How do I clean my bare pine stairs before I shellac them?


Since I removed the carpet, the stairs have gotten very dirty so they need to be cleaned well before I shellac them. I saw this online about cleaning a bare pine table (liquid detergent, hot water, bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, olive oil), but seems the use of olive oil wouldn't be advisable since the goal is to apply shellac. Should I use all of the other ingredients and leave out the olive oil? Or is there a better way?

q how do i clean my bare pine stairs before i shellac them
  9 answers
  • I would not use olive oil of you're planning on applying a finish. I would thinks some mild soap and water should do the trick. Just don't get it too wet or you'll raise the grain and have to sand.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Dec 13, 2019

    Try using Heavy Duty Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to remove all of the marks/dirt

    • Louise Louise on Dec 13, 2019

      I think I don't understand how to use those or maybe I use them on things that are too soiled. When I've used them, they get really dirty with one use and I have to use others to finish the job. I've tried rinsing them out and that doesn't work. What am I doing wrong?

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Dec 13, 2019

    Use the heavy duty ones on rough surfaces or really dirty areas and don't be too rough...they shouldn't need too much elbow grease. Only rinse when necessary since they will break down in water. I love them but they don't last long.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Dec 13, 2019

    Part of the concept behind Mr. Clean Magic erasers is that because they contain the cleaner inside the foam, you don't have to apply additional cleaner. They are made from melamine foam (genuine brand name Mr. Clean, not knock off brands) which changes consistency when it becomes wet. However, because they are porous, they do wear down quickly. Therefore, they are designed as a one-time use product, and not for large areas.

  • on Dec 14, 2019

    You might try sanding them.

  • Dee Dee on Dec 15, 2019

    I would not put any oil of any kind of the steps if you are refinishing them. The magic eraser will do a great job, but make sure it is not too wet, you do not want to raise the grain on the wood. I probably would sand them with 180-220 grit sandpaper. Then dust really well with a tack cloth. Get minwax or General Finishes stain, then protect them with poly.

  • Janice Janice on Dec 17, 2019

    I suggest you use a damp cloth to clean the stairs as well as possible, sand lightly, then use a tac cloth or another slightly moistened clean cloth to remove the sawdust, then shellac. If you get the wood very wet, since it is pine it will make the grain more prominent which you don't want.

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Dec 28, 2019

    You could paint the stairs first, is that something you would be interested in? Depending where these stairs are, you may want to stencil them or add runner once they are painted.