Sunday, May 5, 2013

Step Right Up! See the Amazing Stair Transformation!

Since I have done such an awesome job of staining and finishing the wood trim, I volunteered to tackle the next big project:  staining and poly-coating the stringers on the two new staircases. We've been using these utilitarian construction-grade pine stairs for months without proper guardrails. Since we anticipate delivery of the stair treads this week, and Scott has his steel in the garage to create the banisters, there was no time like the present to get busy.
I started the process earlier in the week with sanding a bit each evening. Because the quality of the wood was not "finish grade,"  I started with 60-grit sandpaper, then stepped up to 100-grit, before finishing with 220-grit to create a splinter-free surface on the stringers.
Scott took down the temporary guardrails we've been living with since last fall. I will not miss this ramshackle assortment of 2x6s!
Just be careful...that's a heck of a first step! Luckily, Leo is sure-footed, being a cat and all.
Since I had to stain the underside of the stringers, we figured out how to use the big extension ladder and a couple of long planks as a platform. It was pretty sturdy, even when I eventually had to use a step ladder to reach the top few stairs. The underside of the stairs will be painted a dark brown as soon as I'm done poly-coating the stringers.
The stairs leading to the second floor looked great after two coats of stain. I was able to add the first coat of poly on Sunday.
The stairs to the basement received the same treatment. Scott granted me a break, however, and decreed it unnecessary to paint the underside of this staircase since this area will most likely always be used for storage.
The stairs blend beautifully with the rest of the wood throughout the space. Except for . . . yikes! That stupid high window (at left in the photo) is still naked! My goal for next weekend is to get the big extension ladder leaned up against that wall and get it done.
Stay Tuned for More Progress!

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