Monday, June 15, 2015

Stripping Stairs: Part 3

Remember when I stripped the paint off the floor in our upstairs hallway last spring (Part 1 and Part 2)?  Well, I had intended to do the stairs that summer, too.  Instead, a little boy came into our lives for a time and all my projects flew out the window. {By the way!!  His family and we are back in touch, we are spending time together and it is wonderful:-)}.

So here is what our stairs looked like.  The upstairs hallway and the steps were this light blue when we bought the house and have remained this lovely color (that I really have never liked very much) for the ten years we've been here.  We added the carpet runner after Sam fell down the stairs. Twice.

In the great scheme of things, they were fine.  We just really appreciate old wood flooring and wanted to expose it.  It was the last remaining painted wood flooring in the house.  So, how did it go? Well, the first day I bit off more than I could chew.  I painted stripper on the entire right hand side so I had to scrape, reapply stripper, and scrape some more the whole live-long day crouched or bent awkwardly over because there wasn't enough room for me to sit on the non-stripper-applied steps comfortably.  From 10:00 am until 4:30 pm (with two short ten-minute breaks to use the bathroom, drink and eat) I slaved over these silly steps.  I hated it.  It was an incredibly hot and humid day and a fan directly on me and the steps would have dried the stripper out too quickly.  By the end of the day my whole body ached- especially my hands.  Here's what it looked like (sorry the photo is rather dark- at that point I didn't care)....

The second day, I wised up and only did the top half of the other side of the stairs and then worked on the treads where they extended past the railing.  For this, I could at least stand on the floor which made the work feel practically effortless compared to working on the steps.  On the third day, I only had the remaining left side of the steps to finish.  Then, because my hands were like claws and my right arm was in a perpetual state of feeling half asleep, Jamey kindly scrubbed the steps with water to clean up any remaining residue.  And here's what they look like now....

I don't know if you care or not, but in order to record the depth of this project (for my own sanity), here are the layers of paint I encountered...

light blue,
a slightly different light blue,
light brown,
dark brown,
and, finally, bare wood.

Also, interestingly enough, all the steps are pine except for the second from the top which is oak.

I told Jamey that we can never sell this house because if someone ever paints back over these stairs, I may have to take them out.

As you can tell, I wasn't able to get entirely down to bare wood everywhere but thankfully I was really pleased with the results and so was Jamey (like he'd say otherwise, right? ;-))  They look like really old steps which is what they are! The project is now turned over to Jamey.  He's planning on applying a few coats of clear stain to protect and brighten them up a bit.  The painters tape will then come off and I'll lay down the new braided rug treads I snatched up over a year ago when I spotted them on sale.

The biggest and most dreaded summer project has now been checked off my list.  And for all sweat, aches and pains, it was totally worth it:-).

And, finally: Part 4. Pin It


  1. Very nice! Sounds like a lot of hard work!

  2. Well done.
    I have stripped two lots of stairs in two houses & then we moved, I was so sore! But you soon forget.
    Now we are not moving until we have too.
    Your stairs are beautiful.
    So glad you are getting together with the little boy & their family.
    Fondly Michelle

  3. They are just beautiful! There is just something of old wood that speaks of life, the tree, the house, and those who left their scars. If you are now bored, I can lend you a couple things to mark off my list:)

  4. Well done! Isn't it lovely to be on the other side of this huge project. You gave it heroic effort.
    Thankful your hubby is finishing it up for you
    So glad you are in touch with little one and his family.

  5. They look great! Good job Jane.

  6. Wonderful!! I am sure you are so pleased with looks great. Happy summer to you! (Now you can enjoy it.) Hugs, Camille

  7. Wow! It's going to look GREAT. Time well spent. You will LOVE IT when it is finished. Can't wait to see pictures (hint hint!)

  8. Jane, they look great! That will be a project you can enjoy for years to come.


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