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Stair Finishing

After removing the carpet from my stairs in my 70 year old house I noticed where the stairs meet the trim board there are gaps. Any recommendations to make this look better? New trim? Stairs? Thanks!

Re: Stair Finishing

Arlington Jon,

I think you might want to confir with a good trim carpenter. The size of these gaps would not lend themselves to patching with wood fillers. I think they would eventually crack out.

It is difficult to see in your photos how extensive these gaps are. I think you might consider strips of "base shoe" to cover these gaps where the tread meets the stringer (the board running up the stairs)and the risers (the board verticle to the tread and in back of it). I would find base shoe of similar wood and pre-stain and varnish it to match the treads before installation.
If you don't have a power miter saw and pneumatic finish nailer, either rent or buy them. Coping the joints is a relatively easy operation to get the joints to lap without gaps. You could also have a good trim carpenter do this for you.

Re: Stair Finishing

Thanks for the replies. Based on your recommendations I will do a little more investigation to see which one is the least headache. The joys of owning an old home!

Re: Stair Finishing

Jon, those stairs do not look bad at all! You can caulk the gaps with an acrylic caulk. Cut the tip of the caulk tube small and make multiple passes. Have a can of water and a damp rag handy. Lay the caulk, press it with your finger and smooth up any overage with the rag. The trick here is to press or force some caulk into the gap. If you have to make this a 2 part fix. In the morning caulk, later recaulk.

Those gouges can be fixed with a product called CrackShot from DAP. Apply the patch with a 2" or 3" flexible blade. Same thing, if you have to make patches, let dry, look later for areas that need more patch. Sand them, prime them and paint. CrackShot sands super easy and spreads very nice.

Check you work from the bottom of the stair looking up too! Check under the nosing of the treads.

Have fun..

-Jack Pauhl

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