Cross post - help staining stairs

2ajsmamaAugust 6, 2009

Here is the dilemma. I have (radiata) pine trim and doors stained Honey Maple. Brazilian Cherry DR floor. Oak treads on stairs open to DR and foyer. Golden oak DR furniture (and kitchen cabinets). But the stringer and risers are Southern yellow pine. I did finish the exposed DR side of the stringer, and the bottom riser, before the DR floor was installed - they're very light (don't remember if I even tried to stain them or just poly'd). Boiled linseed oil and beeswax on the treads - that did not turn out to hold up well to traffic so I'll have to try to strip it off and poly or Waterlox them some time when I can keep people off for a week (like right b4 vacation at Tgiving?). I'm also concerned that going darker on treads will make the gouges the builder put in look worse - or will they blend better? They got darker when I waxed them, I sanded them as much as I dared.

So, we're finally installing a railing and newel posts - red oak. How should I (re)finish the risers and treads, and should I go with contrasting stain (reddish brown cherry to match floor?) on the rail and newels? Should the rosettes match the treads or the rail (assuming they end up different colors)? Is it OK to leave the risers/stringers lighter to match the honey pine baseboard, and go darker with the oak pieces?

My real big worry is that I will stain the railing and newels dark to match the BC floor, and then never be able to get the treads to match, and end up with 3 wood tones on the stairs. I think 2-tone may look OK, but not 3. I'm not sure I could get the pine risers to stain as dark (without looking blotchy and muddy) as the floor. So, do I take the easy way out and just leave the pine natural (or Honey Maple stain) and the oak natural (Natural stain on red oak)?

Pictures are on the original thread on Decorating forum

Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread with pictures

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