Saturday, February 16, 2008


The one word that definitely describes restoring a staircase. I've been at it a few weeks now and just finally can I see some light at the end of the tunnel. As you can see in the picture the first section is completely finished (excluding the steps). The second section handrail, newel posts, and side trim are finished and I'm working on stripping and reinstalling the ballusters. The salvaged caps I found on EBAY worked out well to replace the ones missing on the middle and top newel posts. I did have to trim them down about 3/4 inch on each side since they were made for a larger post - after that they worked perfect. Working around the new floor certainly can be a little scary, especially with stripper! I'm still used to not caring much about what ended up on the floor. I managed to rig up some tarping to catch any debris/stripper while working that worked out pretty well - no oopses to report yet. It looks like I will need to make two pieces still. I need a pyramid cap for the bottom of the upper newel post that protrudes through the ceiling. Also there is a piece of trim missing that covered the plaster/trim seam along the rising ceiling. That one will be easy, but I need to find an oak block to make the pyramid.

I may end up going on and finish the stairs completely - steps and all. HD sells some cheap oriental style runner that I could install to protect them while the restoration continues upstairs - and then eventually I could have a nice runner installed when all the work is done. It be nice to see the stairs finished soon, since this is the first thing people see coming in the house, and it will be several years away before the upstiars in finished.


Sandy said...

Looks so nice!

Omar said...

wow, that looks awesome!

mike & rachel said...

Thanks! It really is a ton of work, but the payoff is big.