Good Questions: What To Do With These Stairs?

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Hello AT,

What would AT readers do with these stairs? Five years ago, the finish was perfect. A dog, a cat and a large husband resulted in what you see now. If I refinish, will they become ruined again rather quickly? Help.

Thanks to everyone for their input, Linda

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Dear Linda,

Just like dealing with a floor, we would definitely recommend resanding and repolying your stairs. Because they get a lot of traffic (claws and paws) you should be sure to do at least four coats of poly - and oil based will be tougher.

This will wear over time, but the secret to taking care of your floors is not to let the damage wear through the poly and get to the wood. Once you see the surface of the poly is getting worn down, you do a light sanding and recoat it. This will save you from ever having to sand the whole step and really make a mess.

Anyone else?

How about Alex from This Old House, are you out there?

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.