25 November 2007

House Tour: Staricase After

And now, in the fall of 2007...
All the paint has been stripped from the wood work, the plaster ceilings have all been repaired or replaced, that wallpaper border is long gone, as is the carpet from the floors and the stairs.
Funny story about the stairs. When it came time to strip the baseboard trim on the staircase, they couldn't get to all of it without taking the carpet out. Now, I wasn't in love with the carpet, but until this point I hadn't really thought about pulling it out. I mean, it was in okay condition, it wasn't quality to begin with, but still... When it was all said and done, all the carpet in the house was torn out. It made a good drop cloth to protect the lovely original wood floors hiding beneath.

So, back to the carpeted staircase. We started pulling the carpet off at the top, worked down to the landing, so far so good. Okay, this was going pretty easily and quickly. A bit of grotty padding, lots of staples. Down each step, closer to the bottom. I'm laughing, loving how great the treads look. I should have known better than to rejoice until the job is done. So naive.

It is all going great until we get to the bottom step. Oh, you aren't going to be live this. Wait, yes you will. You housebloggers know what horrible things previous owners can do to a house. You see, the first riser, first tread, and second riser were covered with more than just carpet and padding. Someone had tried to put sheet vinyl on the stairs. Yup. Sheet vinyl. And not just any sheet vinyl, it was that fake parquet-looking stuff. You know it. You've seen it. Oh I wish I had taken pictures. Why didn't I? Well, it is still vivid in my memory, almost three years later.

It took me four days, my favourite putty knife, some whining and crying, and many bottles of dollar store nail polish remover. Why nail polish remover? Because the acetone cuts through the adhesive pretty well. Just saturated cheap paper towels, laid them over the gunky steps, sealed it with dollar store cling film, let it soak for a few hours, went back and scraped till my arms were sore. Repeat.

That bottom stair tread is still darker than the rest. And of course it couldn't be flipped because it is the only one that has the curve. Figures, right?

You can see a close up of that particular stair here. Just look under the puppy.

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