Q: How do I clean sticky wooden stair rails?
A: It depends what type of finish is on the rails and what is making them sticky. If it is shellac, you want to stay away from anything containing alcohol, which would dissolve the shellac. If it is a urethane or varnish, then a polyurethane cleaner would do a good job. Otherwise you might try a weak mix of tsp or mineral spirits. Even vinegar and water is worth a try. I would start with the least drastic and work my way up.
Related Q: I recently purchased a home with wooden railings. They have a sticky feeling when you hold on to them and I don’t know how to remove the stickiness. The house is air conditioned so humidity doesn’t seem to be the problem. Any suggestions on what product I can use to make them shiny and smooth?
A: Someone has likely applied a furniture polish or oil type finish over varnish. Any approved cleaner for polyurethane should fix this up. Bona Pacific cleaner, www.bonakemi.com or cleaners from MinWax, Basic Coatings, Mirage and Poloplaz to name a few. They are good for all your top coated wood items.
Open stair case
I am installing oak hardwood flooring, using stair nosing's, on a staircase which is partially open on one side. What is the best way to match up the ends of the risers with the stair skirt?
Blotchy stair treads and blotchy banister
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 look, dull and dirty. What would cause this? what can we do?
Drafty stair case
Q: We have a house that was built in the 20's. The stair case going upstairs to the master bedroom (a.k.a. attic) is leaking very cold air. We're fighting to heat the upstairs. Can you advise what would be the best sealant for the stairs? Any other thoughts? We would…
Wrapping stair nosing
I have stairs with pickets. I assume from the other questions that I have to take those up and put them back when done. Is it OK to just glue down the hard wood and use no nails, and if not, is it OK to nail in engineered planks? I…
Pine stair tread
We recently removed the carpeting on one of our circa 1970 open stair case treads to find a pine stair tread. We love the look of the wood but wonder if pine is a good material, it seems a bit soft for stairs. Each tread will need much refinishing due…