How to Refinish Worn Out Stair Treads

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Are your stair treads starting to look rough around the edges? Staircases take a battering, especially in the workplace, so it’s perfectly normal to see signs of wear and tear after years of heavy use. 

Fortunately, refinishing worn out stair treads makes the perfect DIY project! It only takes a few days and it won’t cost the earth either.

Keep reading to find out how to fix worn out stair treads. 

To Begin: Prep Your Staircase

The secret to restoring old stair treads is in the prep work. To begin, you’ll need to sand your treads to remove the existing varnish. 

Using a power sander is the fastest way to tackle your prep. Sand as much surface area as you can, then switch to hand sanding to reach those stubborn nooks and crannies. Use 80 grit sandpaper, which will smooth out your stairs without being too aggressive.

After sanding, give your staircase a thorough vacuum to remove the debris that’s accumulated. Then it’s time for round two! Once you’ve reached bare wood, repeat the process using 120 grit paper. 

Fill Holes with a Wood Filler

For a professional finish, purchase a wood filler from your local DIY store. Inject it into any cracks or holes that are visible in your treads.

Although it adds extra time to your reparations, skipping this step will reduce the lifespan of your staircase, as existing holes will grow with time. Spend a few hours filling now to save yourself time and money in the future.

Varnish or Re-Stain 

If you want to change the colour of your treads, you can apply a wood conditioner and an oil-based wood stain after sanding. Just apply, leave for 15 minutes and brush with a lint cloth before moving on to varnishing.

When you’re ready to varnish the first step is to choose your finish. There’s a wide range available these days but bear in mind that water-based finishes are easier to work with than their oil-based equivalents. 

Apply the finish, let it dry and then it’s time for the fun to begin all over again. You got it! After completing the above steps, sand and repeat twice more to perfect your stair tread restoration. 

To Finish: Fit Non-Slip Stair Nosing

If you’ve ever slipped on the stairs, you’ll know just how painful it can be. That’s why good quality stair nosing is the secret to a well-restored staircase. 

Stair nosing is fitted to stair treads to add grip and prevent slips. Choose from aluminium, brass, fibreglass or traction nosing to compliment the colour and material of your staircase.

If you’re restoring treads at your place of work, fitting nosing is non-negotiable. The Australian government takes the issue so seriously that they’ve even issued a list of requirements for stairs in the workplace to avoid accidents.

Give Your Stair Treads A New Lease of Life

Giving your tired stair treads a fresh new look doesn’t have to be difficult.

Follow this guide, get your sandpaper ready, and your worn out stairs will look like new in no time at all!