01:36PM | 04/20/09
Member Since: 10/11/03
17 lifetime posts
There are about 4 layers of paint on the stairs in my 100-year-old house, the last color being deck gray. The stairs are sturdy so no need to replace, am having them sanded and will repaint - for some reason when looking at the underlying wood I don't think it would look varnished or stained as it is so smooth and worn. So I am looking for a paint color that resembles wood for the treads (the risers, spindles, etc. will be white). Any ideas? And can you believe they painted the beautiful handrail and newel posts black??? Am having that stripped and varnished - still in good shape. Thanks!


David, Moderator

12:14PM | 12/22/13
Member Since: 11/15/13
262 lifetime posts
I agree with not applying regular stain because it usually doesn't soak into the wood to well after sanding.
Here are 2 options to consider using a graining tool that you can purchase at a paint store or home improvement center.
1)Gel stain : Apply a coat of gel stain and allow it to set up for a few minutes. Use the graining tool to create a wood grain appearance.
Allow this to dry at least 24 hrs before applying polyurethane.

2) 2 tone paint : Choose a paint color for the finish coat. Light brown, dark brown, whichever you like. Also choose a color a few shades lighter for a base coat.
Apply the lighter color and allow to dry completely. Apply the darker finish coat. After a few minutes use your graining tool to apply a grain affect.
Note : Use a piece of scrap of wood to practice using the graining tool so when you get to the real thing you have a feel for it.

Ok, there are a few options, have fun, be creative.
David : bobvila Moderator
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