Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

The Basement Stairs Part 1

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I hadn’t planned to do the basement stairs this soon because I wasn’t really sure what to do with them until I got an e-mail from a reader who offered me to try a new product. I’m telling you, as soon as I saw it (more on IT in a later post) I knew it would be perfect for my stairs.



What I will do involves painting but before any paint can go on the poor condition of the treads needed to be addressed. I doubt these stairs have seen any elbow grease action since the house was built in 1954.



The treads had deep dings and dents in the wood, the risers were badly scuffed, there were paint stains (I might have contributed one or two of those) and the noses were really worn down and splintery.



Sanding action was needed so I blocked off my door-less bedroom adjacent to the stairs with this temporary zippered “door”. I’m telling you, this is such a great invention, it keeps all the dust in the work area and you just zip your way in and out. Found it at our local DIY store and I love it. After adding that link I realize mine’s up upside down but it worked well that way too!



Anyway, I sanded everything with coarse paper first to even off the noses and remove any splintery bits. Then I filled the dents and dings with wood filler (photo above) and sanded with a fine sand paper to smooth everything out after. So much better already and the worst (messiest and noisiest) part + clean up is done. It only took an afternoon to get this far. I’m often amazed how quick things get done as I usually over estimate the time it will take. Better that than the other way around I guess.

To be continued.


  • Katharina says:

    Aaaaaaaaaaaah, why oh why didn’t you write about these ziplock doors a year ago? Could have spared me tons of dust throughout the house. Too bad! Never mind, NOW I know they exist and will give hubby one for his birthday before he starts putting up and smoothing out and sanding any more drywalls. Hahahaha 🙂

  • Ramona K says:

    Aaaargh…Benita, you have sneaked in and photographed my basement stairs! I have to admit I´ve been hoping you would start on yours before I got round to mine. I am so excited. Like you, I´ve checked out the many alternatives but so far I haven´t found any method which doesn´t involve emptying the piggy bank.
    In Uppsala our gardens are still covered with snow so I can´t make the usual excuse that outdoor jobes are taking up my time. If you´ve hit on a good way of doing the stairs, I´m up for it.

  • Zosia says:

    Nifty invention those plastic doors with a zipper. Looking forward to the “after” photos of the stairs.

  • Dana in CT says:

    My husband and I just sanded and re-oiled the floors in our den and after we had sanded the worn bits down the floor already looked so much better – just like your stairs!
    Can’t wait to see the new product and the end result. Have a good day!

  • Lisa says:

    Very exciting! Can’t wait to see what this mystery fix will be!! And, hooray for you for being a time over-estimator! Unfortunately, I am an under-estimator. I need to figure out my factor, so I can estimate, then times by 2 (or 3, or 4!)

  • Amy says:

    Another stair saga! 😉 I remember how hard you worked on the upper stairs, ultimately painting them white. That result looked terrific–how have they held up? And I wonder whether you are going to paint these white as well. . . I recall that staining didn’t work out before . . .

  • They’ve held up really well actually. As for the color on these, all will be revealed soon :).

  • Maddux says:

    Hi Benita, did you use your mouse sander? I recall that you got a new one not so long ago after the old one finally gave out. How do you like the new one? I ask because I could really use a palm sander, but I’m not sure that the current model is the one to buy. It’s gotten mixed reviews on Amazon. Thanks very much!

  • Linwin says:

    Denna frågan hör inte till ditt trapprojekt även om det ska bli kul att se vad du ska hitta på. Blir det ett trappkit månne?
    Nej, min fråga som jag inte såg någon vits till att fråga på de amerikanska sidorna är: vad i hela världen använder du dig av för lim när du sätter etiketter? Man vill ju ha något som sitter samtidigt som man har en chans att få väck dem när sakerna byter plats. Om man nu inte använder Dymo som går att ta bort.
    Något tips?
    Tackar och bockar på förhand.

  • Jag brukar på typ syltburkar köra med limstift på utskrivna pappersetiketter. Limmet går bort när man blöter bort etiketten. Borde funka även på andra underlag.
    Och nej, ett trappkit är det inte frågan om :).

  • I did and it works well but I do prefer the simpler mouse without the option with the rotary sander. The reason? My new sander is heavier and I need both hands to do for example edges whereas the smaller mouse I could easily hold in one hand.

  • Linwin says:

    Jag har alltid tänkt på limstift som något som torkar och trillar av så det är ju självklart att det borde funka 🙂

  • Maddux says:

    Great to know, thank you. I love your blog, by the way. I read it every day and have gotten a few things recommended on your Amazon page. I’m also always impressed by how well you write — and in a non-native language no less!

  • elisa says:

    years of dust in our childhood home renovation might have been spared! supersmart. can’t wait to see your solution. i shall store it with other ideas for my imaginary house 🙂 x