Achieving the Perfect Custom Oak Stair Treads Finish
When it comes to some home improvement projects, the finishing touches make all the difference. Stair treads can be a significant focal point in any home, and ensuring that they match or complement the tones present in existing flooring can elevate the aesthetics of your interior spaces.

Designing custom oak stair treads that beautifully align with your prefinished floors can be challenging, especially when trying to match the same color and finish as closely as possible. Keep reading for tips on achieving the perfect custom oak stair tread finish using WOCA products, specifically by employing a strategic combination of watered-down WOCA Antique Lye and WOCA Diamond Oil Active Extra White.

Why Oak for Stair Treads?

Oak is an excellent choice for stair treads because it’s strong, hardwearing, and exudes a warm, timeless appeal. Its distinctive grain pattern and natural color variations make it an attractive option that you can customize to match or complement most prefinished flooring types. However, achieving a uniform look, especially if you have a specific prefinished floor color in mind, can be a bit tricky.

The WOCA Stair Tread Solution

WOCA offers a range of eco-friendly wood treatment products known for their quality and ability to enhance the natural beauty of wood. For this specific project, we recommend WOCA Antique Oak Lye and WOCA Diamond Oil Active Extra White to achieve the desired tread finish.

Step 1: Trial and Error with Samples

Here’s where a little trial and error can go a long way. Test the diluted lye and oil on samples first. This experimentation will help you tweak the dilution ratios and application techniques to achieve the ideal match.

Start with a 1:1 ratio of lye to water and apply it evenly using a brush or roller, following the wood grain.  WOCA does not recommend diluting WOCA Lyes more than 20%.  Leave it to react for several hours with the wood’s tannins, giving the oak that beautiful aged look.  The final step is applying the penetrating oil for color, protection, and the overall look. When you find the look that works for you, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2: Preparing the Oak Stair Treads

Properly preparing the oak stair treads is crucial before applying any treatment. Sand them down to ensure a smooth surface, which allows the lye and oil treatments to penetrate evenly. Clean the treads to remove any dust or debris.

 Step 3: Applying WOCA Antique Lye

Now you’re ready to apply the WOCA Antique Lye. However, instead of using it straight out of the can, be sure to use the ratio of water-to-product that you discovered during testing. This dilution helps control the intensity of the color change, allowing you to find the perfect balance that matches your prefinished floors.

Step 4: Applying WOCA Diamond Oil Active Extra White

Next, apply WOCA Diamond Oil Active Extra White. This oil creates a white-washed, Nordic-inspired look that can match many prefinished floors. Work the oil into the wood grain using a clean cloth or sponge, ensuring thorough coverage.

The oil penetrates deeply into the wood, providing robust protection while enhancing the visual appeal with a subtle white tint in the grain. Allow the oil to sit for 10-15 minutes, then polish off any excess with a clean cloth. This step may need to be repeated once to achieve the desired level of whiteness and protection.

Custom Stair Tread Perfection

Achieving the perfect custom oak stair tread finish that matches your prefinished floors can be rewarding and bring harmony and a unified aesthetic to your home. By using WOCA Antique Lye and WOCA Diamond Oil Active Extra White, you not only enhance the natural beauty of the oak but also ensure long-lasting protection.

Some trial and error with samples will help you find the perfect blend. For more woodcare tips, interior design inspiration, and expert advice, check out WOCA’s blog.

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