The Staircase (Part 1)

We’re taking our time with the stairs.  It’s probably bad feng shui or something, being right off the main entrance to the house, and of course, the part of our house that joins the two floors.  But we’re OK with it for now.

After the carpet was pulled, we found these old painted stairs. The bottom stairs are original redwood. It's probably lead paint. (geezus. I don't want to know.)

The carpet was hard to remove. Back-wrenching and hand-blistering.  The top layer of green shag was mostly nailed on, with a few staples here and there. That wasn’t so bad, except for the incredible amounts of dust.  The layer beneath was stapled with a thousand staples and… I think I mostly just want to forget that process.But even after the carpet was off, there were another 603 staples to remove. (Purely an estimate.)

Upper flight is all plywood, presumably rebuilt after the fire. Plywood is really difficult to de-staple.

The railing shows the color of the trim throughout half the house (starting at the front door and all of upstairs).  I thought by now, surely and absolutely, that we would have completed painting.  Ha!

The banister is not original.  It is not redwood, and has less than 5 layers of paint on it.  One of the balusters was snapped in half by one of the kids (it’s called stairway gymnastics), and it was obviously quite modern (i.e., cheap).

Staples and dirt and dust and staples and bits of carpet and sharp, pointy nails and dust and splinters. There were about 20 of the bigger staples per stair after the carpet was up.

 The landing was covered in linoleum (under the carpet), which we assume was also upstairs before the fire. (The linoleum saved the redwood floors!)  I loved finding the floor underneath the linoleum.  The wood is redwood, and we will leave it just like it is.  [no picture; sorry]

There were (are) about 30 little staples per stair.

  We’re still removing staples.  10 here, 20 there. They’re mostly on the face of the stairs at this point, as we had to quickly make the  stairs safe for barefooted children.

Endless little staples and the dustiest place in our house. I drag the vacuum up the stairs about twice a month. We'll get a hand vacuum someday and it will be the kids' job.

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1 Comment

  1. Bonnie

     /  January 18, 2012

    Oh, my! Kim, you love hard projects, don’t you?


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