Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dueling DIY: The Staircase Challenge

A day, ahem two days late and a dollar short :o)

Sorry for the delay in posting my update on the staircase challenge but while I didn't encounter any of the misfortune that the other challengers have been struggling with this past week (no flu, no bat bites, no broken bones, no exams, homework - take your pick and don't forget to swing by to wish them well; they can use it) I have probably just as much progress to show.

So I went to town after work yesterday and scraped and stripped paint for a few hours. Yay me!




aaaand now I don't know what else to write. After all this is - what? - the one-hundredth post on stripping paint at the little old House? Yeeesh ... but obviously people can't get enough of it and I haven't run out of episodes of "Vampire Diaries" to watch yet, so the fun continues!

I thought I'd show you just how much the gazillion layers of  paint obscure the detail on the spindles. At first glance they look just fine, except for the chippy paint and old, painted over runs. Using the heat gun works but rather than coming off in sheets, the paint needs to be lifted off piece by piece of the curvy profile.

The paint is so thick that it gunks up the nooks and crannies to the point of evening them out completely. Imagine the surprise when the bulbous parts of each spindle revealed to be several staggered curves.

More paint lifted off - Now you can see the curved profile in much cleaner clearer profile. Also proof that the baluster spindles were always painted and never stained.

The upper part of a spindle: freed from dozens of layers of paint most of which were white/off-white with the exception of a fairly recent layer of black.

Four spindles down, many (waaaaaay to many) more to go!

Show the other staircase challenge duelists some love:


  1. Wow! You do have the patience... I would have bought all new spindles instead.
    But you know? The satisfaction that will come from doing all of this will outweigh your labor intensive scrapping and stripping!
    I am very proud of you (just to let you know)

    1. *L* Replacing the spindles - as tempting as it may sound - was never an option. They are one of the few architectural details original to the house :o) Thank you for cheering me on; you won't believe how much that helps!

  2. You've been very busy my girl!!!!

    The staircase is going to look amazing once it's done!!!!
    I know it's a lot of hard work and I hope you don' get run down, so, look after yourself and once it's all
    finished, I'll be doing the happy dance with you!!

    You can do it!!!!!
    Keep up the hard work!!!!