Refinishing Pine Slab Stairs
Our house has an open staircase built of large pine slabs. The previous owners had a dog and some of the steps are scratched and gouged, although not in horrible shape. The edges are also a bit worn on some steps, mostly from 10 years of use.
I sanded the bottom step to see how they would refinish. When it was bare, I stained it and got a too dark blotchy mess. So I sanded it down again and sealed it with varnish, which is basically the right color. However, the varnish has made it really blotchy too, although a lighter mess. :)
Should I use a wood conditioner first? And are they only for stained wood? Or can a wood conditioner help before adding a clear satin varnish?
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!