I am planning to add treads and risers to a set of stairs and thought of
an idea, though somewhat unorthodox.
The bottom of the stairs starts from the living room/hall and the floor
is Oak stained Honey Maple. The stairs lead to the bedroom with a
Hickory or Red Mahogany Oak floor. I often thought of staining the
treads Honey Maple and risers RM or vice versa but also thought about
starting with the bottom tread and riser with Honey Maple and slowly
increasing the darkness to the Red Mahogany. The problem is I have no
idea how I would accomplish that or even if I really would want it. I
just thought it may be pretty cool looking.
Think this is a weird or cool idea and think it's doable?
A couple of years ago we had lite ceramic tile on the first floor and
light carpet on the upstairs and same on the stairs.
We went with dark hardwood steps and at the top a lighter laminate at
the top, my wife's quilting studio. the risers are painted the same
color as the trim. You cannot see the color change at the top of the
stairs from the bottom.
I think it's a cool sounding idea...but I think at best
it would be a royal pain, and at worst impossible to get
a consistant graduation of stain colors. Easier to do
with paint, but still a pain.
I also like the idea of maple risers and mahogany treads.
I think that would be a good way to tie in the two different
Oh, I imagine that it would be doable, if a bit of a PITA, if you had a
strict protocol and stuck to it. Start with a couple of graduated syringes
and a number of plastic cups (the medicine dosing sort would work) equal to
the number of distinct shades needed. The largest number would equal the
number of risers+stairs. For the sake of argument, assume 20 although any
number could be made to work and that we need 10ml of stain for each piece.
Using a syringe measure out 10ml of stain A into the first cup then 9.5
into the second 9 into the third, and so on and so forth. Starting at the
other end of the line and working backward with a new syringe measure out
10ml of stain B in to first cup and 9.5 into the second and so on. Now stir
the contents of each cup using a clean stick for each. Now start staining
and don't lose track of which cup is which. This could be made to work with
any number of intermediate shades.
I never claimed that this would be easy, just the opposite actually, but it
is certainly doable with accurate measurement. And there is no guarantee
that any of the intermediate colors would look good but, hey, its only time
It's unlikely that any set of stains would work out linearly
like that. It's far more likely that the middle shade would
take something like 30% mahogany, and 70% maple, given that
mahogany is a more intense colour. So there'd be a lot of
trial and error to discover the right proportions.
Dyes might be a bit more predictable than stains.
And of course, all that presusposes very uniform wood, which
takes stain consistantly, rather than some pieces taking more
(and being darker) and others less.
As I said, somewhere between a royal pain and impossible.
Suppose that the riser were two pieces glued together, say 30% (by
width) mahogany and 70% maple, with the same transparent finish.
Linearly vary the ratio from top to bottom. Or the OP could go
completely nuts and use 3 pieces, 15% mahogany, 70% maple,
15% mahogany ... Would still be a bit of a pain, but more predictable.
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