help with toning wood

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Old 01-10-07, 11:31 AM
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help with toning wood

My stair railing and treads are a little worn. I don't know what they were finished with, but not urethane. I wiped them down with paint thinner and steel wool (which removed the gloss) and then applied stain. The stain, however, is still tacky 24 hours later. I am afraid that the stain is just floating on top and I won't be able to seal it now. I just want to darken the existing stain, cover little scuffs/scratches and add a protective coat. Please any advice would be welcomed.
 
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Old 01-10-07, 11:42 AM
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How did you determine they weren't coated with urathane?

It is doubtful that you removed the finish simply by scrubbing with steel wool and paint thinner. Stain needs to be applied over raw wood - either new or stripped.

Interior stain is usually applied and then the excess is wiped off leaving on the stain that penatrates the wood. Stain applied over sealed wood can't penetrate, has a hard time drying and will never adhere well.

You can probably wash off the stain with paint thinner. Then you need to decide if you wish to strip and restain, just varnish/poly or use a tinted poly to darken the finish. If you use tinted poly you must apply a couple coats of clear poly over it to protect the color!!! Tinted poly isn't recomended for floors because as the finish wears away, some of the color will wear off as well. Top coating with clear poly will help to prevent this.
 
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Old 01-10-07, 12:22 PM
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There are polyurethanes specifically designed for floors that you should use as your topcoats.
 
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Old 01-10-07, 12:54 PM
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toning wood

Thank you guys so much. I did "rewash" the finish with thinner. It removed the build up but some stain did penetrate, because it is somewhat deeper than original. The original finish, I assumed was not urethane because it never felt slick and became "dirty" looking or dull when I wiped it with a damp rag. Also, these are actually the false treads. Although solid oak they take up only the outer edge of the step, the remaining part is carpeted. The ballusters set on these, so I am not so worried about wear. Can I get a tinted poly at any paint/hardware store? Again, thank you.
 
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Old 01-10-07, 05:45 PM
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The false treads are usually made of oak veneer plywood. Plywood finishes a little different than solid wood. It takes more work [and varnish/poly] to make them look real good.

The tinted poly you want is sold by minwax as polyshades. Sold at most big box, hardware and paint stores. Care must be used when applying a tinted poly. Runs, drips, lapmarks and any place where the coating is applied thicker will have more color [darker] The more coats you apply the more the wood will change in color. There are many different shades of polyshades for sell.
 
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Old 01-10-07, 08:53 PM
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If in doubt, pick a lighter shade - you can always apply another coat to make it darker, but too late once it's too dark.
 
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