Sunday, April 17, 2011

Riser Transformation: Part I

And we're back!

The polyurethane on our floors has dried to a beautiful semi-glossy finish and cured enough to allow us access to the house again. We're ecstatic even though that means we're back to scraping and painting trim and trim-like areas. Case in point: the stairs. Now that the treads are refinished and pretty, the risers appears even uglier than before. They are painted with the same brick-red paint like the fireplace (which we painted a crisp clean white here). Today I managed to take care of the first 2 steps in the lengthy process of bringing our risers up to par with our pretty glossy yummy chocolate-brown treads.

The prep work really takes the longest. Our little house has lived a long life already with very little love and it shows, especially in the flaking paint, bumps and bruises of bad rushed careless paint jobs. While we're no professionals and really no perfectionists either, we're trying to do better than that. The Ugly Duckling definitely deserves it. She is such a good house!

First we scrubbed the risers and base molding on either side. Remember - you can't paint over dirt, really. After giving the stairs some time to dry, I carefully taped off the treads using my all-time favorite: green frog tape. There's nothing better out there, really.

[Before: Taped and ready to go]

Next thing: primer! It always feels like you are laying on a very crappy coat of white paint. I mean look at it! All splotchy and uneven. Oh well. It's got to get worse before it can get better.

[In-Progress: All primed]

Primer makes things look worse. Every bump, every chink, every crack stands out. It's awful, really, but pretty helpful when you're trying to patch things. So that'll be the next step - patching the old scars with wood filler, then sanding and priming them again before the final step of giving them a clean crisp coat of white semi-gloss paint. Yum!

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