If not, you can read the original blog post here!
These nifty little brass corners are "dust corner" - a rather simple, yet ingenious and very decorative way to keep your stairs cleaner. Nailed into the corners of your steps, they prevent dust from accumulating in those tight spots and make sweeping down your stairs a breeze! They became popular in the 1890s but remained popular for quite a while.
Our little old house is bereft of many original features so if there is an opportunity to add a little flair of bygone times, I get giddy like a little school girl and just can't wait to get started. Fortunately, life is a real master at throwing me curve balls and so this project fell to the wayside and was delayed quite a bit.
Upstair's steps before the attack - clearly in need of a few touch-ups (does anybody else always yell "Don't hold on to the wall!" to their children? Sheeesh ...)and they are already painted a low maintenance grey). The steps got dinged up a bit when we got rid of my vintage school desk. It was lovely, a solid piece of heavy duty furniture, but there was no room for it downstairs and that's where all the action happens so I decided to let it go.
Back to the dust corners. I'd ordered a first batch of corners from VanDykes restorers (here, if you are curious) waaaaay back and then got sidetracked with all kinds of other projects.
The dust corner kit comes complete with a handy little doodad that helps you set the nails ... if only it weren't for the really hard, old wood. That made nailing the little corners more of a task than I expected. After messing up one I have now resorted to pre-drilling a small hole before even attempting to hammer in the brass nails that come as part of each corner.
Setting them is really easy - they fit neatly into the corner where side rail, riser and step meet, and the metal is soft enough to mold it deeper into the corner by simply pushing down on it gently with your thumb. Set the nail, a few swift taps and you're done!
It does indeed keep the dust from collecting in the corners and adds a sweet unexpected touch to the stairs - I can't wait to add it to the remaining steps (and already placed the order for 38 more corners ... oy).