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Staircase restoration London specialists /  staining stairs

Staircase restoration London:

We spacialise in all types of wood refinishing.

Example project:

Finish colour: Jacobean Dark Oak

Lacquer: water base 40% satin

Technique: hand finish

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Repairs and staircase refinishing:


Staining stairs

Staining a softwood staircase opens up lots of exciting possibilities and has many advantages.

Stain is easier to apply than paint allows the grain and texture of the wood to show trough.

Dark stains can be used for a traditional look while lighter stains offer a more contemporary feel.

Before staining, it is essential that the surface of the wood receives adequate preparation so that it is entirely free from paint, dust and dirt that will otherwise spoil the overall effect.

For successful staining all traces of the old finish must be removed as any spots of paint left behind will prevent the stain from soaking into the wood.

A staircase with no previous finish is easier to stain and much of the preparatory work can be foregone – a light sanding is often enough. 

Stripping staircase

Starting from the top of the staircase paint stripper can be used applied by brush.

Another method is to use a hot air gun and electric sanders.

Preparing the surface

Sanding up every part of the stairs to remove any final of paint.

An electric sander, whilst not essential, makes fast work on flat areas.

Once the stairs has been given a trough sanding down it is a time to make any necessary repairs to the wood surface – gaps, cracks and holes.

For final preparation we make sure to dust off the stairs and remove all with tack cloth.


Most cracks in the plaster of a room, especially in newer homes, will be due to the natural settlement of materials or, in older houses, due to plaster that has been poorly mixed and applied.
Such cracks often appear at the corners of the room or around door frames and should be no larger than hairline.

Some cracks, however, especially ceiling cracks, are caused by slight movement in the floorboards rather than general settlement or poor plastering. These are usually no cause for alarm and may simply be patched, as a certain amount of seasonal movement is normal in solid timber floors. If the house is new, floor movement can probably be attributed to natural shrinkage once the property starts to dry out and the moisture content of the timber is reduced.

In older properties, however, ceiling cracks accompanied by springy flooring in the room above may signal rotten joists or boards that have come loose of joists due to rusted nails.
Persistent cracks under skirting may also indicate floor problems or even subsidence, and cracks in subf loors made from manufactured boards are generally indicative of more serious problems.

If you cannot easily find the
root cause of a crack or it continues to widen, this may indicate serious structural problems and you should seek professional advice.

Floor dump

Wet and damp skirting boards are a sure sign of rising moisture in the fabric of the wall, which could be caused by a bridged or missing damp-proof course. Such damp is far more noticeable on walls facing the prevailing wind, especially after heavy rain when moisture is driven through the wall. If the wall is noticeably damp on these occasions it may be the joists are absorbing water. lf this is allied to blocked air bricks and poor ventilation in the floor space, rot could soon follow. On upper floors a damp spot in the centre of the ceiling is a good indicator of a leaking pipe.
Although most damage is likely to be to the ceiling itself, moisture may also be seeping into the joist timbers.
Houses built after 1920 are less prone to damp since their cavity wall structure is designed to channel any water that penetrates the outer wall down its inner face to ground level. 

Problems with floorboards

Gaps between floorboards are most often caused by timber shrinkage. Insert wider boards or lift all the boards, close up the gaps and re-lay the floor. Alternatively we can insert small stealers coated with glue to seal gaps.
If a board is badly split then remove and replace, but if the split is minor we will simply apply extra fixings to prevent further movement.

If a floorboard has sprung up, then the fixing has failed or is missing and can be sorted by nailing or screwing new fixings.

Safety advice

Floors and stairs are major structural elements in a house and are often the site of domestic accidents and injuries.
If you notice sudden changes or are at all concerned seek professional advice from a surveyor or structural engineer. 

Problems with stairs

Internal stresses in the timber can cause a tread to split. If the split is bad then remove and replace the tread, othen/vise patch from below or inject epoxy resin into the gap.
Squeaking stairs are most often caused by loose or missing glue blocks and wedges below stairs.
Investigation is necessery to find the cause from below and renew or replace any missing components. Alternatively, fixing a strengthening timber between the internal joint of tread and riser will often cure the problem. Broken nosing is usually just caused by general wear and tear with no structural ramifications..

We can cut off the damaged area and let in a new section of timber to match the original.
Damage to staircase risers is relatively rare as tnese do not get wear in the same way that treads do. If a riser has split or become loose then there may be something seriously wrong with the overall structure of the stairs. If further investigation indicates no other damage, the split riser can be fixed in the same way as a split tread.


If gaps start to form between the string and the wall, the fixings holding the stairs back to the wall may have failed. To replace these fixings, we can drill through the string and use a suitable screw and wall plug to pull the string tight to the wall. A gap in the joint between string and tread usually indicates a failed wedge. We will replace the wedge from under the stairs, making sure it is coated with glue.

Balustrade repairs

Open joints between a handrail and the newel post are often caused by glue failure in the joint or a dowel through the joint may have failed.
We can drill out the old dowel, squirt in some wood glue and replace with a new dowel.

Newel posts on older stairs are held in place by a wedged mortise and tenon joint that goes through to the joists below the floor.

It is common for the wedge in this joint to fall out.
To cure the problem, we remove a section of floorboard adjacent to the newel and replace the missing wedge.
Loose, broken and missing spindles are usually caused by broken joints . at the top and bottom.

this needs clean oft the old glue and recoat the joint with new adhesive, taping the spindle into position until the glue sets.


Read more: Handrails restoration and Floor restoration

We specialise in all types of wood finishing: this include staircase restoration in London area. Match balustrade colour and finish to wooden floor panels,When staircase refinishing and staining stairs use of wooden staircase stain. All steps, including oak staircase must be treated individually. Process of staining oak staircase especially new wood or new timber stairs. We can answer for question how to stain wooden stairs and how to finishing by hand. First the staircase need to be stripped to bare wood with fine sanding paper. Best to use 240 grit or even 320 grit mirca sanding disks. You can use electric sander machine to speed up the result. Next step is to apply stain by sponge or soft cotton cloth on each wooden step. Finally you can apply several coats of varnish or floor stain in different shines to choose: matt, satin or gloss finish. For staircase restoration London we recommend to use hard wearing floor water based lacquer.If you have any question please do not hesitate to contact us for help. Oust contractors are wood restorers and renovator specialists. Restoration work onsite takes between 5 to 6 working days.