It’s Saturday and it’s been a week since I tore the carpet off the stairs. I am happy to report that I have worked 6 of the last 7 days. All 3 of my kiddos were home sick on Thursday. 🙁 Although the stairs aren’t done, they are ready to be stained. But before I stain them I need to replace two spindles and put up some molding, but we’ve come a long way already. So far I’ve shown you how I tore the carpet off the stairs and then I shared the tedious job of removing staples and my solution for a bizarre ledge. Day 5 (yesterday) was a long day! I hand sanded the edge of the stairs, the part that overhangs and you see as soon as you walk in the door. This is what they looked like after the carpet came off.
And boy were there a lot of holes! And a lot of sanding to do. I used 80-120 grit sandpaper in a variety of forms. I really like the foam sanding blocks, but sometimes I just used strips of sandpaper.
I was barely starting my day, but already getting burnt out. But the results were making me so happy, it was easy to keep going. Just seeing the wood on the overhang makes the stairs look so much better!! Yay!!
The white paint was thicker than I thought, so it was time to call in the reinforcements! I used Citristrip stripping gel, but let me point out that this is NOT an all natural product. It is chemical based, but “safer” and smells better.
It was a process. But luckily, not a very long one. First I poured the orange goop into a disposable cup. I doubled the cups up, which was a good thing, because eventually the stuff ate through both cups. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I painted it onto the stair treads with a paint brush. I did this on both sides, because, ya know we needed a way to walk up the stairs.
The directions state that you can begin stripping in 30 minutes or wait up to 24 hours. Hmmm. I am impatient, so I started stripping after an hour. I wasn’t have the best luck, then I figured out that scrubbing the Citristip with a toothbrush, then wiping it off worked really well. This was definitely the best method to use around the spindles.
I decided to let the rest soak in overnight. I spent my morning (today is day 6!) scraping the steps. This is what they looked like after I scraped. The top step still has the orange (pinkish when it dries) Citristrip. The two below are ones I’ve scraped.
Here’s a look at the same step, first with the dried on Citristrip. Funny how people walked through it anyway, even though I left the middle clear. Hee hee.
This is a really good shot because it shows all three stages at once. The bottom 3 steps still have the dried on Citristrip, the middle 3 have been scraped and swept, the top 3 have been scrubbed with a damp cloth.
Now I was ready to sand. Well almost ready. I vacuumed the stairs first so I could get a good look at what I was sanding. I hate prep work, but it was essential here. I tape off all the openings downstairs and closed all the bedroom doors upstairs.
See, it does make a mess. I had to vacuum again, fill more holes, vacuum again, then sand again. No joke.
Check out more on the stairway makeover:
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