We collected some pictures of the house on the internet and choose the best for your reference made in building a house. Wood staining doors, window sills and shelves with a gloss or silk finish wood stain gives a good durable finish that is easy to wipe clean, but for areas of heavy traffic and constant use such as floors and handrails the stained wood should be finished with a suitable varnish to reduce the build-up of muck making cleaning easier. Taking the stairway back to bare wood ready for varnishing is tackled first because this will require lots of sanding and creating most of the dust.
The original layer, a green water based paint, probably a wood and knot sealant, had soaked deep into the wood grain and was impervious to both chemical removal and heat gun and ordinary sanding; only a sanding belt sander or similar that could cut deep into the wood grain would remove this first layer. Faced with these challenges, further down this article is in-depth description of how I tackled these issues to remove the various layers of paints on the treads (steps) in the confined areas of the stairway, remodelled the risers to give a wood finish and decorated the stringers for minimal future maintenance.
When I was sanding-down the stairs, as demonstrated in this how-to review article, the old lead paint not surprisingly did clog up the sanding belts although they did do their job and get me back to the bare wood. For example, in this article the 15mm plywood used as facers on the bottom step was an old pained cabinet top that was quickly sanded down to smooth bare wood with the belt sander. If you use wood chips, they should be small enough to decompose in a year or two.
The first step to taking the stairs back to bare wood is to apply liberal coats of paint and varnish stripper, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, to remove as much paint as possible. Therefore, I spent some time researching the web to learn how other people tackle taking stairs back to the bare wood and what tips they offered. Our builder provided us with great guidance, as did our son’s wood shop instructor.
This proved extremely effective because unlike the sanders that oscillate the sanding drum rotates like a belt sander and cuts through the paint and wood just like butter. The Nosing (the edge of the treads) was easy to take back to the bare wood using just an ordinary sander; required little effort and didn’t take long to do. The Stringers are the two side pieces of wood that holds the treads and risers in place; why it’s called a stringer I don’t know. For the steps I made my own out of scrap wood and rounded the leading edges with an electric sander.