Staircase Rebuild and Refinish

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Project by Pheirendt posted 05-28-2007 08:36 AM 3897 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The staircase in our 100 year old home was rebuilt in the 1940s and changed considerably including painting it.

When we beagn stripping the Quarter Sawn White Oak (QSWO), we noticed that about 24 balusters and 2 newel posts had been replaced with a different hardwood – we were really disappointed! I found a craftsman in the St Louis area who is known for being able to duplicate balusters – I was heartened, our problem was not quite as unique as I thought.

We disassembled the entire railing system and began stripping, sanding, and refinishing.

On the 100 year old Quarter Sawn White Oak we use a Medium Walnut Tung Oil (hand rubbed) to get the warm tone we like. The newly replicated pieces required some tricky “pre-staining”. When I have to repair or replace the QSWO in our house, I stain it with a Dark Walnut Gel Stain and then sand the majority of the stain away and then use the hand rubbed Medium Walnut Tung Oil (this process darkens the grain to match the old QSWO). We then finish the piece with several coats of varnish.

Can you tell which ones are 100 years old and which ones are brand new?

-- Paul, St Louis, MO,

11 comments so far

View Boaz's profile


18 posts in 4852 days

#1 posted 05-28-2007 08:44 AM

Wow! That looks beautiful!

View Sawhorse's profile


286 posts in 5250 days

#2 posted 05-28-2007 11:17 AM

Awesome job, absolutely beautiful…

-- Sawhorse - Sulphur Springs, TX -

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4971 days

#3 posted 05-28-2007 12:39 PM

(love the bookshelf)
can’t tell the difference!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 4907 days

#4 posted 05-28-2007 03:09 PM

This answers my is there other mill work queston. Great work here as well.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4949 days

#5 posted 05-28-2007 04:56 PM

This is an absolutely beautiful job!


View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4896 days

#6 posted 05-28-2007 05:38 PM

Beautiful…well worth the effort.

-- Bob

View mot's profile


4927 posts in 4846 days

#7 posted 05-28-2007 10:44 PM

Holy Schmoly! Nice job!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5210 days

#8 posted 05-29-2007 05:50 AM

Great Job. We had a house in Webster Groves. It was built with lumber from the St. Louis Worlds Fair, when the buildings were torn down. So it was built in 1905. Our house also had painted woodwork. The house next door to us still had the original dark Oak stained woodwork. They looked great.

Good job on the restoration.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5057 days

#9 posted 05-30-2007 05:45 PM

Beautiful, it’s like unwrapping a gift. That old qswo is gorgeous. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Joe Heskett's profile

Joe Heskett

23 posts in 4733 days

#10 posted 02-28-2008 01:08 AM


-- Joe Heskett---Illinois

View Randy's profile


62 posts in 4483 days

#11 posted 06-15-2008 01:20 AM


Do you let people ware shoes in your house?

-- If you have gone through a whole day without learning something new, you wasted it.

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