hardwood stairs

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

Has anyone had any experience with removing the paint from stair risers where the steps have been left as stained hardwood but the risers have been painted (white)? The risers are the same red oak as the treads. How hard is it to remove that paint?

Thanks,
Gwen

Frederick, MD(Zone 6a)

A heat gun works very well, just follow behind it with a nice paint scraper. Only problem we had in an old house like that was that the difference in coloration of the once saturated stained wood never quite matched what we scraped. We rented a heat gun for a day; not too expensive.

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

The reason I'm asking actually is because we just had the stairs put in. I orig wanted paint grade wood on the risers, but for only $100 more we could put in red oak and then would have the future option of taking the paint off and staining.

My orig intention was to paint the risers white to match the trim and the banister. But then I started wondering if maybe I should stain them instead, esp if down the line it would be really hard to get the paint off. The fact that you're working on a vertical surface seems difficult to me. I read up a bit about it and read about using the heat gun and scraping, etc., but just wondered if it was a really hard thing to do.

I had not considered that it might not match later on. I guess you could work on matching the stain. We had to match the new stairs and bedroom floor to the existing stain that was in the other rooms. We also took out a window seat in the living room and had to put hardwood in there to match what was already there. Our floor guy did a pretty good job. I actually chose him as I had heard he was great at matching stains.

Another thing I'm giving consideration is that my sister said when you paint over a hardwood like red oak, the grain can come thru the paint, esp if it's white. You have to use a special primer with something in it to prevent that, but it can still come thru a bit. I guess we would just have to give it extra coats.

I had the painters leave the stairs til the end (we just bought the house and had it painted before/while we were moving in) and this morning was their last morning here. I decided to just hold off on the risers and not have them painted while I pondered it a bit more. The painter said she would be happy to come back and do them at a later time, and the floor guy also has to come back in a month or two to do some finish up work, so that gives me some time to think more about it. I have a hard time making decisions!

Thanks for the input. It's nice to know that it's not hard to do and also nice to have the input about the stains not matching later on down the line.

Gwen

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I'd opt for the wood, just because of toe scuffs on the risers. That would drive me crazy, I think.

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

We live in an area where the custom is to take your shoes off upon entering the house. So it is very seldom that anyone goes up the stairs in anything other than stocking feet. Which will hopefully keep scuffs to a minimum.

You're right that to stain them would really keep any marks and dirty spots hidden.

Gwen

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Wish that custom would catch on here! :S

Columbus, OH(Zone 6a)

My first thought is to go ahead with the stain. If you decide you don't like it, it would be much easier to just paint over the stain. I've used a heat gun once, and they are no fun! (Plus they set off the smoke alarms.)

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

We decided to paint. Right now they have been left 'as is.' I knew the floor guy was coming back to finish up in the kitchen after we switch out the stove, so I figured if I wanted stain, he could do the stairs then. If I wanted paint, I could just call the painter back for a day.

I decided to paint and have some 'art' painted on some of the stairs. I was waiting til I found either a stencil or whatever I wanted on the stairs before I actually had them painted out. I recently decided on the 'art' and so will call in the painter to come back and paint out the stairs now.

It's going to be really pretty and I'm going to LOVE it. ;)

Gwen

Kernersville, NC(Zone 7a)

Hi Gwen, I wasn't around when you first posted, but I just had to reply. one reason we bought our new house was the staircase. It has white risers and my first thought when I walked in was 'oh I can paint something on those!' but I still haven't because i can't decide what to do. Do you have a picture of yours? I bought some pretty scroll wood appliques to put on the fronts of every other step to class them up because I couldn't decide on the decorative painting, but I haven't put them on yet and your posting has made me wonder which is best again LOL it is so hard to decide!!!

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

Oh, post a pic of those scroll wood appliques!

I haven't painted mine yet. They are still unstained/unpainted. I'm very slow. And we're currently in the process of switching out the range in our kitchen with a different one and the whole process has proven problematic and time consuming so the stairs had to get put on hold. I can only deal with one crisis at a time!

What I'm going to do is paint them white and then have an artist paint a design on them. It took me a long time to decide on the design, but I have some crewel work pillows and then I found a pottery line that really looked nice with the pillows. So I am going to have the artist look at both those and take something from those designs to put on the stairs. The stairs run up next to the living room so it will tie in together.

I will take photos later and post them so you can see what I'm thinking off.

Kernersville, NC(Zone 7a)

Ok, these are still unfinished of course, but I will paint the stairs and the appliques a slightly off white and MAYBE antique the appliques, I haven't decided. Our house turns 140 this year, so please excuse her scratches dents and wrinkles, we are working on a facelift slowly but surely!

Thumbnail by butterqueen
Kernersville, NC(Zone 7a)

and here are some matching ones i got for the corners down the side, I just noticed that my 'model' has dirt under his fingernails LOL I won't be asking him to help me plant and then play vanna white again, how embarrassing!

Thumbnail by butterqueen
Kernersville, NC(Zone 7a)

http://www.dlawlesshardware.com/gingerbread.html

And there is where I bought them if anyone is interested (I hope I can post links it isn't my store or anything) They have the best prices I have found and the quality is outstanding. I also got some red glass kitchen knobs that are to die for! I think they had a minimum order, but it isn't hard to meet, not for me anyway :)

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