Staining A Staircase Project: How To Stain Stairs In 5 Steps

You can learn the process of how to stain stairs right here. These 5 steps cover everything from preparation to final drying time. Staining a staircase involves reading the stain instructions, applying the first coat of stain, wiping off the excess liquid, allowing it to dry, and then repeating it.

You can find more details on the process below.

“We can have our house back soon, right?”

Isaac’s face lights up as The Home Source Network team leader tells him there’s only 1 day left until they can come back.

Isaac and his family chose to stay in a hotel while they were having their hardwood floors stained. The kids were having fun at first, but now they’re ready to go home. Now the only part left is for The Home Source Network to stain the staircases.

After staining the stairs

“So,” Isaac begins, “what are the steps for how to stain stairs anyways? I mean, what will it involve for you to do it?”

“Well,” the team leader begins, “I can lay out the process for you from start to finish if you’d like.” Isaac thinks for a bit before saying “Yeah, if you wouldn’t mind I’d love to know your process.”

How To Stain Stairs In 5 Steps

Staining a staircase involves preparing the area around the stairs so nothing gets in the way or gets stain on it. Then the stairs themselves need prepping. Before you start staining, read the instructions on the stain container. Then, apply 2 coats of the stain and 2 coats of the varnish. Be sure to wipe off any extra stain and allow enough drying time between coats.

1. Prepare The Area

    • Move anything near the stairs away
    • Open doors and windows for ventilation
    • Lay down drop cloths
    • Tape off walls and anything you can’t move that is next to the stairs
    • Make sure nothing is sticking out of the staircase (like nails)

2. Prepare The Stairs

    • Determine if you need to use a chemical stripper to remove the stain. This is only necessary for thick/heavy stains
    • Sand the surface of the wood to remove previous finish and even out any nicks
      • Start with medium grit then move to fine
    • Remove the dust
Before staining a staircase the same color as the floor
  • 3. Read Directions On Stain Container

      • Directions can be slightly different from stain to stain
  • 4. Apply 2 Coats Of The Stain 

      • Start at the top and work your way down. If using a paintbrush, apply the stain in even strokes, with the final stroke finishing in the area you’ve already stained.
        • Apply with paintbrush if the stain is water- or oil-based
        • Apply with rag if stain is gel-based
      • Wipe off the excess stain 
        • Use a dry cloth and allow it to dry. Repeat at least one more time.
      • Allow the stain to sit for 5-15 minutes (follow the directions)

    5. Apply 2 Coats Of Varnish

      • Apply floor-grade polyurethane varnish by following the directions on the container. In some cases it may ask you to sand between coats.
      • Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before putting anything on it

The transformation could look something like this:

When Will You Start?

Finding time to stain stairs, or have them stained, can be hard.

Life just seems to keep getting in the way, and as it goes on your stairs are left behind. But with the right contractor, you can have your staircases stained with as little interruption of your daily life as possible.

You can find out about us to see if we could be the one to help you stain your home.

2 staircases successfully stained