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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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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