What typof wood are my stairs made of?

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Old 07-05-14, 08:24 PM
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What typof wood are my stairs made of?

I removed some carpet, linoleum tiles, and most of the old stain and glue and am getting ready to pre-stain, stain, and poly. As I have no experience finishing wood I'd like to practice on some similar boards. What type of wood do I have?

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Old 07-05-14, 08:28 PM
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That is likely SPF. (various species including Spruce/Pine/Fir) You can find those type of stair treads in almost any box store.
 
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Old 07-05-14, 08:34 PM
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I've started practicing on some pine boards and they aren't coming out so great, are there any tricks i would know for stain dark?
 
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Old 07-05-14, 08:47 PM
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Generally a paint store (not box store) will give you the best advice on stains. Many stains wipe off, leaving the wood too light. Some stains work better than others on pine, so that the color stays on the wood and doesn't wipe off. I generally trust SW products, like Wood Classics.

Other times the wood needs to actually be dyed dark as a base coat before more colorant (in the form of stain) is applied. These are a little more advanced techniques, but your local paint store could point you in the right direction.
 
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Old 07-06-14, 03:37 AM
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Could you post a pic of what you stained that isn't acceptable or at least provide a description of why it doesn't look great. Pine can be a little tricky when it comes to dark stains. Often it's advisable to use a wood conditioner first so the wood will take the stain more evenly but that presents another issue, stains applied over conditioner tend to be lighter in color. What stain color are you using?
 
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Old 07-06-14, 05:03 AM
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Pine is very soft and may not hold up as finished stairs. Be prepared to replace or cover them in the future.
 
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Old 07-06-14, 06:42 AM
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I left the per-stain on each for 10 minutes, then stained the first piece for 10 minutes twice, the second piece for 20 minutes twice, and the third piece for 40ish minutes twice. Those pictures have one coat of poly on them. I only used the red mahogany because the cherry was too light.

The fourth picture has the vinyl flooring I am trying to match.

Thanks
 
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Old 07-06-14, 06:49 AM
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IMO, you will need to skip the prestain wood conditioner if you want to get the wood as dark as your sample. As Marksr mentioned, using the conditioner results in a lighter (though more consistent) color. That's nice when you want a consistent light color without lots of dark blotchy areas. But when it needs to be as dark as you want to go, you need more color to penetrate into the wood.
 
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Old 07-07-14, 05:50 AM
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Skip the second coat of stain as well - just like the conditioner, staining the wood keeps stain from soaking in. If you can't get the color you want with one coat, you need a different stain. That said, you could leave the stain on longer than 10 minutes before wiping off the excess.
 
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