I wanted to find out peoples opinions and advice on finishing birch stair treads. I do a lot of these but again have only been doing this for about a year and am always looking for better and easier ways to get a good finish. I normally sand first with a 150 grit to get rid of the planer marks, then I stain, then I usually find swirl marks left by the orbital sander so I have to sand down the tread again, (in some cases). After the tread is stained, I spray a coat of MLC KleerVar, sand with a 320 grit and apply one more coat of KleerVar. I find that it takes quite some time in the initial sanding to get rid of the planer marks. Wondering if I should be starting with a heavier grit and working my way down.