Backup and redo on Maple stair staining


Old 10-30-07, 11:56 PM
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Location: WA
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Backup and redo on Maple stair staining

We just had a new staircase put in. The wood in our upstairs is white oak, and we considered doing that on the stairs, but there was already a lot of contrasts between the stairs and the joining rooms, so we decided to pick the wood we wanted rather than just match it.

we had a number of brochures from our hardwood subcontractor. We really liked a maple with a "cinnimon" finish. We had not settled on the finish as they were installing the treads. The idea was that they were going to put on some stripes of a few different finishes, and we were going to choose. We didn't find out until today that the brochures we were looking at were for "prestained treads" (and they installed custom cut treads), and that all the color wheels only come in red oak (which we refinished in another room at same time and love the finish). We also just found out that "you don't usually stain maple" as the grain makes it look blotchy. So, they put on the samples, and they are standing there asking "well, which one?" The one we wanted (and that matched the window and rail trim) looked terrible. I had to leave for work, and my wife to take the kids to preschool, and we had to make a choice. We debated going with a natural finish and living with the clash with the darker trim. We came home and hated the finish.

Well, what to we do now? they have one coat of stain down, and we are considering having them sand it off and go with the natural. The other alternative is to let them finish it as is, and see if we can live with it, and then if not, redo them when we get our living room done in a year or two. I know it will cost more, but is the sanding work any harder once they have the top wax (osmo) on as opposed to just one coat of stain?

P.S. Though it sounds like it, I am not the customer in this post.
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Old 10-31-07, 12:09 AM
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To add another question, look at these pictures:

Full kitchen
Top down
Bottom up

The door and window (and therefore the shelf and half wall) are going to be stained Golden Brown to match (sort of) the wood in the kitchen and dining room (there is no separation). Knowing that we have maple, should we stay with a matching stain, even though it doesn't look as good, or should we have gone "natural" and have good looking treads that just don't really match with the rest of the wood?

Thanks again!
Old 11-06-07, 04:21 PM
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Well, it won't be any easier, but don't expect them to apply the finish, for free, if you want it sanded off!!!

It is your home, and it is up to you to make a decision. Asking here, is not going to solve your concerns. He may not charge you for the finish, now, but if you wait for him to apply it, you will be out more cost, then if you halt him now, and no time or money has been spent on the finish coats.

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