Pulled carpet off of stairs, now what?

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I removed the carpeting off of my wood stairs. The runner was only in the center of the stairs. The wood under is beautiful, but the sides that were uncarpeted are so dirty/aged. I tried cleaning them but there was no improvement. Any help is appreciated.
  6 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 23, 2015
    You can try Bona which is a good hardwood floor cleaner available in Home Improvement stores. There also is a product called rejuvenate that will bring the area back to life and Home Depot sells this. If you cannot find the products they both have there own web-sites.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Dec 23, 2015
    I'm guessing the sides are more weathered because they weren't protected with the carpet like the risers were. I'd give the whole thing a good cleaning with a mix of vinegar and water water. Use a soft brush and work with the grain of the wood. After that all air dries, I'd consider giving all of the stairway, risers, sides etc, a coat of fresh stain and sealer. I'm a.ways hesitant to use wood cleaners because so many times they leave behind a residue. You could also consult a specialist in the flooring or paint departments of your local home improvement store for their recommendations.
  • Charb Charb on Dec 23, 2015
    If I restain after cleaning, do I have to sand and remove finish first?
    • See 3 previous
    • Nancy Nesbitt Nancy Nesbitt on Dec 24, 2015
      @Marion Nesbitt I agree with your idea, Marion. I don't think she can get around the sanding part; it will make a huge difference in the final result.
  • Dee Dee on Dec 24, 2015
    I would think just a light sanding for the stairs, just enough for the stain to take. Remember to remove any excess stain to keep the color even. Java gel stains work well.
  • Charb Charb on Dec 25, 2015
    Here's what they look like after carpet removed
    • Roberta Stewart-Fite Roberta Stewart-Fite on Dec 26, 2015
      @Charb When hardwood floors are refinished, the are given a good sanding to make the wood uniform again. I would think that a good sanding would clean them up nicely. Restain and seal. No easy short cuts here, But, the work will be worth it in the end.
  • Charb Charb on Jan 01, 2016
    Thanks for the input. I tried the vinegar ( started with easiest solution) but no improvement. I'll try sanding next, I got a great new sander as a gift!
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