Before and Afters Triangle House

Stairway Remodel

Hello there! Where’ve you been? Well, the last 2.5 months, we have been swamped in insurance claims. That nasty March Nor’easter uprooted 14 huge pine trees, damaging our fence, roof shingles and fascia. Fiiiiiiiinally, we are almost done. The almost is the 12 tree stumps we have left to grind. Getting tree work done is very pricey! Needless to say, the stumps can wait a minute or two. Roof and fascia are all replaced and fence fixed. Talk about a wrench in the works! So onwards and upwards! Speaking of upwards, we finished our staircase….YAY!!

Needs major help!

We had a vertical metal custom railing made by a female welder before the steps were complete. The railing had to be be done and inspected since it was part of the 203k renovation. This stair renovation was very labor intensive. So many steps and parts to get those ugly brown stairs right. It started with the help of my Dad using paint thinner, a scraper and steel wool to remove the built up paint. He discovered there was another layer of grey paint under the brown. It took a lot of elbow grease to remove 85% of it. The other 15% was through the use of a sander and 60 grit sand paper. We decided to make a stair skirt because the wall where the steps met the wall looked pretty bad. Thank You Pinterest!!! Yuri created the stair skirt in one day with his dusty slippers on. He did a great job for his first try.

Skirt in the making

I made the mistake of sanding when the heater was on. Dust flew EVERYWHERE!! The intake filter got hit bad. One new filter and a couple eye rolls from hubby later, I built a make-shift sanding tent and kept all the dust contained. I came out looking like a human dust bunny but all is well.

Sanding tent

Let me back up a second. We did have to replace 4 risers and 5 treads due to cracks and poor installations from the Conwhacker. So the first 5 steps look a little different and newer from the original steps, but since we plan on painting the risers, they shouldn’t clash too much at all. So after sanding, time for wood filling and then sanding. Then time wood filling and sanding. Then time wood filling and sanding. Needless to say the wood filling struggle was real! The wood fill used for the risers was just the regular Elmer’s Carpenters Wood fill since they were going to be painted, but on the treads I used stainable wood fill. After the wood fill saga came the caulking miniseries. Caulking had to be applied along some spaces between the treads and risers and where the skirt met the stairs.

Caulking between tread and riser

Yuri then also installed trim below the treads. Next, was the staining. I vacuumed the steps then taped around the areas where the stain would be applied. All the steps were cleaned and vaccumed once again being free of any dust. Before color staining, I applied a pre-stain. Pre-stain wood conditionerĀ helps prevent streaks and blotches by evening out the absorption of oil-based stains. After the pre-stain, you have a 2 hour window to apply your stain. I used Minwax Puritan Pine on the treads. It was a two day process because the stain and pre-stain had to be applied to every other step so I could go up and down without stepping all over my work. One disaster is enough for me! After the stain had dried, I finished up with 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic, sanding in-between the 1st and 2nd coats.

Wood filling like crazy!
Painting risers

Last step, painting. I applied 1 coat of Kilz Hide All Primer and 2 coats of Sherwin Williams White Cotton Semi-gloss to the risers, trim and skirt. For 5 days after, I laid tape markers where the hubby and kids could step. Mama was watching them like a hawk! After the probation period, the stairs were complete and beautiful! Sure, there are some imperfections on the older steps but I like it like that.

Again, brown yucky stairs



The renovated stair case really brightened up the kitchen/great room area. At this moment we’re working hard in the basement. Updates to come!!

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