Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dueling DIY: The Staircase Challenge

Good grief, it's Tuesday again! And that means, its time for another episode of "Spindle Stripping: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Addiction?"

Last week I felt I was finally making some progress on my staircase. Even though I didn't slave away at it every day, I did manage to find some time between everything else that week to strip four spindles and finish stripping a, newel post, all risers and stringer boards.Excavating the fine relief of the spindles from underneath many layers of paints feels good, even though the repetitive nature of the task is mind-numbing. I'd love to dip-strip the spindles or even better, just wave a magic wand and have the paint fall off, but no such luck. It's slow and tedious and yet worth all the effort because I'm preserving a detail that is original to our little old house, and that matters to me.

"It's not good because it's old - it's old because it's good."

I have seen infill construction go up at an unbelievable pace in our neighborhood but I seriously doubt those new houses made to look like our historic houses will be around in another 100 or more years. How good, how solid and with how much sophisticated craftsmanship can a house be built that shoots up from the ground as quickly as mushrooms after a summer rain? Built from particle board and pale yellow pine? I s'ppose not having to pre-dill holes has some kind of benefit ...  but I digress.

The grain on the spindles is very fine and dense, and doesn't compare to the new stuff you can buy at the box stores. So, here we go, stripping one after another.

Eight done - twenty more to go! There is nothing more inspiring and encouraging than seeing the progress the other duelists are making on their own staircases. I"m loving each and every single one of them!

I also patched a few rough spots on the risers and the stringer boards with wood filler where at some point in time termites had caused some damage. Those beasts prefer the softer woods of trim to the hardier fare of structural timber just like we prefer pudding to hard tack.  There were a few places where the surface of the wooden risers was pitted and scratched up, and those got a quick skimming with wood filler as well. A quick sanding and everything is looking as good as new!

And I also put an order in for a couple of these guys here which showed up lickety-split yesterday

I mentioned these nifty dust corners in this post here waaaay back in January last year and inspired by Preservation SOS's Walnut Court House, and since the staircase is officially coming along, I officially ordered a batch last week. I can't wait to install them!

Unfortunately I'm out of primer (Gack!) and white trim paint (Double-Gack!) - I have no idea how that happened but now I have to run to the home improvement store to stock up again before I can prime and paint the risers.

In the meantime, why don't you visit the other duelists and check out their progress, and don't forget to enter yesterday's LabWeorc Give-Away for some beautiful jewelry!

1 comment:

  1. I am so in love with the idea of dust corners! They're on my "must get" list for the new house...