Remember our staircase refacing project?
The one that is taking us forever to complete?
We’re back at it once again!
Finishing this staircase ourselves has been a huge financial savings. It’s also been one of the most time consuming projects yet. When you factor in the learning curve and the many things you have to do twice because you didn’t get it right the first time sometimes it makes you want to pull your hair out.
Now don’t get me wrong, finishing a project like this within a reasonable timeframe is totally doable. We just happen to be a bad example of it 😉
We’ve since installed the stair treads. One of the many easier things to do, may I add! And probably the most gratifying to see come together!
We began by gluing the white risers to the front of the step using PL Premium (permanent construction adhesive). Once glued in place, Mike nailed each riser at the top and bottom. For a clean finish, he strategically placed the nails where the stair tread would eventually cover it.
Next we added adhesive to the top of the step in preparation for the stair tread. We also put the adhesive under the stair tread for extra strength.
I debated for a quite sometime whether I wanted to switch out the balusters for wrought iron but in the end, I decided to keep our existing balusters.
However to make it feel like we updated the look, I did purchase newel posts with a square profile. These will be stained along with the railings to match our new steps.
We did come across another annoying set back—our railings.
Since we are reusing our previous railing, we needed to sand off the existing finish prior to staining, which we did…
It looked and felt like we sanded right down to the bare wood. When it came time to staining the railing, it was a different story. The stain was going on patchy and was not absorbing properly.
It turns out we needed more than just a sanding job on these railings, we needed a chemical stripper to make sure all the old finish was completely gone. Those of you attempting to re-stain your own railing, don’t bother wasting time sanding, use the wood stripper from the very beginning.
Once again, we removed all our railing and applied a wood stripper.
And we watch the magic happen right before our eyes. It lifted everything right out of the wood.
We stripped the remaining varnish (plus the one railing that we stained) and sanded down again.
This weekend we hope to finish all the staining and painting of the balusters. Hopefully without any more setbacks.