Cost to stain/finish new maple staircase?

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Posted by: from Edmonton
12/14/2014 at 4:50:02 AM

Looking to have our staircase stained and finished to match our cabinets. We are searching for general price range and brief break down of the process/time frame it would take to complete. We have had a few quotes but seem to be all over the map.

The following is what was installed and attached are photos of the staircase.



- 120 LF of spindle rail (approx. Give or take a couple feet)

- 15 LF of wall mounted rail

- 15 steps (open staircase)

Colour is a dark brown with reddish tones.

Look forward to any replies to help us decipher an appropriate price range or what to expect for a good job.


Nikko & Shannon

Cost to stain/finish new maple staircase?
Cost to stain/finish new maple staircase?
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Date/Time12/14/2014 at 11:28:06 AM

There are many steps for a proper staining job.

First step is a sanding sealer, could be applied by brush, roller or spray. This brings the wood grain. Then u would need to sand the wood. This will reassure that the grain would lift when applying the conditioner. When the conditioner is applied, can be applied by brush, roller or spray. This ensures even colour when applying the stain.

Now depending on how dark the colour may require multiple coats of stain. When u have the color preferred. Then there is a top coat polyurethane, this is what I would suggest in oil, this would give a protective coat to the stairs and rail.

You have to sand in between coats, two coats I would suggest. The longest part of the job is drying time.

To give an idea what is involved.

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Huascar from Ethereal Painting in Vancouver
Date/Time12/14/2014 at 1:07:19 PM

Hi Nikko & Shannon,

Unfortunately it's true the prices are all over the map but what you should be more concern is if the company can provide a good quality craftsmanship work!


But it's worse to pay too little.

When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that is all.

When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. and if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."

Ethereal Painting

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Date/Time12/14/2014 at 2:39:55 PM

Well said Huascar.

A true journeyman I would be to travel to Alberta to ply my trade. May the client locate a true artisan with time and experience, as these are the untouchables that will truly seal the deal, and the rail that will secure those gifted otherwise. The beauty will then endure.

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Nikko in Edmonton
Date/Time12/14/2014 at 11:32:47 PM

Thanks you for tips... So here is an update we have had 3 quotes thus far. I won't name the companies out of respect however here are rounded off prices we have received quote #1 $2600 quote #2 $4900 and quote #3 7100.

Now logic would tell us pick middle of the road however having shared this information I'd like to note none of them had a portfolio to show me or I didn't even know what questions to ask to qualify them for doing this particular job. Nor do we know how they even arrived at these price points.

So I guess our real question is what is a fair price point and how do they charge is it by the LF or per job or hourly?? What types of questions should we be asking to qualify a contractor or painter to do this ?


Nikko & Shannon

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Sydney from Syd's Flooring in Ottawa
Date/Time12/17/2014 at 10:27:00 PM

Quote three is just out of the question. First of all its a brand new set of stairs so it doesn't get any easier. I could see quote number 3 being reasonable if this was an old staircase that you wanted refinished because that requires a tremendous amount of work. i would say quote number 2 is fair. But the fact that they didn't have a portfolio to show or a breakdown of how they got to their price is a bit of a red flag.

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