Australia has seen substantial growth in new residential builds over the last several years. Metropolitan areas are expanding and new estates and towns are being formed every week. A sea of rooftops can be spotted by many hilltops throughout the state. Increased rates of development call for a new level of efficiency and tradespeople are continually put under pressure to complete more jobs in a shorter amount of time.

Painters have typically completed the stain and varnish of timber staircases. The job quote will often include painting both exterior and interior of the home plus window trims, doors and inevitably the treads, handrails and balustrades of the staircase. While the finish has been acceptable in the past, new pressures often leave the staircase as the last project completed prior to settlement. In our experience of attending job sites the last project to be completed isn’t given the attention that it deserves. This is not to say painters are not good at what they do,

The requirement for increased efficiency means that the tools available to painters are no longer effective at completing work quickly and to a very high standard.

So what are the differences between the work of a painter and a stair staining professional? Let’s delve into the key points of difference.

Site Preparation

Both trades use tape, drop-sheets and other protective measures to prevent spills and damage to other areas of the home. When it comes to preparation of timber surfaces, stair polishing professionals excel due to their background in floor sanding and timber floor laying.

In a new staircase, residual silicone, protruding nails, deficits in-between timber boards and paint splatters are inevitable. Professional stair polishers are highly skilled in timber preparation and restoration and carry the necessary tools to resolve imperfections in both new and existing timber staircases.

Some examples include:

  • Commercial woodworking tools to remove glues and silcones
  • Manual and electrical tools to remove protruding nails and screws
  • Specialty methods to fill and smooth out imperfections in the natural grain of the timber or deficits between uneven boards

Perhaps one of the most distinct differences between painters and stair polishers is the use of commercial sanding equipment. Heavy duty industrial grade sanding equipment is used on every timber surface to remove paint splatter, even out timber imperfections and leave a silky smooth and flawless canvas. This step is crucial to ensure stain and varnish is absorbed evenly.

It’s a case of once you see the difference, it can’t be unseen. Hiring a trade that does any less than this is no longer an option. Only speciality trades use this grade of commercial equipment, the others use hand sanding to attempt to remove imperfections.

Hand sanding drywall paint or silicone from a timber surface is like trying to remove burnt food scraps with a tissue. It’s time consuming, frustrating and is ineffective

The differences don’t stop there.


Professional stair polishers have perfected the art of stair staining with a layup method that results in a smooth, glossy and beautiful finish. Once the timber canvas has been prepped a first coat of stain and varnish is carefully applied to the entire staircase using a selection of commercial and artistic brushes. The first coat is the most important in achieving a quality finish. Once the first coat has been applied to every surface it is left to dry and absorb deep into the grain of the timber.

Before the second coat of stain and varnish is applied a light sand is performed that smooths the grain and ensures a smooth finish. Following the second coat a specially designed safety coat is applied to the top of the treads to provide grip and prevent slipping. Finally a clear varnish is applied to the entire surface, to enhance durability and shine.

So, next time your deciding on who to hire to stain your new staircase or restore your old one, choose a Stair Polishing Professional for the best results.

%d bloggers like this: