Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Shoes

When you walk into our house, the first thing you see are the stairs.  When I first moved into the Brewery three years ago, the stairs were covered in white carpet.  They soon turned black with Jacque's fir, which prompted me to remove the carpet and install oak treads.  That was the very first project Titus and I did together only months after we started dating.  How romantic.

It turns out the stairs were super complicated, because they actually run at an angle from the wall.  The outside edge of the stairs is not parallel to the wall so as you go up the stairs the treads actually get shorter, and the right side is not a 90 degree angle.  This made cutting and installing them super hard which sometimes left gaps on either side of the treads.  To take care of the gaps Titus installed base shoe to the edges of the stairs.

When I installed the treads, I knew in the future I would want to put in some laminate flooring, but didn't know what color at the time, so I just stained the stairs the color of my railing.  That obviously turned out to be a poor honey oak choice.  Which led us to our current before. 

When we decided on the new floor we were going to install, I had to refinish the stairs to match the new laminate.  So Titus removed the base shoe and I sanded and stained the treads to match the newly installed floor.  That all led us to this unfinished state which persisted for about a month.

As you can see the corners weren't really sanded and therefore didn't take any of the new stain.  This will be partially fixed by replacing the base shoe, and partially fixed by applying some Poly Shades to the corners.  This is not the best way to do it, but I just couldn't get the corners sanded well enough, ok people.

In addition to the missing shoes you may have noticed the honey oak wood that is on either side of the stairs.   This will be painted Behr Swiss Coffee to match the future baluster color and future board and batten that will run up the stair wall.

To paint these wood pieced, I started by not sanding, because I hate it.  Then, I used Frog taped along the treads.  I don't usually promote the use of painters tape since it often causes the paint to peal off upon removal, but theses treads were my pride and joy after all that sanding and staining.

 I then used my favorite 1.5" Purdy brush to apply two coats of trusty Ben Fresh Start Primer.  The next day I applied two coats of Behr Swiss Coffee, also with my paint brush.  Imediatly after my last coat of paint was applied I removed the Frog Tape to try and prevent as much paint pealing as possible.  It mostly worked... there were only two spots the paint peeled and it was at the nose of the treads where there was the most tape.  See you can see a spot missing paint right under the nose of the top tread.  Someday I will touch that up.  Why yes, I did prime all those balusters.  So what if it took me a month.

Now that the perpendicular wood pieces were painted, I was more than ready to throw some shoes on the stairs.  So Titus got to work sanding all the pieces for me to stain.

After they were sanded, I wiped the dust off with a damp towel and spread them out on some cardboard for staining.  I still had my random stain mixture left over from staining the treads, so I just shook that up and got down to staining.

I used some throwawayable (that's a word) rags from the Home Depot to soak on the stain.

I let it sit for ten minutes then wiped off the excess.  The shoes ended up being the appropriate color after only one coat of stain which was neat.

After I let them dry for an inappropriately short period of time, I excitedly brought the shoes into the house and told Titus to nail them in.  He jumped at my words and ran out to get his compressor and nail gun and then we had beautiful stairs! 

Except of course for those still slightly ugly corners that need some Poly Shades, and the paint touch up in a couple places.  I also need to apply polyurethane to the shoes which I chose to do after they were nailed in place.  Still a vast improvement people.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Cow!!! You are a glutten for punishment, but the stairs are looking amazing!!!
    Don't you just wonder how you ever got along before without your 1.5 inch angle brush????