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Questions about wood knots/stairs.

13 years ago

I'm strongly considering ripping the carpet off my stairs that lead to my (in process of) finished basement. It's not old but I hate trying to vacuum the stairs. (3 big fuzzy cats) They're plywood underneath. I've seen a bunch of photos from people in decorating blog land who have done this and the finished results look nice. We don't plan on adding a runner (at least for now). I just want to make sure I do it right the first time.

I'm gathering no water based primer will seal the knots and I need to use oil or shellac based. I was considering Zinsser BIN but the word shellac scares me. I'm pretty sure I can get a repirator from my Dad and that's the only way I think I'll follow through with this whole idea.


So assuming I go with the BIN, it says to not clean with TSP. Says use water ammonia solution, appropriate cleaning solution, or solvent. Can I use the water/ammonia solution on the wood?? Any idea what the ratio should be? Clean up says 1 part ammonia to 3 parts water.

Application: Should I spot prime and use a different primer on the rest (I do have Zinsser 123 primer). I'd imagine coverage would be more even if I use BIN on the entire tread? It does say spot priming is recommended only under high hiding paints. The people in blog land use wood putty to fill the knots. BIN should take care of that without the putty? If I need to use putty would you please recommend what to buy?

Should one coat be sufficient?

Tinting: It says add up to 2oz universal colorant. I was planning on using a dark brown to paint the treads so this would be a plus. If I buy this at Home Depot (because I have a gift card) will the workers know that's what needs added? Is this standard knowledge with tinting?

Paint: Please tell me I can use latex?? I'm assuming I need to use a good floor paint or something that withstand wear. SW makes has a Porch and Floor Enamel and also the All Surface Enamel and Alkyd. I remember reading somewhere online I could use this as a floor paint? Although it doesn't say floor in description.

I know Valspar makes a porch and floor paint but don't know how well it holds up. I have access to SW, BM, Do It Best brand (which is made by SW), and the typical stuff at big box stores.

Here's what I'm up against. We are planning on running the basement flooring (pergo) in the landing to the bottom of the stairs. The door will stay open most of the time when finished.

The railings, newel, and wood pieces outlining the top will be painted dark like the treads. Riser will be white.


what's underneath



One of many who did the same thing I'm considering

Threegirlygirls blog



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