Blotchy stair treads and blotchy banister

Q: We moved into our new home 4 years ago. We recently noticed our oak stair treads are turning dark in some places, and they look very bad all over. The finish looks dull and dirty.

What would cause this? What can we do?

A: It sounds like the finish has worn off the stairs and the exposed wood is becoming discolored. If that is the case, they will need to be sanded and finished from the start.

Blotchy stairs and banister

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: I have sanded all the old stain on my stairs and banister and have put new stain on. There are spots that don’t seem to be taking the stain. How do I get the stain to look even and not blotchy?

A: The spots that don’t seem to be taking the stain aren’t. You have not removed all the old finish. You have to remove that before the stain can actually touch the wood and penetrate. That is why it is blotchy.

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