I am currently renovating my staircase, and I want the treads of the stairs to be stained wood while the remaining of the staircase will be painted white.

I have stripped the old paint of the treads and have now started to sand them smooth but the wood is very uneven in colour, especially down the middle of the tread where the was just varnish before.

Is it a case of the treads needing a lot more sanding to even them out or I am missing a step (no pun intended)?

You can see a photo of their current state here

enter image description here

Many Thanks Sandro

  • Your local big box store will sell Deck Brightener, used to brighten up weathered decks and fences. It's basically bleach. It might be worth a try here. Mar 23, 2015 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


On the risers (the vertical part between treads) you can see a faint shadow of the same pattern. It looks like maybe there was once a "stair runner"; a strip of carpet or other material that ran down the middle of the stairway. Sand more, try wood bleach (oxalic acid) as suggested, then use a darker stain to blend. Finish off with varnish.

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