When we bought our current house the carpeting was the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen. There was incredibly filthy pink carpet on the staircase, baseboards and living room, which we ripped out as soon as we moved in. Gross. The staircase has been an ongoing project for about 5 years, which is 4 too long. Once we took the carpeting off, we went through many looks: original wood treads and risers, original risers and white steps, original risers and black steps, then most recently, black treads and white risers. Which actually was great, until 3/4 of the white started chipping off, exposing the wood underneath. This looked totally trashy, so we needed to fix them, and do it totally right and not cut corners (lesson learned). So, this is the first part in the staircase renovation.
|Don’t judge my opening tool (butter knife) and paint stirrer (scrap wood).|
You’ll need a paintbrush, roller, paint tray, whatever type of floor & porch paint you like, as well as the things not in the photo, like paint stripper, sanding block, scraper, stair treads.
Step 1: Strip & Sand
I got Andrew to do all the stripping because I’m pregnant and I just really hate stripping paint. When Lilly and I were out for the day, Andrew used Klean-Strip paint stripper on all the painted surfaces. I’ve used this stuff before, and it’s awful smelling and will burn you, but really works fast. I was interested in using some Citristrip, but Andrew kicked us out and used what he wanted. The black paint came off in one application, but the many layers of white took 3. Andrew also sanded, because like I said, I’m not a good sander. He used a fine grit sanding block, just to smooth things out. Then we wiped the staircase down with a damp rag and vacuumed them amazingly.
|A vast improvement from the chipping white and black steps.
Sorry there’s no photos of that calamity.
Step 3: Prime & Prep.
I didn’t prime the steps because they were a fairly light and even color, and there weren’t any funky stains on them. You can see where there are darker areas where there must have been stair treads originally, and those are going to be covered by new treads, so I’m not worried about those. If you’ve got a darker wood, or there are stains on it, you’ll want to prime. Since we’re painting the entire staircase white, I didn’t tape anything, but if you’re doing a combo of paint and/or stain, you’ll want to tape so you get crisp lines. Once you’re ready to prime, go for it according to the directions on your primer. Remember to do every other step, or you’ll be stuck on one floor.
Step 4: Paint.
There were a few days between when we sanded and stripped the steps, so I gave them a wipe down and got rid of any dust bunnies and oils, then got to painting. I started at the top painting every-other step and each riser, just to get most of it out of the way. You can use a brush or a small roller, I opted to go with the paintbrush, and did long even strokes, making sure to get in the nooks and crannies real well. I did a thin coat because I didn’t want the dry time to actually take the entire day, because I can’t carry Lillian every other step to go potty. Desperation, what can I say.
Step 5: Paint, continued.
If your steps take a little longer to dry, wait to paint the opposite treads until they’re totally dry, or you’ll have footprints, smudges, or just be stuck on one floor. Since my paint dried fairly quickly (most likely the dry chilly weather here), I decided to paint the remaining treads after the 4-hour-dry-to-the-touch label instructions, so that by the time Lilly had to go upstairs for bedtime, they’d all be dry to the touch. If you’re going to going up the steps before they dry, you’ll probably forget which are safe. Just add some painters tape to the treads that you can walk on as a visual aide.
|This should be fun.|I’ll be posting Part 2 and my final outcome tomorrow night or Sunday, since the paint has to dry at least 24 hours between coats. Can’t wait, they’re looking better already. Except for a finger print from Lillian. Oops.
I just updated Part 2!!