Thursday, June 25, 2015

Stairs (AKA the endless pit of time)

When we first viewed the house, one of the things I loved was how wide the stairs were.  And since there was only a runner, we could see the stairs had a decent bull nose and were in good shape.

When the carpet was removed, we could see some history of the house's decorating history.  (Note:  Finial added on the banister.)

It would have been easier (and when all was said and done, less expensive) to carpet the stairs.  But why do things the easy way?  First, I got a heat gun an stripped the paint.   (What I didn't check is if the paint was lead.  In hindsight, I'm pretty sure it was.)  And then I sanded.  And then I had some other guys sand.

And then I sanded some more, even with this little mouse sander.  But the stairs still didn't look right.

And then we ended up hiring professional sanders to do the treads.  And a few weeks or months after we moved in we painted the risers.

Varnish and paint, and the stairs looked pretty good.

Niall probably secretly loves pinterst because he had me add numbers to the stairs.  

Should we just pretend this it the after?

The truth is... we converted the loft.  And the wear and tear of the house conversion settled into the stairs.  Knocking a hole in the roof (plus all the other things we've done to this house) left the stringer and the wall with a crack.  Plus we had to put in a railing for Building Control and then took it out.  I spent ages making the wall good and clearing the gap, filling it, sanding, caulking and painting.  Only to see this a few weeks later.

Ugh.  I'm so slow these days.  It took me about a week to put in a sliver of quarter round (not very well installed), caulk, sand, paint and then oil the stairs.  Sometimes I feel like the more time I put into these stairs, the more that will be required.  They're back to looking like this, I just need to add the numbers?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Old Wooden Chest

Life around these parts is a lot less DIY these days.  But one day in the winter we went to a charity shop.  Niall saw this chest and was taken.   He said he has wanted one of these for a long time.  Alas, despite the sign, it was more than 50p.  It was more like £75.

The chest had a faux oak finish that probably looked really good a few years ago.  But it had gone a bit orange and had scratched off in places.

Cue hours and hours of the paint gun, eco stripped (seriously, should have just used the good stuff) and sanding.

It was a messy, labor intensive project.  And we didn't take a lot of photos.  But so much paint stripping.  And it was probably lead paint, now that I think about it.

The chest had about four layers of paint and a black stain.  I stripped and stripped, went through so much steel wool.

And then finally called it a day and oiled 'er up.

The chest now has pride of place in the living room and serves as a stage when the girls want to perform.