Dueling DIY Staircases Part 6: New treads with black risers
We left off last week as I vented about my imperfect walls and the challenge that mudding is for me. I am an honest person, so I let you know the not so pretty side of me and things too. That is all part of it, really. Not one of my proudest moments, but I hope some can empathize with my frustration. Needless to say, I would prefer to keep my cool and will try to work on my tolerance for imperfections
Imperfections and all, I am glad that the walls are now smooth, some thin trim is up, things have a least the first coat of paint and now the nasty, smelly old treads as risers are outta here.
I am happy to say that we got the new treads down and all but three risers.
How we miscounted the number of risers we would need to replace is beyond me right now. Doesn’t help that I started working on this project over a year and a half ago, so some of our thinking from then and now has us scratching our heads. It went together fine, but had we started the project new recently, we may have done a few things differently.
Can I just say that I am so very happy about doing the risers black. Back a few weeks ago, at the beginning of this competition, I shared that the risers were cut and painted white and ready to go. For some reason, out of the blue, I decided I wanted them black. I have never seen black risers on a staircase, but a quick search online gave me the courage to go for it. I did them in extra high gloss oil gel paint and I sure think it makes the stairs look like they are going to the Oscars. A few of the images I found on the internet used a lower sheen and they weren’t dramatic enough for me. They tended to wash out to a charcoal gray. I wanted deep striking black. I have no idea what made me decide to do it, but I am so grateful I did.
Don’t they look all dressed up?
I have some caulking to do around the edges, to give everything a nice clean finish, woodfilling and staining the screw holes and some major touch-up to do on the skirtboards that got marred up pretty badly taking out the old treads.
The holes are actually really small since we are relying heavily on glue and only used some long trim screws. I made sure I got the stuff recommended on building forums-PL Premium Polyurethane glue.
As with most projects, it is good if you can get into a rhythm especially when there are many steps involved to replace even one full tread and riser. It broke down like this: I would pull off two treads and risers at a time working from the top. I would hand them off to Edmond who would use them as a template for a very accurate cut for the new ones. This is important, as no house or stairway is square from either the front to back of each tread or top to bottom of the stairwell.
While he was cutting, I sanded down the skirtboard to even out where the paint/wood were damaged, used the shopvac to get rid of dust and debris, removed nails if needed and swabbed the stringer where the new wood was going, with alcohol. Let that dry, added PL Premium glue to the stringer for placement of the new tread, then screwed the tread down. Risers were glued and finish nailed to the front.
We used the same size wood and replaced everything the exact way it was before, except we used glue and screws not nails. Hopefully these new pieces will last as long or longer as the old ones.
Some more before and present:
I surrounded the area above the door opening in the same lattice wood I am using on the board and batten, that is yet to be finished, to show off some artwork.
I grabbed this painting that I did recently, that lives down the hall by the bathroom, to give you a visual on my idea. I have designed a slightly larger canvas that I intend to hang here for the long haul. The idea is to have something you would like to greet you every morning while heading down to start your day.
We got a lot done but we still have a lot to do before it is over.
The hand rail is half painted with the same black oil gel paint as the risers and the hardware for it has been rub and buffed to a copper from the original brass. I also have just about finished the light fixture that will hang at the top of the stairs. I also want to change the light switches and plates from off-white to white. I also have to figure out something creative to do with this bottom step:
Apparently, it was added on later and they drywalled around it!! It is pine too, not oak like I put in. I have an idea how to blend it to the rest. Wish me luck.
The very next step I want to tackle, however, is to finish the board and batten and give it all a good second coat of paint. That should make me feel that I am at the homestretch with this project. Woot!
I bet one of these ladies are already done with their stairway makeover:
Sarah at Ugly Duckling House
Kit at DIYDiva.net
Ann at Our Handmade Home
Micha at Little Old House
Christine at Little House On The Corner
Sandra at House of Bing