LEARNING WHAT IS UNDER THE STAIR CARPET

March 28, 2016

On the lower half of the stairs there was a pleasant portion of white risers with wood stained runs peeked out. The rest, however, was adorned with a quite ugly brown carpet.

My hope was this nice wood was what stretched across the whole portion of each step (not just the end) and up all of the staircase (not just the bottom half).

PAINTING THE STAIR SPINDLES FROM RACHEL SCHULTZ

My best friend Elysia had similar steps and there was plywood under their carpet – nothing pretty to refinish. Her stairs are beautiful and curved too. They had a carpenter come out and to work on it would be expensive.

Sometimes I am struck with a bout of spontaneity. I believe I was going to give the babies a bath when I decided to abandon that mission and settle what was under the stairs. I had been wondering since we moved in (actually, since we went to the house showing!) and I just needed to know and mentally prepare for our scenario.

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I pulled up one step’s worth and it was nice wood! Optimistic! But, it could just be the bottom step, or it could just be the bottom half of the stair case. Not home free yet.

By myself I removed and cleaned up the bottom two steps (both good!). I worked doing only one step at a time and cleaning it up entirely so that it would stay safe for the babies to be around.

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Once David got home, like a circus strong man he ripped up the entire swath of carpet in one fell swoop, making my process a lot easier. (The same carpet removal took me like, 15 minutes per step.)

I then went over and hammered down stray nails and removed all two million of the tiny staples. Also lots of shop-vaccing and sweeping.

LEARNING WHAT IS UNDER THE STAIR CARPET from Rachel Schultz

In about two hours I was able to do half the stairs. They are so smooth and pure! What a freaking delight.

We peeked under the top half and confirmed it is pretty wood the whole way up. Rejoice!

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I knocked the rest of it out in a second work night. Lately I have been attempting to not bombard David with more tasks to do around the house. I am trying to have a higher threshold for asking him to do something and make my very best effort to be sure I absolutely cannot do it on my own (and not that I would just prefer not to). Working on the steps was my first major go at attempting something I normally would have asked him to do. It was really satisfying to accomplish.

Next, I am researching how to remove the dark brown stain off the banister and sides of the steps. Maybe I will strip it or I might just try and sand it down. They will be refinished with something to match the medium-brown stain of the floors.

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Comments

  • Chris

    Not sure about the risers but the actual treads look like oak – very nice thing! I never can figure out why anyone would carpet oak, if that is indeed what it is. The way the stairs are designed is interesting and will look really nice stained. I’m sure you feel the work was well worth it; I would if I were you. Great job! We also have carpeted stairs but feel pretty much that it’s just plywood. so we’d replace it with oak. Our basement stairway is part of our family room and I think they would look really nice stained – and easier to clean. Dragging the vacumn cleaner up and down is a pain, so I’d be much happier!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Chris!

  • Courtney

    I have used Citrustrip to remove stain from a front door, and it worked really well!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great – I considered using that here. Hope it works.

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