Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Flooring

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-27-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


Hi All,

New to the forum, and new to home improvement (just bought my first house). My situation is this: my staircase is kind of a disaster. The whole thing is covered in paint (lead on the banisters and risers, but not on the treads). I've already made up my mind to strip the lead paint off the banister and molding, as they are both actually quite lovely. Towards that end, I'll be buying a HEPA vac, respirator, tons of plastic, the whole nine yards. The treads and risers are another mater. They are extremely ugly. Especially the treads which are painted a grotesque eggplant purple color, and which have severely raised grain. At least that's what I think is going on. Really, they are unbelievably textured. I'd be inclined to just do away with them, but they seem to be mortised into the aforementioned banister and molding. I wouldn't begin to know how to remove them without messing up the whole staircase, and I can't afford a pro. I'm not sure what kind of wood they are, but they are plenty thick. So I was thinking maybe I would try to sand them smooth after removing the paint, in hopes that with a coat of stain, they might turn out to be reasonably attractive. But to sand them flush would require going down pretty deep. I'm thinking maybe as much as a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch. That would still leave plenty of wood, but I was reading somewhere that sanding that much could cause problems with the joint to the riser. Thoughts? Should I give this a go? Is there a chance these are salvageable? Or should I just wait until I can afford to have a contractor replace them entirely. I don't mind doing the work, just want to come away with something serviceable, and not too hideous. Thanks.

CharmCityFixer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


Have a pic ?

If they are that bad I'd carpet them

Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: oklahoma
Posts: 87
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


carpet would be a good solution to your problem. but a belt sander with 40 grit sand paper, and a orbital sander with some 80 grit will usualy strip it down. then work your way up from 80 to 150 grit to smooth out the scratch marks. good luck.
just tile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 07:09 PM   #4
Pro Flooring Installer
 
rusty baker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 3,862
Rewards Points: 16
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


Why not an antique looking runner with bound edges? I installed one recently on a set of stairs that had messed up treads.
__________________
The ads in my post are there without my permission. I do not endorse any of the products.
Semi-Retired Installer
Installing since 1973
rusty baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 09:06 AM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: S. FL
Posts: 26
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by just tile View Post
carpet would be a good solution to your problem. but a belt sander with 40 grit sand paper, and a orbital sander with some 80 grit will usualy strip it down. then work your way up from 80 to 150 grit to smooth out the scratch marks. good luck.
2Xs (agreeing with you [just tile])

It sounds like an older home with well constructed (old school) stairs. removing and replacing the treads is not really an option as they are an integral part of the structure (which more than likely is also built into the walls... plaster walls???). To have graining that severe, they are either very old and worn (which can actually be beautiful if properly stripped and preserved) or may be pine or another 'soft' wood in which case disregard the following and just carpet them, install a runner as [rusty baker] suggested, or remove and replace with 'shoulders' under the new treads (although that'll be a lot of work by the time you demo, install, toe kick/riser, etc....).

As a wood affecionado, i hate to see nice old, aged hardwoods covered with paint or carpet. And almost everything is salvageable, but it's up to how much work want to do and how important the beautiful old wood look is to you. Sanding down would work (although there's a BIG difference between 1/16" and 1/4"). If it truly is 1/4", you may be better off using a power hand plane (& a broad flat chisel to finish out the areas the plane can't get to) and then sand it fair (leave original thickness in the mortises). If you are taking off 1/4", you should do the same to all the treads for uniform step height (i know i trip up and can tell immediately when steps aren't uniform).
freeswimmin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 04:57 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


Thanks everyone for the responses. I'm going to try to get a pic up tomorrow or Saturday. I don't really like carpet, especially on stairs, but we might be forced to go that route. I don't know for sure, but I suspect they might be pine. I'm basing that largely on their thickness, which would be excessive and costly were it hardwood. I'm thinking I'm going to strip the paint anyway and have a look. They don't exactly feel like hardwood, but I definitely can't tell under all that gunk. I live in a once very working class area, and it's interesting to see in one house, the mix of expensive materials and sound practices, with cheap stuff and improvised solutions. The banister really does seem like a nice piece of woodwork, and feels very solid. That they would mortise some cheap pine treads into it, seems very strange to me, but it would be in keeping with a lot of other things we've seen so far.
CharmCityFixer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: S. FL
Posts: 26
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmCityFixer View Post
Thanks everyone for the responses. I'm going to try to get a pic up tomorrow or Saturday. I don't really like carpet, especially on stairs, but we might be forced to go that route. I don't know for sure, but I suspect they might be pine. I'm basing that largely on their thickness, which would be excessive and costly were it hardwood.
could be heart pine or dade county pine if it's old enough. either could be interesting and maybe worth saving. hardwood costs aren't what they used to be... back then thicker was probably cheaper as the wood was abundant but the labor intensive. Would find it unlikely that it is cheap yellow/white pine if the craftmanship is really nice.

That they would mortise some cheap pine treads into it, seems very strange to me, but it would be in keeping with a lot of other things we've seen so far.
AH, the joys of remodeling... behind someone who's cut corners ahead of you!
freeswimmin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2010, 05:57 AM   #8
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,635
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


You might see if a rental place near you has a quality infrared paint stripper. The things are pretty amazing. Need adequate ventilation though since you will be melting paint and it will give off fumes.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2010, 12:13 PM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


Let's give this a shot.
CharmCityFixer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2010, 06:40 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: oklahoma
Posts: 87
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Ugly old painted stair treads, with seriously raised grain. Salvageable?


it wont be fun thats for sure. carpet may be the ticket. good luck.

just tile is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do I install trim around stair treads? JayBird Carpentry 22 08-07-2010 04:16 PM
Botched stair treads Garance Carpentry 1 11-05-2009 04:56 PM
sanding pine stair treads. Need adivce. Mike in Arkansas Flooring 2 07-20-2009 10:01 AM
Scribe Cutting Oak Stair Treads kcdave Carpentry 2 03-18-2008 07:13 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.