Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

The Stairs Part 1

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I’ve been pretty sure about what I want to do to most parts of the house but the stairs have been really tricky to figure out. All the floors are oak and the stairs are pine. To make things worse the previous owners at one point used a step kit to spruce up the worn treads. Oh, and they had a sitting elevator to the top floor so there are screw holes everywhere.



Too bad they didn’t use a wooden kit but instead used sheets consisting of a sandwich of plastic, cork, veneer and plastic again. Yeah, I know. Here’s me peeling off one of those plastic strips.



I toyed with a lot of ideas. One was to use the same type of step kit I used in the hall  but it would have been really tricky to fit because of the curve half way up + very expensive.

I also considered sisal step or carpet steps.



I was almost sure I’d go for this idea and had picked out this one when I realized that Wille and I eat lots of meals upstairs in front of the TV and I’d worry about tripping and spilling. Mini and Bonus would have loved this option though. Then the project lay dormant for a while.



I realized that this projects would have to be done in stages. For one we need to use the stairs to get to the bathroom and Wille’s room so the main part from the living room to the bathroom will have to wait until summer when he’s away and I’m on vacation. I decided to start my project at the very top which is only four steps that can be jumped over holding the handrails on either side. Apparently the top of the stairs used to be closed but had been opened up to let more light in I guess which is great but the holes were still there so I filled them. I also removed those badly fitted strips of wood at the backs of those four steps.



I actually started this back in late summer (hence the flip flops) to check out the condition of the steps under the kit and thought I might sand the original ones and so I removed one. Lots of glue residue and the wood splintered in places. Ugh.



I scraped everything back as well as I could but this made me again reconsider how much time and mayhem in terms of dust I wanted. I’ve since gone back and forth between a kit after all, sanding and varnishing, sanding, staining and varnishing and the sisal. Yesterday’s post gave a bit of a clue on what’s going on though.

To be continued.


  • Leena says:

    Ohhoh what a job! Hope the rest goes/went well.

  • Zosia says:

    …a cliffhanger…. Benita, only you can make the story about refinishing the stairs sound like a mystery or a thriller, making the readers wait for the next chapter in anticipation. I guess it has something to do with you being born in Finland and living in Sweden – so many great Scandinavian mystery writers :-).

  • Anne Cathrine says:

    Hi, long time reader/first time commenter (as far as I can remember at least :). I have the same type of pine stairs in our new house (are there any pine trees left in Scandinavia after the 80s?)and I’d like to paint the sides and railing white and maybe stain the treads dark. We’ll see. Just wondering how much elbow grease is needed to sand down everyting? I have a Mister Mouse (that I love)and the previous owner has done nothing to them so it’s just a matter of sanding down the varnish and maybe evening out 17 years of wear.
    Also do you use oil based paint? It is probably a longer lasting finish than water based but I have a two year old and don’t like the smell.
    Thank you so much. Love to Mini and Bonus.

  • It took about an hour to sand one tread. It had glue residue, old varnish and lots of nicks and dings. It would probably be quicker with a belt sander but the issue is reaching corners etc where the mouse has advantage.
    Solvent based paints aren’t allowed here anymore so basically (with a few exceptions)all paints are water based now. Be sure to get special floor paint though if your stairs are high traffic.
    I will give them a kiss aech from you when I get home 🙂

  • Erin says:

    Hi Benita
    Just wanted to share my tip for doing stairs. I recently painted my stairs and like yours we use them everyday so they couldn’t be out of order. To get around this i painted every second step and the next day when they were dry did the in betweeners.
    I am looking forward to seeing what you decide on.

  • Sol says:

    We also had terrible trouble with our stairs. The previous owners also fitted a stair lift that left awful holes all the way up. It was hell trying to fill it all and take all the staples out.
    In the end we had a man come and look at it as the stairs were cracked in some places. Our house is quite old and he said it would be hard to match the wood. So we had to have carpet fitted. I cant wait to see how your steps come out. it will be an idea for my next house.
    Love your blog!

  • kelly says:

    First time commenter — I have very old stairs(1860s?) although no nail holes, they are a bit chewed up looking, so we taped down rugs on the stair treads. They are very safe, especially since we used to slip on the bare stairs in our stocking feed and out dog needs them too so he doesn’t slip with his nails. You can find stair treads in many different sizes and colors, and the special carpet tape that comes with them is very secure. Some styles even have sticky backings themselves. Thought I’d mention it since you were worried about tripping.

  • Lisa says:

    Oh my gosh, Lady! What a lot of work! You are amazing!

  • Oops, my answer is under your comment not next to it!

  • the spectator says:

    You’re a star! A hardworking star!

  • I wish you lots of luck on this project! It’s awesome that you’re taking on this project, and that you keep us updated! 🙂