4 Types of Finishes for Wooden Stair Treads

Nowadays, many property owners mix various materials with different parts of their staircases for a design boost. There are also more ways to improve the design of your staircase to match your interior design or take it to a whole new level.

You can opt for an exceptional shape like a spiral staircase for your Canberra property. The spiral staircase can be tweaked in several ways to suit your interiors and heighten interest on it. Another popular spiral stair style is the helix staircase that mainly looks like a floating one with intricate twists and turns. You can also enhance the staircase’s look by finishing your wooden treads with one of the following products:


Wood stains will penetrate the timber of your stairs and neutralize its shade variations to generate a uniform look. Your choices for wood stains include water and solvent-based stains. Both will be efficient, but water-based stains dry faster, and will not give off as many fumes as solvent-based stains. But wood stains will not protect your treads from normal wear and tear and the scratches from pointed shoes and items dragged on them. You should also factor in the expense of wax, oil or varnish for extra protection.

Hard Wax Oil

A blend of waxes is an increasingly popular choice for property owners. Hard wax oil comes in a liquid form that soaks into your timber and forms a protective film on its surface. The wax in this finish will allow it to remain suspended on the surface and generate a long-lasting finish.

Hard wax oil is available in tinted and clear shades. There is also now a water-based variant for this finish that looks natural and resists scuffs and scratches. Keep in mind, however, that steam cleaners aren’t ideal for such a finish as they can damage hard wax oil.


wooden stairs

The varnish is water- and heat-resistant, and it forms a protective film for optimal surface protection. Varnishes come in gloss, satin and matte variants. Some are made of oil-based polyurethane that is flexible and crack-resistant. You can alternatively choose water-based varnish if you are looking for a low-odour, solvent-free product. If you choose coloured varnish, however, be sure to use two to three clear varnish coats to prevent its fading.


Paint allows you to create a specific finish that brightens your stairway and matches other interior elements. Gloss, satin and floor paints are your best choices for a staircase because they can withstand scratches and scuffs. Before painting, use a knotting solution to seal resinous areas and knots on the timber. This will keep the resin in the paint from seeping into the wood.

Treads are the section of a staircase that endure high foot traffic and a range of destructive elements. The above finish alternatives are your cost-efficient choices for protecting the stair treads and keeping them in the best shape for years. These finish options are durable and affordable, eliminating the need to place carpet and stair rugs to protect the treads.