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Gel stain on stair treads and handrail?

Posted by amt782 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 15, 12 at 21:09

I have read many of the inspirational posts in the kitchen forum of gel stains being used for cabinets with great results. My question is are they a durable enough finish (with gel topcoat) to handle the traffic on stair treads? I am considering going with the General Finishes Java Gel Stain. My goal is to go almost black so it appears black from a distance but still has some grain visible up close. To those with experience with General Finishes, will Java give me a dark enough color or do I need to go with a dark stain underneath the gel stain?

From Stairs

From Stairs


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Gel stain on stair treads and handrail?

Gel stain on bare wood will be the same permanence as a liquid stain. If over a previous finish, it will wear off if the finish coat wears off. So use a tough finish coat, like a floor varnish.
If oil-based varnish is used, either make real sure the gel stain is fully cured, or use a separator coat of shellac sealer to prevent the varnish's solvent from disturbing the stain.
Casey


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RE: Gel stain on stair treads and handrail?

I also want to know about the same relevant topic and I agree with idea of sombreuil_mongrel.. Thanks for sharing.


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RE: Gel stain on stair treads and handrail?

Any pigment stain is sitting ON the wood, and will wear if the protective coat wears away exposing the stain.

Dye could fare a little better, but depending on the type of wood the penetration can be very slight.

Any coloring is going to rely on the clear coat on top for wear protection.


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RE: Gel stain on stair treads and handrail?

For my stairs, I had the luxury of plenty of time for finishing them. Four coats of urethane with a week drying between coats and each coat sanded prior to the application of the next. I now wish I had done 6 coats.


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RE: Gel stain on stair treads and handrail?

Hi bus_driver
May I ask what brand of urethane you used on your stairs?

I have a set of fir stairs in my home that I am currently sanding down to finish...haven't decided what I am going to finish them with however! I will not be using a stain/color on them as I like the natural beauty/color of the fir. Simply need something to 'clear coat' them with for protection and was wondering what product you used...and why you wish you would have done a few extra coats.
Cheers


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