finishing stairs & railing

Old 11-11-05, 09:19 AM
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Question finishing stairs & railing

I have an unfinished (but slightly worn and dirty) interior pine staircase. I plan to paint the risers and trim, and stain the treads, banister, and railing. I plan to use polyurethane on the treads. Questions: do the other stained wood parts (railing) also need poly protection? Is water based or oil better? Or is it better to paint the railing and banister?
Old 11-12-05, 02:03 PM
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The polyurethane and paint will provide protection as you specified. There is no need to apply polyurethane over paint. Alkyd paint will provide a cured finish sooner than latex, but is not necessarily any better in the long run for this.

Be certain that these surfaces are cleaned with mineral spirits to remove any grease, grit, or grime. If the surfaces are burnished from use, sanding uniformly where stain is to be applied will help ensure more uniform results.

Any stained surface needs a finish for protection. Polylurethane is often used for this purpose.

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