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The Boston Globe


handyman on call

Replace, don’t refinish, painted oak stair treads

Q. I am on a renovation project, which includes a flying, floating staircase. I am trying to get the old finish back, and a refinishing specialist is sanding all woodwork, then staining and finishing with polyurethane. Everything is going along well enough except for the oak treads, which are painted. I am asking him to sand them before finishing. He said he can’t refinish an oak tread that has been painted. Now what can I do?


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