July 10, 2012

The Dreaded Steps Return

From the very first moment we stepped foot into this house, we knew that one project would be the death of us... the steps.

There are 8 half flights of steps in our house, all that run in a square pattern through the center of our house. 
Photo taken from the top during our Loft painting project.
While the floating steps might have been as cool as Members Only jackets in the 80's, they aren't exactly family friendly.  The previous home owners solved the problem by wrapping them in Ikea floor mats and chicken wire.  Genius.

And we loved that chicken wire, really we did, but the pet hair and food particles left over in that wire was enough to drive the Hubs to drink.  We weren't in the house very long before he ignored my frequent requests to leave it until we had a plan, and made the executive desicion to remove it.

That's where things went very badly.  Unfortunately, the solution to replace the chicken wire wasn't quite so easy.  The Hubs spent thousands of angry, cursing hours trying to sand the steps down to the original wood,

 and re-stain them,

While I cut and stained wood risers to  install across the backs.

And in the end it looked... well, better.

But the reality was that the stained treads and new risers never looked like the same color no matter what we did.  The steps out of the foyer weren't bad, but the ones leading up to the Loft and Master Bedroom -- Hot. Mess.

We never even bothered to poly and finish them, because we just weren't happy with the look.  Instead we did the perfectly rational thing, ignored the fact that they looked terrible and moved onto other projects on The List.  A year later, those steps are coming back to haunt.  The rest of the house is coming together, and we really can't leave this project in progress just lurking in the center of our home anymore.  The breaking point was when a stranger came to the house to buy something off Craigslist from us, and immediately upon entering pointed to the steps and said, "Looks like somebody has a project..."  Yeah thanks buddy, just give us the cash and take the big ugly piece of furniture.  Thankyouverymuch.

So all that's to say, it's steps time.  We have a plan (that's going to actually work this time), and although it might take awhile, we're not going to quit until we get it done this time.  And just in case we need any more motivation, the little kick boxer in my belly reminds me every day that there's no way we'll have time to build wood steps with an infant in the house, much less have the ability to stain and poly (and therefore not be able to use) the main walking space in our house.  I'll be back this week with the update, because even though this before and after was better...

It's just not good enough.  Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. oh my gosh you are a brave lady! Good luck - can't wait to see After#2 :-)