One Step At a Time?


Now that our kitchen remodeling project is almost complete, Leigh Ann pointed out that the parade of workmen had taken a toll on the top step of our stairway. One key board had lost most of its finish, and had picked up some scratches in the process. We could see a quick touch-up wouldn’t be enough, so we embarked on a mini-refinishing project — together. Dangerous idea? Take a look…..

Leigh Ann’s first step (no pun intended) was to protect the oak flooring from the sandpaper with a strip of painter’s tape.

Some hand sanding will be required, but our reliable palm sander loaded with coarse #60-grit sandpaper will reach most of the wood, removing the old finish and smoothing the rough edge.

Her final sanding will be with #120-grit sandpaper. Even on a small project, Leigh Ann is careful to wear a dust mask and safety glasses.

Quick Tip:  Brushes only spread dust; a vacuum removes it completely:  out of the pores, the cracks, and the air!!!

With a few light taps on a nail punch, Leigh Ann punches the old, exposed nail heads beneath the surface of the wood.

She then squirts a small amount of Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler into each hole. Quick Tip:  Smearing it around just means extra sanding will be necessary after it hardens.

This narrow top step was originally stained slightly darker than the floor to make it stand out and match the other steps, so we selected Minwax® Golden Oak Wood Finish™ stain to replace the lost color.

And every successful project needs a job superintendent, right, Jasper? 

Even if your superintendent falls asleep while you are wiping off the excess stain! Notice how the top step now matches the color of the lower steps. Just a little stain adds a subtle contrast between the oak steps and the oak flooring.

The stain adds color, but no protection. For that we reached for Minwax® Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane, that has the appearance and durability of oil based polyurethane, but without any fumes — and cleans up with soap and water!

Since it is a water based product, Leigh Ann is using a Minwax® Polycrylic® bristle brush — making it easy to clean up with soap and water. (Note: the dark area in the oak flooring next to her brush is the natural grain of the wood.)

Two coats of the Water Based Oil Modified Polyurethane will provide the protection our top step needs, and will match the other steps perfectly. And the best news is we were still speaking to each other when we finished the project!

Parting Shot

Quick Tip: Put your can in an old pie or cake pan lined with a paper towel to catch any drips.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


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