Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>we're newbies with an old staircase....
7 posts / 0 new
Last post
andy&em
we're newbies with an old staircase....

Hi there,

We just pulled up the carpet off of a 96 year old staircase...lots of scratches, dents, and hundreds (if not thousands) of staples. We're 2/3 of the way pulling up the staples, so that's good.

Anyway, how do two brand new DIYers refinish these stairs? We don't know what kind of wood these stairs are, and we want to do the best job possible to make them beautiful again.

We can post pictures if you'd like!

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Emily

JLMCDANIEL
Re: we're newbies with an old staircase....

Pictures would help identify the wood, the damage done, and aid in recommendations.
Jack

ChicagoMike
Re: we're newbies with an old staircase....

Murphy's Oil Soap will wonders for old wood if the finish is intact.

andy&em
Re: we're newbies with an old staircase....

Hi there,

Here are the photos I was (finally!) able to upload of our staircase. Thanks for looking!

Emily

JLMCDANIEL
Re: we're newbies with an old staircase....

Can't tell for sure from your pictures but from the wear pattern ,grain, and apparent light color of the treads I would guess them to be poplar. The side view looks like the stair stinger trim may be cherry and the balusters and hand rail could be walnut. The treads look like they will need to be stripped and sanded and stained to match. The risers look like they will need the same. The stringer trim, balusters, and hand rail may only need to be cleaned. I would try TSP for that then you will be able to judge if the finish is good.
Jack

andy&em
Re: we're newbies with an old staircase....

Thanks for your help, Jack! What could we do about the dents and holes in the steps?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: we're newbies with an old staircase....

I would wait until you get it striped and sanded. Sometimes the process swells the grain enough to close staple and tack holes and even some times raises dents.
Jack

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.