Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stairway Progress

I’ve been spending much of my free time prepping the stair risers and painting the new treads.  I believe a lot of work has been done, but you wouldn’t know it looking at our staircase. (You can see what it started at as here.)  This is still what it looks like:


(Though you may notice that one of these treads is not like the others.  That’s actually one of the new treads.  More on that later.)

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I HATE prep work.  I am so impatient and I just want to see things done.  Right! Now!

This project is a killer for me because it’s pretty much all prep work.  When I tore up the carpet, we realized we’d need to buy new treads.  We also realized that the risers weren’t nice and smooth and ready for paint, so I’ve spent the past few days sanding…


 (Yeah, nice view.)

and filling holes…


and vacuuming up the dust I created…


 (With my new vacuum that is completely awesome!)

And painting.  Luckily, I have something that will make many of you jealous: my very own painting room.  Inside my house!


People keep trying to store things like dining tables and pianos in my paint room, so I’m constantly having to move them and work around them, but still I shouldn’t complain.


The new treads and paneling for the landing now have two coats of primer and one coat of black paint.  The risers have been primed in white, so I’m getting close to being done with the painting.  (Or at least round one of the painting.)

Once the treads are done, we are going to take the existing treads off, one by one, and put the new ones down.  Sounds easy, right?


We needed to test to make sure the new treads would work before I started painting, so last Sunday, I respectfully asked my husband to pull up one of the treads for a test.

The 9 screws came up pretty quickly…but the stair didn’t.  Next, he started prying up the 9 nails.  Not so bad, but a lot of work.  Still, the stair stayed put.  Clearly something was still holding it down, but we couldn’t see anymore screws or nails.

Eventually, my husband started gouging out the top of the stair with a chisel to see if he could find the offending nail/screw.  He didn’t find it, but it did weaken the stair enough such that we could pull up on each side and break it off.  That’s when we saw the screw that had been holding it in.  Just hiding there.  Little bugger – we showed it.

That took about 45 minutes – to take off JUST ONE stair tread.  As I’m watching this, I’m starting a very low panic thinking there is no way he’s going to be willing to do this 10 more times.  I started coming up with alternatives, but that stair had clearly issued a challenge to my husband and he wasn’t going to let it go by.  He just kept systematically working at it and teaching me about patience.

Clearly the old stair tread wasn’t going to be going back in, so we ended up putting in the new one.  I think it looks very nice and they look even nicer once painted!


My hope plan is to have everything painted by this weekend, so we can start replacing the treads.  I, of course, picked the worst possible week to start this project since I’m spending my evenings at Girl Scout camp and will not be able to work on it at all next week, but when you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough and it’s best to put that energy to work when you got it.

Stay tuned!


  1. Your husband sounds like a champ, and so patient. I love that there was no way he was going to let that stair kick his butt. Or the next 10.

    Looks like it's coming along nicely... looking forward to seeing the finished project!

  2. All the hard (grunt) work will pay off. I love how your painting room even has plants in it - a very nice touch:-)

  3. Oooooo - I'd love to see how it turns out! I've been talking about ripping off our carpet since the day we moved in.....2 years ago...but I'm terrified that it'll be a bigger project than I anticipated and then it'll be too late to change my mind ;) Having to get new treads??? OY.

    (plus, my hubby never helps me with my projects - lucky girl!)

  4. OH I am so like you!! I want it done NOW NOW NOW!! I can't wait to see how they turn out -- let me know!

  5. Good for you (two)! It sounds like a TON of work but it's going to be so nice when done. I'm an avid supporter of taking long breaks in between hard bouts of work. Take as many as you need. Sometimes, I go shopping for a day just because. Have fun at Girl Scout Camp. Is that possible? I think you will need a break after you take THAT break. Just speaking as though it were me going to GS camp. If you love that sort of thing then, have a great time! Can't wait to see the stairs finished. Hopefully for my party. ;-)


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