My Stairs: Sandless Wood Refinishing

I told you a bit ago about my steps going upstairs….They were still not finished.


I told you that I was considering getting a “sandless company” to come in and redo them.

Well I wrote a post about it and had pretty much decided that I was going to do it.  The blog post was scheduled for a few days away from the time I wrote it.

I called the company and told them to come and do the stairs.  They were available to come do it three days later.  On the day my blog posted, the guys were here doing the stairs.  In the comment section a blog reader wrote and said I wouldn’t like it.  Well what can I say…she’s mostly right…well Let me explain….
I wasn’t at home the day they were here working on the steps to go upstairs.

I was so excited to get home and see the stairs.  I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was.  I came home to this…looking better for sure!!


WOW…Looking so much better!

I turned to see the stairs…better.  I knew that there would be a problem with seeing the spots where the stair treads were.  I planned on putting new treads on so I wasn’t worried about that.


But do you see what I see?…Look in the corner of the steps.  See that dust stuff.  ICK.  That shouldn’t be like that.

Here is my upstairs hallway.  It was supposed to done and wasn’t.  UGH.


Look at the wall around this post.  The stain got rubbed on the wall around it.  There were stains along the mop boards in lots of other places too.  UGH.


I wasn’t happy.  I wasn’t looking for perfect.  I was looking for better but I also didn’t think this was supposed to happen nor should I be responsible for fixing it.

So…I messaged the owner.  I sent him pictures and politely told him I wasn’t happy.  I told him that I paid for the hallways mop boards to be done and they should have been done.  I told him the corners of the steps weren’t done properly.  I told him that my wall was stained.

He offered to come himself the next week and make the corrections.  I felt good about that.  The next week he didn’t come.  I didn’t hear from him.  Over the weekend I messaged him and told him that he said he would come.  Well he made an excuse about his family.  I was understanding.  I told him I was a blogger.  He made an appointment to come and he came.  He was a nice guy…He fixed the problems.

So what do I think now that it’s completely done???

It’s better.  The paint is off…the treads and the billion little nails that were holding them down are off.  The steps aren’t embarrassing  but….it will not last.  My childcare kids play on these steps and already, they have some dings on them.  The kids aren’t gentle even though I ask them to be.  The landing three steps up is the very favorite place to play for the three year olds.  I hate to not let them have the spot.

So…it’s better…perfect, not.  Life is about learning lessons and I learned one.  I can’t say that it was a bad experience but I really wouldn’t say it was good and that I’m impressed either.  For me…the stairs aren’t embarrassing like they were and all those little nails are gone.  That in itself was a win for me.

8 thoughts on “My Stairs: Sandless Wood Refinishing

  1. Hedy

    I’m thinking they look way better than before but that’s only from a picture. I had an old house and our staircase looked similar but was in really good condition. It’s incredibly hard to redo these old staircases.

  2. Judy

    Work is done the way it used to be. You have to be present and practically supervise the people you hire to do the work! And it shouldn’t be that way! I can relate all to well to your frustration!❤

  3. Ruth

    From watching Rehab Addict on tv, I have seen how much work it really takes to do stairs. Truly, your stairs aren’t looking bad, and if the kids ding them up, eventually (when you stop doing daycare) you can have someone redo them to a higher standard. Of course, with family, you will always have children playing on your stairs.
    Have you considered putting a “stair runner carpet” on them? That would give the children a soft place to play, add some color (and vacuuming!), but would provide a pleasant place for your eyes to look at, instead of scratches and dings in the wood.

  4. Sandie

    I think the person you mentioned warning you they were not going to turn out well was me. And honestly I am surprised that they look as good as they do! Sadly, as they are pine, even having them sanded down to bare wood would not give you the results you’re looking for. They would be much lighter than they are now and all of the bruises and shadowing from the treads or runner that was on them previously would be emphasized. To make the stairs look their best you want to put oak tread caps on them. Somewhere down the line if you really want to do something with the stairs again that would be my recommendation.

  5. Cindie Winquist

    I’m learning the lesson in life that “perfect” sometimes looks like, “Now, that looks better.” Thanks for sharing your experience in sandless wood refinishing. I consider myself forewarned.

    I look forward to reading about your next inspiring adventure.

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