Thanks for sticking with me for stair reconstruction week! Can you believe what a difference adding the balusters makes??
The caps were also installed, which we also prestained, and you can see a hint of staining completed on a stair as well, so let’s talk color selection. As I mentioned in the last post, my mom and I took scrap pieces of red oak which is the stair and railing material and sampled quite a few stains. Blogging is just not on my brain so much anymore, so I have zero pictures of all of these options we tried! You’ll just have to take my word for it! I believe we tried all of these highlighted choices from Minwax Wood Stains:
What it really boils down to is this: I know Jacob and I lean towards a darker wood floor, but I also know that dark wood floors show dust off very easily. We have every intention of refinishing the upstairs landing and our downstairs wood flooring to match this color eventually. So we wanted dark, but not so dark that it makes our space feel small or that it shows off every bit of dust and dog hair. That ruled out Jacobean, Espresso, and Dark Walnut almost without even trying them. Gunstock was too red. Early American, Provincial and Special Walnut were nice, but sort flat..not looking very special or interesting. So, Honey was the winner! It’s darker, but has a sort of glow that adds a lot of warmth.
Finishing stairs is a process and one that I am still working on. First I filled all the holes I could see (I missed some but I’ll show you what I used for those) with stainable wood filler and then sanded…and then sanded again. The treads were already very smooth, but I think it’s still necessary. So I did a pass with 100 grit and then right up to 220 grit and wiped everything down with damp rag to clean up the sawdust. Obviously stain needs dry time, so working from the top, I stained every other step using a foam brush, then wiped the stain off with a rag.
We’ve had a lot of humidity here too, so things take longer to dry. For a day or so we carried Birdie up and down the stairs and set up a gate when we weren’t around so she wouldn’t be walking on them. After a few days I went back and stained the opposite set of steps marking the dry ones with a bit of painters tape so we’d know where to step. Also, here’s a sneak peek of some priming that went on as well. #somuchpaintingtodo
The upper corner was a bit tricky to navigate stepping so I left the last wedge for after all of this was dry, but finally got it stained at the end of last week. Dad also made a triumphant return with even more trim and detailing to add, so there’s more to come!
What do you think so far??