How To Treat Your Wooden Staircase

When you invest in a wooden staircase, it’s important you know how to take care of it. 

If you don’t provide the necessary care, damage and warping become more likely. 

Today we’ll talk you through how to treat your wooden staircase, as well as how it will benefit you and the overall look. 


What does it mean to treat your staircase?

Treating your staircase is the process of applying a stain or specialist wood treatment to protect, enhance and maintain the look and strength of your staircase. 

If you prefer a more minimal design and aren’t planning on covering your staircase with paint or carpet, treating your staircase protects the wood from daily wear and tear.

Wood treatments come in the form of varnish, oil or wax and create a protective layer between you and the solid wood. 


What you should use to treat your staircase 

We understand it can be quite overwhelming to decide on a treatment for your wooden staircase. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Wood treatments tend to be either water or oil-based, and what you choose is all down to preference. 

Water-based treatments are much thicker and tend to be more of a surface layer on top of your staircase parts. 

Whereas, oil-based stains deeply saturate the wood, creating a more durable finish. If you’re not going to cover your staircase with carpet, an oil-based treatment will give you a higher level of protection as it can withstand more foot traffic.

Many treatments provide colour, even when they’re a clear stain. This is because the wood will soak up the treatment and give the appearance of darker wood. Be mindful of this when you’re looking for treatments. It’s worth shopping around and testing shades of varnish on spare pieces of wood before committing to painting the full set. 

A good test of what the colour will be - if you can’t get your hands on a sample - is to dampen the staircase with a cloth. Doing so will give you an idea of what your staircase will look like when treated.

With this being a problem for many people, wood treatment brands have created hard wax oils that limit the colour change of your wooden staircase and maintain the natural grain. 


How to treat your staircase 

Before you go straight onto painting your staircase with your new treatment, it’s important you know how to do it properly. 

Make sure to sand and clean your staircase prior to any treatments. Ensure all surfaces are buffed and any previous colour is sanded off. 

Hoover up any dust created and make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. 

Repeat these two steps if necessary, taking caution with the second clean to ensure a smooth finish. 

Apply the treatment as suggested for a seamless look. If you have heavy detail on your bannisters and spindles, take your time to make sure every inch is covered for a uniform finish. 

It’s important to be aware that you may have to reapply your chosen treatment in the future. This is because repeated ‘sock traffic’ can wear away the treatment and affect its appearance. 


Get in touch to find out more 

We don’t just supply high-quality staircase parts here at Wonkee Donkee, we also aim to educate and provide support to our customers about all things stairs. 

For more information on how to look after your staircase, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. 

Our friendly team are always on hand to help you out and answer any of your questions. 

To chat with us directly, give us a call on 01938 557733. If you prefer, you can email your questions over to or put them in our online contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.