Want to take up another DIY at home, restoring steps to attic. I want to clean them up and make them shine. I see tons of products in Lowes and home depot on Floor restore/shine. Anything you guys recommend ? Right now the steps have paint droplets and dust(tried to clean the dust with vaccum cleaner but doesnt go). Thanks in Advance. enter image description here

  • 1
    Product recommendations are off-topic here. If you search the site you can find lots of information about sanding and coating wood surfaces. Commented May 18, 2021 at 15:47
  • 1
    That and you aren't asking a very specific question. Here's a recent discussion that might help.
    – isherwood
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 15:54
  • 1
    Refinishing floors/stairs is a pretty broad topic, but one that's reasonably well covered. Do some searches here & the web in general to get an idea of what's involved, then ask a specific question about a specific part of the task, sharing your research and where you're still confused/not having success, and I'm sure you'll get good answers. You'll probably not have much success with a "magic shine restoration formula", though, it's gonna take some elbow grease.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 16:38
  • 1
    While product recommendations are off topic here, I have had good luck with CistruStrip it's messy, but pretty environmentally friendly. That or get a few different style sanders and go to work, wear a GOOD mask and clean up with a vacuum every time you stop working. You don't know what nasty chemicals are in that old finish, so you have to be careful. If you use CitruStrip, it's water based, so it will raise the grain and you'll have to lightly sand before refinishing. Commented May 18, 2021 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


Keep it Easy

If you're not looking for a specific finish, and just want something shiny and better than what's there now, and given it's the attic stairs and not your Grand Entrance: I recommend you start with an easy approach.

  1. Sand the stairs down with an orbital sander. Go for 80/20 approach, stop sanding when it looks pretty good. That will take about a day. Don't spend another week making it 99%.
  2. Apply two coats of tinted water-based polyurethane. That's another day but mostly just waiting.

Very little effort, very little money, and it'll look pretty nice. Then you can spend a year perusing woodworking sites, watching youtube videos and historical renovation sites to see if there's something you like better.

  • From what i read on google << Oil based polyurethane looks better. It has a more depth - both in color and shine . Water based polyurethane has both a duller color and a duller finish>> Thanks.
    – jay roy
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 14:19
  • That's correct. I chose water for my answer because it's much easier to work with and I thought that was a good compromise for this location. There are lots of ways to improve my answer and that's a good one, if you're comfortable working with oil-based on your floor. It's a little more complicated (you need better ventilation, you can't clean the brushes in the sink, etc) but if that doesn't put you off, it's worth it.
    – jay613
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 15:11
  • okay, sounds good. Thanks for responding.
    – jay roy
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 15:14
  • 1
    Of course once you adopt that mentality, you might want to look at the beautiful results you can get with shellac or linseed oil. Then your attic stairs can be where you rehearse your skills for eventually doing the front entrance. :)
    – jay613
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 15:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.