How to Sand Stairs

If your wooden stairs are getting old and you don’t feel good when you get to look at it, it is time that you take some measurable steps. You can solve this problem by sanding stairs with a sander. Not only will it give a fresh new look, but the whole staircase will also get smoother than usual.

The following article will let you know the simple guideline about sanding wooden stairs, and you can easily apply it with full confidence.

Necessary Equipment To Sand Wood Stairs

Stair Sanding Steps

Below, you will find out the proper steps that you need to follow to sand your stairs.

Step 1: Sand the Center of Each Stair

Take the 60-grit sandpaper and attach it with the circular flood sander. Make sure the sandpaper is properly attached with the wood sander. Start sanding slowly and gently onto the center of the staircase. Maintain the same process for each stair and avoid bumping into the walls or handrails during this process.

Your main target is the center for this step. After properly sanding the center of each stair, use the vacuum cleaner to clean all the dust.

Likewise, before you start sanding, wear the protective woodwork safety glass and the dust mask to protect your eyes and lungs from the dust.

Step 2: Sand the Edges of Each Stair

Replace the floor sander with the orbital hand sander in this step. Also, use the 60-grit sandpaper with this new wood sander. Sand the edges of each stair gently as you are gradually rising up. Maintain distance with the walls or handrails during the sanding.

Don’t hit it by accident or else you will have a hard timing solving this problem. After sanding the edges, clean the dust again with the vacuum cleaner.

Step 3: Give it a Smooth Finish

Replace the 60-grit with 120-grit sandpaper this time. Attach this sandpaper with the circular floor sander and repeat the same sanding technique that was mentioned above (first step). After this process, replace this wood sander with the orbital hand one and follow the method for the stair edges (second step).

The purpose of using 120-grit sandpaper is to smooth the surface of the stairs and give it a fresh and attractive look. If you are left with some dust, vacuum it away.

Some Tips

  • To sand the spindles of the handrail, cut the sandpaper in a way that it can wrap around it. Use your hand to sand by moving the sandpaper in the direction of the spindle. Do it slowly to avoid leaving any visible scratches.
  • Ventilate the whole room before you start sanding or else the room will turn cloudy with dust, and you might feel suffocated.
  • Schedule a particular day and time for sanding stairs. In this specific time, keep your kids away from the stairs.
  • For additional cleaning, use a push broom to clean any hidden dust.
  • If you know people that already have done this kind of work, take suggestions from them. They might provide you with some beneficial pros and cons that can help you throughout the work.


If you are a beginner, this process might take some couple of hours to get finished. So, prepare yourself mentally for that. Don’t get afraid due to this. Make it an enjoyable task. You will get a sense of achievement when you are able to get your job done successfully. Cheers to that.

Best of luck!


David has been a Craft & woodworking enthusiast for 10 years, and in that time has written huge resources on Sander, woodworking, and tools.

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