The stairs in a busy home put up with a lot of traffic, so it's no surprise they occasionally suffer from a little wear and tear. Whether it was your young athlete's soccer cleats that caused an unsightly dent on his way up the stairs or a toy thrown too hard during the grand Friday-night temper tantrum, the gleaming hardwood riser is marred. Fortunately, it only requires a little of your precious time to restore it to its former glory.
Sand the area of the dent on the riser, using medium-grit sandpaper. Work in the direction of the woodgrain until you have removed the finish from the area. Sand the entire riser to remove all of the stain.
Dampen a cloth with lukewarm water. Place the cloth on top of the dent. Heat the iron to the "Steam" setting and run it back and forth across the cloth-covered dent three to four times. Turn off the iron, remove the cloth and let the wood dry thoroughly.
Inspect the dented area for any remaining imperfections. If the dent is not adequately filled, apply wood filler to the area, using a metal putty knife. Scrape the putty knife across the riser to smooth the filler. Let the wood filler dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. Alternatively, fill the dented area with wood putty that matches your stain color.
Sand the filled area until smooth, using fine-grained sandpaper. Clean the area, using a lint-free cloth. Apply stain to the riser to make it coordinate with the rest of the risers.