lol).
I spread the stain on the stairs with the paint pad and quickly realized that it wasn’t the right tool for this application, it did work well, however, on the beams in my client’s kitchen. I then tried the old sock over a gloved hand and that seemed to be the right tool for the job, allowing me to have good control over the amount of stain that was applied.
With gel stain, you can paint it on thick and leave it, or paint it on and wipe any excess off until you get the desired look you are going for.
My greatest tip, is to have good lighting when applying the stain so you are sure that the stain is distributed evenly.
So you may be thinking, “Shouldn’t the floors and stairs match?” In a perfect world, YES, but I think as long as they coordinate, they’re fine. Our floors have some dark areas of grain in them so I think it works just fine. And I’m just so much happier seeing the treads and railing match.
During this process, I also gave the stairs, balusters and newel post a swipe of the gel stain too, and it really helped to revitalize the wood.
Have you tackled any projects using gel stain?
Stay tuned, next week I’ll be sharing my stair makeover reveal on Royal Building Product’s website: LiveAbode.com