How to Finish Pine Stair Treads

How to Finish Pine Stair Treads

Discover how to finish pine stair treads with our step-by-step guide. Learn the best techniques and finishes for a durable, attractive staircase.

Pine stair treads are a popular choice for their natural beauty and affordability. 

Are you wondering how to finish pine stair treads so that they look beautiful, too? 

The right stains, sealers, and carpet stair treads used together can help your stairs look amazing at a reasonable price. 

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about finishing pine stair treads. 

How Do You Make Pine Look Expensive?   

Pine is a less expensive wood, but nobody wants their stairs to look cheap.

Pine can be made to look expensive with the right techniques: 

  • Staining: Apply a high-quality stain to bring warmth to the grain and add rich color. Choose darker stains for a more sophisticated look.
  • Wood Conditioner: Use a wood conditioner before staining to ensure an even finish and prevent blotchiness.
  • Polyurethane Finish: Apply a clear polyurethane finish to give the wood a glossy and polished look. 

What Finish to Use on Pine Stairs?   

Like I said before, the best finish for pine and other wood stairs is polyurethane.

Polyurethane provides a durable, protective layer that guards against scratches and wear. 

It comes in three types:

  • Glossy: Shiny and reflective, but can show scratches more easily.
  • Semi-Gloss: Slightly shiny and hides minor scratches.
  • Satin: Provides a natural, low-sheen look and is great for hiding imperfections. 

You can choose whichever you believe will work the best for you. 

How to Protect Pine Stair Treads?   

To protect pine stair treads:

  1. Clean Regularly: Keep your stairs free from dirt and debris to prevent scratches.
  2. Apply Polyurethane: Use multiple coats of polyurethane for strong protection.
  3. Add Carpet Stair Treads: Carpet treads not only add style and comfort but also protect the wood from heavy foot traffic. 

How Many Coats of Polyurethane on Pine Stair Treads?   

For pine stair treads, it's best to apply at least three coats of polyurethane. 

This is so you have enough finish to withstand daily use. 

Here's how to do it: 

  1. First Coat: Apply the first coat of polyurethane with a brush or roller. Let it dry for 24 hours.
  2. Sand Lightly: After the first coat is dry, lightly sand the surface to remove any bumps or bubbles. Wipe away the dust.
  3. Second Coat: Apply the second coat and let it dry for another 24 hours.
  4. Final Coat: Apply the third and final coat. Allow it to dry completely before using the stairs. 


Finishing pine stair treads can make them look beautiful and last longer. 

By staining, using wood conditioner, and applying multiple coats of polyurethane, you can give your pine stairs an expensive look and strong protection. 

Regular cleaning and adding carpet stair treads can further protect your stairs and keep them looking great for years to come.

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