100-year-old Staircase Transformation

The stairway on the main floor was one of the areas of the house that we had NO idea what we were walking into. When we arrived, the stairs were covered in vinyl "floating floor" and rubber treads. The vinyl was glued down and we made the decision to rip it up and see what was underneath.

My heart lept when I saw that beneath the MANY layers of glue, paint, and crap, there were the original wood floors of the house. While stripping the 100-year-old wood floors in the entire house would take us months, refinishing the stairs was something I could accomplish in our timeline and offered a way to keep the original floors, at least in a small area.

We started by removing the vinyl flooring and scraping the glue underneath.

After scraping as much glue as we could with a scraper like this one, we used a belt sander to remove as many of the paint layers as possible. I also used a corner (detail) electric sander to get into the corners.

Finally, I went in with sandpaper by hand to smooth out the treads.

I caulked the openings and Justin added shims beneath the treads and a few extra support screws.

All of the treads and risers were then primed using Beauty-Tone's 1-2-3 primer, which I now swear by. This stuff lets paint adhere like nobody's business.

I painted the risers white and the treads a dark brown. I used semigloss white by Beauti-Tone paint in "Here Comes the Bride" for the risers and Beauti-Tone Pearl Floor Enamel for the treads. Between the risers and the treads, I also taped off each step to make sure I got a clean line around the brown.

Brushes worked better than paint rollers in this case because I wanted to maintain the texture and grain of the wood.

I love the final results! Scroll down for some before and after photos.


Stripping the vinyl:

After scraping the glue:


What do you think!?

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