My staircase

Waiting for the paint on the living room new alcove shelves to dry between coats (see the plan here), I started tidying up the staircase. I wasn't going to be precious about it, the idea was to remove the old paint, sand, tint and oil the treads, and paint the risers and skirting, leaving all traces of age and history. Warts and all are my stairs. And I find them very charming...


I started by removing the layers of old paint using a spatula and a heat gun. A sharp scraper and loads of patience work best here. Let the heat do the work for you so all you have to do is lift the melting paint by inserting the tool underneath. You might want to wear a mask especially if you're dealing with old lead paint and protective gloves to avoid burns.

remove paint with a heat gun

I sanded the steps using an electric sander. This was not going to remove all the stains and paint flakes but I wasn't after anything perfect. If you are, you'll probably want to hire a professional sanding machine.

Sanding the steps

I stained the treads with the same stain I used for the rest of the floors in the house, Manns Pine Floor Stain in Antique Pine, using a wipe on/wipe off method: flood with a stain-soaked cloth then wipe off everything that wasn't absorbed by the wood with a clean cloth.

Staining the steps

Once dry, I oiled the surface with Liberon Superior Danish Oil. The wood was very thirsty and it took four coats to get an attractive shine.

Oil over stain

The risers and wall strings were painted in moody Farrow and Ball Moles' Breath. The walls, spindles and handrails are Pavilion Grey and the newal post is Mahogony. More frames will be hung as they cross my path to complete the gallery wall. 

Risers in Farrow and Ball Mouse's Back

A mish-mash of fabric and rug patterns add texture and create a laid-back atmosphere. 

Decorating stairs

Please let me dream for a moment, until my boy gets home and I have to move those beautiful vintage vases somewhere safe... The plant is tucked in the corner enough so it can stay and I'll hang a plant from the ceiling too. Have you got greenery on your stairs?

Painted risers


More in this category: « Put a shelf up!

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