Staining and finishing a wood staircase

Many homeowners choose to stain their staircases instead of painting them because of the look. The stain keeps the natural grain of the wood, making the stairs look great. Staining a staircase can be tricky as you will need to be careful not to ruin the areas that are drying.

Some of the tool and materials that you will need are:

  • Painter’s tape
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • 200-grit sandpaper
  • Tack rag
  • Stain
  • Stick
  • 2 brushes
  • Rag
  • Varnish
  1. First of all you will need to tape off any areas that you want to avoid staining. Use painter’s tape to do this.
  2. Then you will need to clean the stairs and sand off any substance that got stuck to the stairs.
  3. Use a 200-grit sandpaper to sand the entire staircase.
  4. Then stir the content of the stain can and mix it regularly throughout the staining process.
  5. Now it’s time to apply the stain. Use smooth strokes and go with the grain of the wood. Remove excess stain by wiping the surface with a clean rag.
  6. Repeat step 5 to the other steps.
  7. Wait for the stain to dry. This can take up to 24 hours.
  8. If you want a darker tone, then you can apply another layer of stain. Also let it dry.
  9. Then apply a layer of varnish over the stairs. Let it dry.
  10. Then sand the layer of varnish with a 200-grit sandpaper. Sand it lightly. Then apply a second layer of varnish and also let it dry. You can apply up to 4 layer of varnish.


  • For you to have access to the stairs while painting/staining them, you can skip steps and after all the other have dried, you can stain/paint these too.
applying stain to a wood staircase, applying varnish to a stained staircase, how to paint a staircase, how to stain stairs, painting stairs, stained wood stairs, staining stairs, staining wood stairs, wood stairs