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How to protect your wooden staircase


So you have just had a brand new staircase fitted or had your old one refurbished with new wooden components. Having invested in your stunning new staircase you now want to keep it looking new and prevent damage to it.


A & T Carpentry give you their top tips on how to look after you staircase and keep it looking like new!

Apply Varnish or Oil to Your Wooden Staircase

If you have not already painted or carpeted your wooden staircase then you should apply some kind of protection to maintain a high quality apperance.  This is usually done with oil or varnish and as soon as possible, before the wood becomes dirty from footwear and sticky hands.  A protective covering will prevent any permanent marks or stains and make the wood easy to wipe down in the event of any spillages.

Bewdley Oak Staircase renovation
A&T Carpentry staircase renovation Bromsgrove
staircase refurbishment completed
Bromsgrove Oak staircase turn

Wood Oil

This tends to be the most common prtective layer to preserve the wooden components of your staircase. 2 coats of good quality oil will last a couple of years. The pores in the timber soak up the oil which prevents it from absorbing water and moisture. This prevents the onset of wood rot and keeps the wood strong. There is no need sand the wood before oiling. Just wipe it down with a damp loth and remove any loose dust and dirt and then apply the oil as per the instructions on the tin!

Osmo oil is a widely used product and although it is a little pricey it adds a strong layey of protection that will last 2-3 years depending on how much traffic your staircase sees. It comes in a clear oil that enhances the natural colour of your wood or a variety of tinted colours.

Osmo Oil
Varnish Stairs

Polyurethane Varnish

Polyurethane Varnish is a clear water based polyurethane varnish. The wood will need no preparation on your first application, just  apply it with a brush but bear in mind it dries quickly so you need to work fast. The second coat can usually be applied 24 hours afterwards. It will dry to a hard and very durable finish and is more resistant to scratches and scuffs than oil. Varnish tends to give a shinier finish than the matte finish of most oils. When it comes to renewing the protective varnish in a couple of years time you will need to sand and prepare the wood to achieve a ‘new look’ staircase. This makes polyurethane finishes a bit more of a chore than finishing with oil.

Hard Wax Oils

This finish is a  blend of wax and oil that gives a non peeling waterproof finish.  It gives a shine to the wood but not like the high glossy finish of a varnish. Once it has been applied it will dry in 4-6 hours and there’s no need to reapply it  or to varnish the wood.  Again they come in a variety of natural and staining colours.  The fumes from this finish can be very strong so ensure you have plenty of ventilation when working with this product.  

Wax Colours

Keep Your Staircase Clean

It goes without saying that if you regularly clean your staircase it will help preserve its appearance. All you need to do is hoover or brush the treads and wipe down the posts, balustrades and spindles with a damp cloth. Do not use any cleaning fluids as they may damage or stain the wood finish. 

Staircases and Shoe Damage

Another easy way to protect your solid wooden staircase is to remove shoes before walking on them. High heeled shoes in particular are likey to scratch and dent the wooden treads. Even rubber soled shoes can damage your staircase if you have a piece of stone or gravel lodged in the sole. This kind of damage is very difficult to repair. 

To find out how we can help with your staircase refurbishment, get in touch with us and we’ll do all we can to assist you in the process from start to finish.

A & T Carpentry


To find out how we can help with your staircase refurbishment, get in touch with us and we’ll do all we can to assist you in the process from start to finish.

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01527 535 193

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A & T Bromsgrove Staircase Installations and carpentry