Steppin’ Up We Fixed A Horrible Hardwood Stair Sanding Botch

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The botch continues

Client’s stairs suffered scary attempt at refinishing. Everywhere our client looked she saw her hardwood floors had become a complete disaster after her roofer refinished them. The stairs were no exception.

The roofer should never touched them to begin with. They had no skill or experience whatsoever. And after they were done the client couldn’t stomach settling for what she was given. So frantically (as perhaps conveyed with our other case studies for this client,) she went on the internet. Seeing our case study about fixing a botched hardwood floor job and hot hesitating she called us.

Cleary this was a fight or flight stab at getting this fixed. My very conversation lowered the temperature and her blood pressure. It was what she needed to hear. Nothing alarmed our radar thinking we couldn’t fix this for her. We validated this during our inspection, and we were hired to start as soon as we could.

The problem(s)

The list was made:

  • There were horrible edger digs (aka “banana marks”) on the landing next to the spindles
  • The wood on the landing was sanded and it was stained against the grain
  • The mahogany stairs were sanded unevenly, with wave mark divots you could see and feel with your hand or foot
  • The stain, although matching the rest of the floor was painted on so bad it completely disguised the wood grain
  • When done the stairs and floors looked like it had chocolate milk painted on the surfaces everywhere

The results

So without skipping a step we started!

The sanding corrections– Day one we sanded off and attacked the sanding mistakes. Not promising total removal of them, we had our fingers crossed that we could!  Applying even pressure (which is hard to do with a beast of a machine, akin to torque thrown from a jack hammer), the stair waves were wiped out. Likewise the edger digs were equalized with the same even constant pressure of the sander. bad sanding edger banana marks, edger digs

Additionally while re-sanding these areas we removed the evidence of the sanding pattern that went against the grain (and for that matter the finish that was rolled on the same way, against the grain).

The stain removal- With a quick zip of the edger we also removed  the putrid S__t brown color stain that was rolled on ‘willy-nilly.’ Instead of hand applying the stain on, it was rolled on and never wiped off. So the heavy excess of the stain completely obscured the wood and the grain. But as soon as the sander hit the landing and stair treads the stain was removed, never again to be a reminder of the job failure received.

Frankly before our re-sanding the color and sanding made our client cry. I don’t blame her, I’d cry too if that were the finished product I got and paid for! But after day one the healing had begun.

We were thrilled to be able to reverse all the damages to the stairs and railing system done by the prior refinishers.

The re-staining and refinishing- Matching the stair treads to the rest of the floors had to be and were discussed. Being mahogany, the wood surface looks and behaves quite different compared to red oak (the rest of the flooring). And since mahogany is photo sensitive, or color reacting to light, it was explained about how was going to change.

Mahogany is a species that changes and darkens quickly. So while we stained it to match, it will darken in the future.

The completed process- The finish process was the home stretch. After the stain was applied the final coats went on quickly. The stair debacle was history. And when you see how the floating stair project came out you can see how the stair projects all complete match the midcentury modern vibe.

Closing comments

The refinishing nightmare is over. Our clients couldn’t be happier. Now there is no sign of the trauma these stairs and floors suffered. The clients decor in the nearby den was earthy and very inviting. From the gorgeous Hawaiian waterfall picture as the focal point, to the mounted gazelle, the plants, stone fireplace and hearth, it was soothing and peaceful.

All in all the floating stairwell, up and down with the stone fireplace now has a zen vibe. All done, the stiars have stepped up a notch!

Learn more

Have your own botched hardwood floor fiasco, give us a call. Free damage control consultations and relief is a call away! Call us at 609.953.0472 or CONTACT US on line.