Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

The Finished Stairs

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So my stairs are finally done. It’s been quite a saga which you can read all about here, here, here and here.   Again it was quite a big and messy job tearing and prying off the old step kit and then filling all the dents and dings, sanding everything down to get a smooth finish and caulking all the gaps.   I was under a little bit of stress during this project because I wanted everything done while Wille was away for a few days and finished by the time he got home since he’s the one that actually uses the upstairs and needs access via the stairs to his room and the bathroom. Stressing is not a good thing. 1. I spilled half a can of paint onto the stairs. Luckily I could just sweep the paint further down so it got used up that way. 2. As I was sweeping halfway down I heard Mini’s bell UPSTAIRS! I thought she was outside! Picture me on the tips of my toes catching Mini on the landing JUST before she was about to come down. Phew!     Anyway, here’s the finished product. SO happy I can finally tick this project off.   And here’s a before for good measure. You can check out a post about the stained handrails here and if you haven’t had enough of stairs there are also posts on the basement stairs here, here and here and on the entry hall stairs here and here.

The Finished Stairs

Basement Stairs Part 2

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So this is where I left off last week.     I had sanded coarsely once, filled all the dings and dents with wood filler, sanded with a fine grade paper, wiped everything clean with a damp rag and now it was time to do some caulking. The reason for caulking before you paint is that you want to eliminate anything that will cast a dark shadow within your white paint. If you were to paint a dark color it wouldn’t be necessary in the same way. I caulked along the edges where the stairs meet the walls and also along each step. After adding caulk I used a finger to smooth and then the damp rag to wipe away any excess.   Since the stairs are basically a floor that you walk on I got some special floor paint. I was told that it would be more fluid than regular wood paint for trim and they recommended that I use regular paint on the sides and risers and the floor paint on the treads because the floor paint might need more coats to get good coverage.   So I started doing it by the book with the first coat and painted with two different paints. I didn’t find the texture of the paints to be that different though so I ended up painting the remaining coats with just the floor paint. Doing that also ensured I would get the same finish everywhere.   It took three coats and while I was paining the last coat I did think that I’d need a forth one, at least to touch up here and there but when it was dry it was evident that three coats was enough.   As for the handrail I’m keeping it wooden and it matches all the handles downstairs too. I stained the handrail back when I did the rest of the handrails and I do like the look of it against the white and grey.   This may look like the finished product, but it’s not actually, I still have the mystery product to add and hopefully I’ll be able to show you that next week. Stay tuned.

Basement Stairs Part 2

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.

The Basement Stairs Part 1