After StaircaseRefinishing.com refinishes your stairways, you can enjoy them indefinitely if you follow our low maintenance care instructions.
The urethane finish on your stairs will continue to harden, or cure, for approximately one month after it is applied. However, just one day after the last coat of urethane is applied, you can walk on them again.
An ounce of prevention:
Wearing shoes may track in grit that will scuff or scrape your stairs. Bare feet can pose problems as well, as the oil on our skin can soften the finish over time.
Cleaning with a soft broom or vacuum will remove abrasive grit tracked onto your stairway. From time-to-time damp mop (not wet!) with a 15 or 20 to 1 diluted mix of vinegar and water or Murphy's Oil soap and water. Make sure the mop itself is clean before you start. Do not use other cleaners, soaps or waxes, as these can cause a variety of problems.
If you scratch your stairs, take the bottle of touch up finish we provided you and a torn off paper match end and wet the scratch with finish using the match like a tiny paint brush. Then wipe the surface completely clean of finish leaving a trace of finish within the scratch itself to take its white appearance away.
Do you want your stairs to last indefinitely? They can! Here's how.
First, do not ever wax or soap the stairway except as per these instructions. If you do, a residue of soap or wax may contaminate the surface. This can prevent successful recoating maintenance (every 5 to 20 years). The single coat may not bond to the existing finish if there is wax or soap residue on it. Clean with a broom and damp mop with vinegar and water or Murphy's Oil Soap (dilute 15 to 1).
Secondly, do not let wear of the finish progress to the point that the wood itself becomes exposed. Watch the highest traffic spots.
After 5 to 20 years (depending on use and maintenance) these high traffic areas will show significant wear. Now is the time to apply two (2 patch coats of oil-based polyurethane to these traffic spots. Then schedule to recoat the entire stairway at your convenience to refresh and rejuvenate the wood beauty and to renew the protective finish.
This is a quick, low cost way to make your stairs last indefinitely!
So your stairway has been scratched... Now what? - There are two certainties in having your staircase finished by StaircaseRefinishing.com. The first certainty is that you will have durable wood beauty for years. The second is that very likely your stairs will get scuffed. Don't worry about fine scuffs. When you recoat and rejuvenate the staircase every 5 to 20 years, scuffs will be fixed.
However, if you have a genuine scratch rather than a scuff here's what to do.
Use a torn off paper match end and the polyurethanes touch up material that we provided to line out the scratch. Then wipe the wooden stairs perfectly clean so that the polyurethane remains only in the scratch.
If the scratch has cut through a colouring stain to the wood, apply similar stain to the scratch prior to applying polyurethane as above. Punctures of the staircase finish as from a broken heel should be treated as scratches.