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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/how to clean stained oak


Hi, I have stained my oak stair railings and 2 years later, still need to clear coat them.  What can I use to clean the stained oak so It is fingerprint, dirt free before I clear coat???

Thank you....

I don't know of any cleaning solution that would work, but I once took Watco Danish Oil on a stair that was stained for years, but never finished, and rubbed in the new oil which did remove dirt and prints.  Worked for me.  You may also want to contact one of your local paint stores like Sherwin-Williams or Miller Paint and see if they have any recommendations.  Don't go to Home Depot or Lowes as you'll probably get a deer in headlights looks.  

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Joseph G. Swallow


I can answer all staircase balustrade questions where handrails, newels posts, balusters (wood and metal), and stair treads are concerned. I cannot help with cabinetry and floor (outside of stair-related treads and risers), as well as stain and finish issues unless staircase related.


30 years in the stair industry. Founder of Hardwood Creations in Southern California and CEO of Westfire Manufacturing, Inc. I was a stair builder for 10 years, both in custom and production housing. Have estimated over 750,000 single family homes and provided materials to lumber yards and builders for 12 years. Was an expert witness in several staircase related law suits in Southern California. Stair codes, installation help, stair handrail and balustrade installation are what I know best.

NAHB of Portland, OR. Was a member of ICBO for 9 years.

Cal State Fullerton, Cypress College

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