The carpeted stairs took a real beating in the remodel. Since the carpet was glued to the stairs in some places, we couldn't remove it and put it back in. We covered it, but when the lath and plaster ceiling came down the stairs were covered in black dust. No amount of cleaning could save them. So we decided to paint the stairs. It only took us two months from start to finish.
Here's the before picture, April 15, 2011.
We pulled out the carpet and were left with this. I was pleasantly surprised. For 90 year old stairs, they were in good condition. The treads were all solid, with a few minor dings.
Niall went out of town for a week. While the baby napped, I spent about 30 hours prepping the stairs. I took out hundreds of staples, patched, sanded, cleaned, chipped away paint and then took out the staples I had missed, patched and sanded again. I watched a lot of episodes of Castle while doing the prep work. Thanks, Castle, for making prepping the stairs less boring.
Niall came home and the stairs looked like this. He said (in the nicest way possible) that he couldn't tell I'd done any work.
Next I taped and painted the risers. This took a while because they needed so many coats. And I got sidetracked doing other projects. I started with four coats of a satin finish acrylic in white. Then added two top coats of Ronseal Floor Paint in white.
Then we taped the treads for painting. Holy cow. Taping took AGES. So much longer than painting took. With everything we've done so far the prep work always takes much longer than painting.
We painted every other tread so we could still get up and down. Three coats on each tread of Ronseal Floor Paint-Slate. At one point Niall wanted to leave the stairs like this.
But we ended up painting every tread gray. I put little pieces of tape on the "safe" treads so we'd know which ones were dry for walking.
Finally the paint dried and we pulled off the tape. I was disappointed that despite meticulously taping the lines weren't perfect. I did touch-up with a tiny paint brush and this is as good as it gets.
Presto! Painted stairs.
We spent about 40 GBP on paint and supplies. And about 45 hours (seriously) of labor over two months. I like how the stairs look, but painted stairs aren't for everyone. It was definitely the most economic solution for us. Plus, back in 1920 when the house was built, I'm told the stairs would have been painted with possibly a carpet runner down the middle. I think painted stairs are so much easier to clean than carpeted. But they're nosier. And my mom and dad have expressed concern about how safe they are.
I'm a clutz anyway, but I do hold the handrail tightly when I carry the baby down the stairs. We painted the loft stairs at the same time, I'll put those photos in a separate post.
We're happy the stairs don't no longer have the dirty carpet
And have an easy-clean paint job.