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Stair tread finish

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  1. #1
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    Default Stair tread finish

    I'm in the process of renovating an internal timber staircase and not happy with the appearance of the finished treads. Two treads have shallow divots in them from where they were sanded incorrectly. These long shallow groove areas ruin an otherwise perfect finish. The divots are very noticeable in the reflection of light due to satin finish of varnish. I plan on sanding both affected treads back and re-finishing them .. however I'm wondering if there exists a 'self leveling' or very fine filler I could use to level the surface as the divots proved too shallow for wood putty. (tried to fill them with wood putty prior to stain & varnish but didn't get the perfectly smooth level finish which really shows with the reflection of light on the varnish finish.) Thought I'd check before trying to sand the divots out of the treads completely as last resort.

  2. #2
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Are they dents in the timber or gouges ? If dents, get a damp towel and place it on the timber. Use your iron to heat the towel and timber up. The steam will expand the timber fibres and hey presto, no more dent. If gouged you have no real way making a subtle repair unless you use domething like colour matched epoxy resin.

  3. #3
    Seasoned DIY droog's Avatar
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    What tool or method are you using to sand them ?

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice ringtail .. didn't think of colour matched epoxy resin, so I learnt something. Think though that I will be sanding back and trying with the wood putty again (after viewing some youtube videos on the subject). I'll be using a hard foam sanding block with 240 grit paper to sand back after leaving the putty fill proud droog

  5. #5
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Just re read your original post. I think you'll have to sand the marks completely out. Filler, when applied in a shallow coat and in a high wear area will simply fall out. Sanding the entire area is the only solution. Epoxy would work but doesn't sand overly well and the finish may not take to it properly.

  6. #6
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    Get hold of an orbital sander and use a course paper until the marks are gone, then light paper to finish off.

    Be careful close to the stringer, and also the risers, if any.

    I am thinking someone has used a belt sander on them, or even worse, a planer.

    And of course a picture tells a thousand words.

  7. #7
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    yep .. thinking about it .. I will sand back smooth and not use putty. Not deep enough to warrant a planer .. but tempting to save time! .. will be going old school starting with very course working up to fine. Should've done it right the first time .. sigh. Thanks for all the input, much appreciated

  8. #8
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    No need to start very coarseas this will cause you grief. Start with 80 then go 120 and 240 if you want. Remember that stairs must have slip resistant finish

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebMc View Post
    yep .. thinking about it .. I will sand back smooth and not use putty. Not deep enough to warrant a planer .. but tempting to save time! .. will be going old school starting with very course working up to fine. Should've done it right the first time .. sigh. Thanks for all the input, much appreciated
    NO NO NO

    I was not saying use a planer,

    I was saying
    someone may have used a planer.

    Ringtail has put up the sandpaper grades to use.

  10. #10
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    No need to start very coarseas this will cause you grief. Start with 80 then go 120 and 240 if you want. Remember that stairs must have slip resistant finish

    In fact I would start with 120 to be on the safe side. You can always go coarser but if it is too coarse you are up for a lot of sanding and fixing.
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
    Seneca

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