How to Choose the Right Varnish for DIY Stairs Varnishing in Singapore

When it comes to wood varnishing projects, varnishing your stairs can be a rewarding and cost-effective option. Not only does varnishing protect and enhance the natural beauty of your stairs, but it also adds durability and longevity to the wood. However, with so many varnish options available in Singapore, it’s crucial to choose the right one for your specific needs. This article will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect varnish for your stairs varnishing project.


Different Types of Varnishes


Before diving into the selection process, it’s important to understand the different types of varnishes available in the market. The two main categories of varnishes used for maintaining the varnish on wood floors and fixtures are water-based and oil-based.

Water-Based Varnish

Water-based varnishes are known for their quick drying time and low odor. They are easy to clean up with water and offer excellent protection against UV damage. Additionally, water-based varnishes are more environmentally friendly compared to their oil-based counterparts. As such, they are highly ideal for those who often varnish their wood floors. However, water-based varnishes may not provide the same level of depth and richness as oil-based varnishes.

Oil-Based Varnish

Oil-based varnishes, on the other hand, offer a rich, deep finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood when used in the step by step process of varnishing wood stairs. They provide superior protection against wear and tear, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. Oil-based varnishes also offer better water resistance compared to water-based varnishes. However, they have a longer drying time and emit strong fumes during the application process. Additionally, oil-based varnishes require mineral spirits for cleanup, which can be more time-consuming.


Benefits of Stairs Varnishing

Now that you know the different types of varnishes, let’s explore the benefits of varnishing your stairs.


One of the primary benefits of doing regular varnishing of parquet floors and stairs is the protection it provides. Varnish creates a protective barrier that shields the wood from scratches, spills, and daily wear and tear. This is especially important for high-traffic areas where stairs are subjected to heavy use.

Enhanced Durability


Varnishing your stairs increases their durability, making them more resistant to dents, scratches, and stains. This is particularly beneficial for households with pets or young children who may inadvertently cause damage to the stairs.


If you are wondering whether to paint or varnish your front door, keep in mind that varnish enhances the natural beauty of the wood, bringing out its unique grain patterns and colors. It adds depth and richness to the stairs, creating a visually pleasing aesthetic. Whether you prefer a glossy, satin, or matte finish, varnishing allows you to achieve the desired look for your stairs.


Choosing the Right Stairs Varnish

Now that you understand the types of varnishes and the benefits of varnishing your stairs, let’s delve into the process of choosing the right varnish for your DIY project. This will help you avoid common DIY stairs varnishing mistakes.

Assessing Stairs Material

The type of wood used for your stairs plays a crucial role in selecting the appropriate varnish. Different varnishes work better with certain wood types, so it’s important to consider this factor when choosing the right varnish for wood furniture and stairs.

Hardwood Stairs


If your stairs are made of hardwood, such as oak, maple, or teak, you have the flexibility of selecting either water-based or oil-based varnish when choosing the right varnish for DIY stairs varnishing. Hardwood stairs are generally more durable and can withstand the stronger solvents found in oil-based varnishes.

Softwood Stairs

Softwood stairs, like pine or spruce, require extra care. To be more specific, these woods are more susceptible to damage and may not withstand the harsh solvents in oil-based varnishes. Water-based varnishes are generally a safer option for softwood stairs and can help prevent any reasons to hire a professional stairs varnishing service.

Desired Finish and Appearance

The finish and appearance of your varnished stairs can significantly impact the overall aesthetic of your home. Thus, consider the following options when choosing the right varnish.

Glossy Finish

A glossy finish provides a high-shine look and brings out the natural beauty of the wood. It creates a luxurious and elegant appearance. However, use of this finish is a factor that can affect varnishing of furniture and stairs as it tends to show scratches and imperfections more prominently.

Satin Finish

A satin finish offers a subtle sheen that strikes a balance between a glossy and matte finish. It provides a smooth and elegant appearance while also minimizing the visibility of scratches and imperfections. The difficulty of removing these marks is normally why homeowners find it better to hire professionals for furniture varnishing rather than do it themselves.

Matte Finish

A matte finish offers a low sheen and a more natural look. It provides a rustic and contemporary appearance, making it a popular choice for those looking for ways to maintain their varnished door after hiring a door varnishing service. Matte finishes also tend to hide scratches and imperfections better than glossy finishes.

Consideration of Location and Traffic

The location of your stairs and the amount of foot traffic they receive should be taken into account when selecting a varnish.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Stairs

If your stairs are located indoors, you have more flexibility in choosing a varnish. However, if your stairs are exposed to outdoor elements, such as rain and direct sunlight, you need to opt for a varnish with excellent weather-resistance properties like those used for balcony decking varnishing.

High-Traffic vs. Low-Traffic Areas


Considering how important stairs varnishing is for your home, you should always be familiar with the level of foot traffic your stairs receive. High-traffic areas require a varnish with exceptional durability and resistance to wear and tear. In contrast, low-traffic areas may not require the same level of protection.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as humidity levels and UV exposure, can affect the performance and longevity of your varnish regardless of the tips you follow for varnishing your wood stairs.

Humidity Levels

In Singapore’s humid climate, it is essential to choose a varnish that can withstand high levels of humidity so you don’t have any reasons to hire professionals who perform door varnishing services and stairs varnishing services. Water-based varnishes are generally more resistant to humidity-related issues such as cracking and peeling.

UV Exposure


If your stairs are exposed to direct sunlight, UV protection becomes crucial. Look for varnishes specifically formulated to resist UV damage and prevent the wood from fading or discoloration.


Compatibility with Existing Finish

If your stairs already have a finish, such as stain or varnish, it’s important to consider the compatibility of the new varnish with the existing finish. Some varnishes may not adhere well to certain types of finishes, resulting in poor performance and adhesion both of which are also common door varnishing issues.


Contact DW Wood Varnishing Singapore for Professional Stairs Varnishing Services

While DIY varnishing can be a fulfilling project, it requires time, effort, and expertise. If you prefer to leave the job to professionals, contact DW Wood Varnishing Singapore for professional stairs varnishing services. Our team of experts will ensure a flawless finish and long-lasting protection for your stairs.



Choosing the right varnish whether for parquet varnishing or stairs varnishing is crucial to achieving the desired results. Consider the type of varnish, the benefits of varnishing, the stairs material, the desired finish and appearance, location and traffic, environmental factors, and compatibility with existing finishes. By making an informed decision, you can protect and enhance the beauty of your stairs for years to come. In case you face difficulty in varnishing your stairs yourself, don’t hesitate to contact DW Wood Varnishing Singapore.


DW Wood Varnishing Singapore is your one-stop solution for all of your wood varnishing needs. Our comprehensive wood varnishing services include wood floor varnishing, parquet floor varnishing, door varnishing, table varnishing, furniture varnishing, chair varnishing, stairs varnishing, and many more. You can trust DW Wood Varnishing for quality varnishing services that are done meticulously which are tailored for every customer’s unique needs. This can be seen via our previous projects and positive reviews. Moreover, you can also read informative articles that are readily available on our website.

We pride ourselves in prioritizing customer satisfaction and providing permanent solutions in every job we do. Feel free to contact us via WhatsApp at +65 8241 0032 for any of your queries.