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enter image description here How can i improve the look of the above piece of wood near the door step? I am new to wood work so would appreciate the steps to be carried out and materials to be used for the job.

Below is another piece thats inside the house and needs work. enter image description here

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The wood appears solid, near as I can tell, and I don't see signs of peeling of the old finish. I'd simply apply a quality siding/fence stain that's tinted dark enough to mask the varying hues in the board and that coordinates with your home's exterior. I wouldn't attempt to scrape it due to the likelihood of damaging the grain, but maybe hit it gently with a nylon bristle brush to remove any loose material.

Note that "stain" is a broad term, and by specifying a siding/fence stain I'm implying that the product is also a sealer. Interior stains, by contrast, are not intended as a sealer or finish coat.

  • Should I try to sand it so that the changes in the color disappear? – anon Aug 30 '16 at 17:14
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    @anon, my experience is that it isn't necessary to sand first, any visible scrapes and scratches absorb the new stain much more than the surroundings. Try a small area first. – RedGrittyBrick Aug 30 '16 at 17:32
  • I would apply a stain then varnish, being that it is right at the threshold of the door. Otherwise foot traffic is likely to make it look like it does now in a fairly short amount of time. – Jimmy Fix-it Aug 31 '16 at 4:55

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