By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Finishing pine staircase and spindles to prevent yellowing

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
DebbieJ23/09/2010 09:40:39
4 forum posts
Hi There All,
I'm new to this forum and wondered if anybody could give any much welcome advice?
I have just sanded my entire staircase and the spindles.  My hands hurt !
Anyways...I am a bit confused about the best way to finish the pine.
I really really don't want the pine to turn yellow/orange as this is the finish I just sanded off!   I really want a greyish very natural looking finish - kinda waxed rather than shiny gloss.
I know that wax will not be very hardy so am thinking a water based varnish or lacquer might be best, but am very aware that this may yellow quite quickly.
Any suggestions to how to prevent this from happening?  I wouldn't mind the pine being a very light oaky colour, but no orangey.
Any thoughts? 
Doug23/09/2010 10:58:35
3415 forum posts
35 photos
Hi Debbie & welcome.
Pine naturally yellows, & i don`t know of a clear finish that will stop this.
If you want an oak colour, stain the spindles before you varnish/lacquer them. There are lots of different  stains, so it`s just a case of buying the colour you like, though a good tip is to try the stain on a piece of scrap first.
Good luck.
DebbieJ23/09/2010 15:32:02
4 forum posts
Hi Baz!
Thanks for replying....much appreciated.
I've seen pine furniture with a very low sheen finish that appears to have a greyish/light brown tone to it.  Could this be achieved on a pine staircase? Or do you think the products used on furniture might not be suitable or hard wearing enough for a heavy traffic area such as stairs?
Sorry to keep asking questions  it's just that after nearly killing myself sanding I really wanna get the finish right. 

Or..could I use a whitish stain then varnish over?  Would this look horrible??  lol
dennis wake23/09/2010 16:17:08
2044 forum posts
1451 photos
1 articles
hi Debbie
    you can actualy get a antique pine stain that is water based. you can put this on and you will get a dull shean and looks a good finish. you will be able to see a colour stain chart in your local hardwear store that may have been done on little bits of pine so u can see the out come of the colour.hope you get the colour and finish you want.
Ron Davis23/09/2010 17:40:29
1619 forum posts
201 photos
Hi Debbie, nearly all woods darken in the light and it is unstoppable, there are exceptions, mahogany is one, but that fades!
Otherwise just follow the advice above
Hope the hands are better and they wont stop you posting again
DebbieJ23/09/2010 21:56:17
4 forum posts
Thanks Dennis and Ron for replying to my questions. 
Typing is proving difficult as my finger tips are actually raw!  I get a bit over zealous when trying to get a job done - am all impatient and can't wait to see the staircase all stained and looking the way it should do.  The previous owners of the house for some reason had put a most horrid thick goop all over the woodwork...obviously was their cup of tea, but definitely not mine.
Think I will check out my local diy store and see what kinds of stain I can find.  Does anybody know if it is best to varnish over the stain with a water based product?  I would very much prefer a matt finish, but not sure if matt varnish is going to be hard wearing enough??
Thanks've all been very helpful.

Joe O 323/09/2010 23:42:58
203 forum posts
Hi Debbie,
Welcome to the forum. Colour/stain i would leave to your personal choice.
(you have to live with it). Polyurethane be it gloss, mat or vinyl will yellow with age and sunlight. Clear acrylic is not supposed to go yellow and brushes or rollers can be washed in water. will work on floors and therefore stair threads.
Hope this is of some use.
DebbieJ26/09/2010 08:48:13
4 forum posts
Thanks Joe,
All suggestions are most welcome.
I was leaning toward actually using an oil or something like the Osmo products  shown here.  Mainly due to the simplicity of subsequent applications for maintenance.  
However, can water based varnish be recoated for future maintenance?  I'm really unsure as I've read somewhere that some varnishes cannot be recoated at a later stage and I really really don't want to have to sand the staircase again in future if I can avoid it.  Yes..I guess that makes me a tad lazy :-D lol.
Anyways what do ya think?  Will an oil product mean massive ongoing maintenance or do you think water based varnish will provide a pretty low maintenance solution? 
policestyle12/10/2010 01:54:29
1 forum posts
I myself have almost given up on finding a clear (water-based) varnish that doesn't yellow. I have a heart pine floor, all reclaimed, sitting sanded and ready for something. It's almost pink in some strips, really nice colour. Everyone everywhere seems to have the idea that water-based varnishes do not cause yellowing, but in fact, I tried one that claimed this and... the wood sample is as yellow-looking as an oil product.
So I've decided to white wash with stain first, then varnish. I haven't started yet, because in the hours following this post I'm hoping someone who reads this post will appear at my workplace with an outstretched arm holding a miracle product that will- really- not cause yellowing.
But after my disappointment, I'll start to whitewash, using a stain that claims needs no conditioning beforehand. God, I'm nervous. Incidentally, on the whitewash samples I've done so far, the water-based varnish overtop the stain even causes a bit of yellowing.

Big Al12/10/2010 07:25:58
1604 forum posts
73 photos
Have you tried ronseal contractor wax oil? I have used this on some of my furniture and whilst it does change the colour of the timber slightly, it is probably the nearest that you can buy to suit your needs. Expect to pay around £90 - £100 for a 5 litre bottle. Click here for the product info.
SPG12/10/2010 09:07:51
50 forum posts
1 photos
Have you looked at the Polyvine Decorator's Varnish?
It is the recommended product to paint over the chalky emulsion paints to give a matt finish. The reason being that it will not yellow over time like other varnishes.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of The Woodworker & Good Woodworking? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find The Woodworker & Good Woodworking 

Support Our Partners
Craft Supplies
Felder UK April 2016
Marriott & Co
Robert Sorby
Wood Workers Workshop
Transwave 2017
Turners Tool Box
D&M Tools
D B Keighley
Subscription Offers

Subscribe to<br />    The Woodworker Magazine and receive a FREE gift

Contact Us

We're always happy to hear from you, so feel free to get in touch!

Click here to find who to contact