Yesterday we told you about the first part of our staircase restoration project – stripping and sanding (you can catch up on the first phase here). The first stage of the restoration was definitely the most involved. After weeks of sanding, I can’t tell you how much we’ve been looking forward to painting everything. This is what the staircase looked like when we’d almost completed the stripping and sanding.
If you’re thinking we’re completely mad spending so many hours stripping and sanding everything only to cover it in paint again, you’re probably right. Having said that, everything was covered in so many layers of chipped and flaking paint, that we felt, we didn’t have much choice but to start from scratch.
We started the painting process by treating the knots in the wood with a knotting solution to stop them bleeding through the white paint in the future.
After contemplating what to do with the treads for ages, we finally decided to stain them. There’s no going back now! The stain we used for the treads and handrail dries really quickly, but we still decided to stain alternating steps so that we could still use the staircase. After all, the only bathroom in the house is on the first floor!
We already told you about staining our handrail when we completed part of the staircase restoration on the upstairs landing (you can read about it here). We used exactly the same method to stain the rest of the handrail, the tops of the newel posts and the treads. After applying lots and lots of masking tape to protect the treads, we were finally able to start painting.
This is our woodwork after applying the first coat of paint.
We are using the same pure brilliant white paint with an Eggshell finish for all the woodwork in the house that we are painting. The next step is the most important one when painting any woodwork – sanding – yes, again! The moisture in the paint will cause the grain to rise slightly – this is what you have to sand away with very fine sandpaper when the paint has dried. We always use at least 240 grit sand paper for this kind of sanding. We can’t emphasise enough how important this step is to achieve a professional and flawless finish.
Then after removing any dust you can apply the next coat of paint. We only needed two coats of paint to completely cover the woodwork, but depending on the surface you are painting, you may need to apply more.
This is what steps look like after painting the risers.
We love the contrast between the dark steps and the white risers. Do you think we were right to stain the treads? Or should we have just left them the natural colour of the wood? Tomorrow we’ll continue with Part 3 of our Staircase Restoration Project – the wood panelling.