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How to Stain New Stair Treads

Stair treads receive a lot of wear and tear over the years because of the way your foot pounds and scuffs across the surface of the tread. Choosing a sturdy wood, such as oak, will help your new stair treads endure the traffic. Wood is also a good choice for new stair treads because you can stain it to match your hardwood floors or to match your existing home décor. To stain new stair treads, choose a color that complements your décor and is versatile enough to last for years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood stain
  • Paintbrush
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Polyurethane
  • Sandpaper
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    • 1

      Apply wood stain to the new stair treads using a paintbrush. Brush it on in the same direction as the wood grain, covering the top and sides of the tread.

    • 2

      Wipe off any excess stain using a lint-free cloth to prevent a blotchy look.

    • 3

      Allow the stain to dry completely without disruption. Your stain may look dull and lighter than expected after it dries, but that will change after you seal it.

    • 4

      Use a paintbrush to apply a coat of polyurethane over your wood stain. Apply the sealer in the same direction as the wood's grain. Allow it to dry.

    • 5

      Sand the polyurethane lightly, then add another coat. Use at least three coats of polyurethane on your new stair treads to help protect them from wear and tear.