You guys know that in general I get pretty excited about starting any kind of project on the house. Even the ones that require standing on a 2×10 suspended over the staircase while I sand drywall desk directly into my eyeballs.
Actually, maybe I wasn’t very excited about that. But it’s a little rare for me to be dreading the start of a new project, at least until I met the likes to this beast:
I was going to put it off indefinitely but then my friend Sarah @ UglyDucklingHouse started talking about refinishing her staircase and I was like, “Sarah! Why are you doing this to me?! You know if you start your staircase it’s going to guilt me into starting my staircase, and I’m just not emotionally ready to spend 432 more hours with a hand sander.”
And she was like, “Whatever, you wuss, my staircase is going to be so much more awesome than your staircase, and you are going to be jealous. And lazy.”
And I was like, “Shit. Where’s my sander?”
Okay. Maybe I’m paraphrasing a little bit. Regardless, the result of that conversation–that may or may not have happened entirely in my head–is the very first Dueling DIY project on this website.
That’s right. It’s going to be a DIY-style throwdown, in which Sarah is most likely going to kick my ass, but I will probably drink more beer. (Yes, Sarah, that was most definitely a challenge.)
So let’s talk a little about the epic battle of the staircases and how it’s going to go down.
Here’s what I need to do:
- Finish pulling the staples and tack-strips off the stairs.
- Sand down the treads.
- Stain the treads.
- Paint the backs of the stairs, trim, spindles, and handrail.
- Add in missing trim on outside of staircase and ceiling.
You can read about Sarah’s plan of attack for her staircase here.
I’m guessing this is going to take me, oh, eternity. The nice thing is that Sarah and I are playing on the same field– we’re both single chicks who own our own houses (and work full-time jobs to pay for them) and try to fit in our building and blogging in on the side– oh, and she’s also in a full-time Masters program. So, you know, we both basically have zero free time, but still expect to have finished staircases sometime this year. This decade, maybe.
This won’t be the only project that either of us are working on (I heard a rumor that someone gutted their master bath recently, and I’ve personally got an office to finish and a mudroom that needs to be… not hunter green) but we’re moseying up to the start line this weekend, and who knows, when the starting pistol goes off I may actually be motivated to remove more than 3 staples before getting distracted. If there’s anything that will get my ass moving on a project I don’t really want to do (but needs to get done) it’s a little competition.
Things you can expect to see over the course of this adventure:
- How many puncture wounds I will sustain in my bare feet before finally removing the tack strips on the landing
- How much beer I can consume and still operate a sander
- At least 15 unsuccessful techniques for keeping the cat off the stairs
- How many spindles I can paint before my left eye develops a twitch
- How much girls who DIY rock
If you’ve got a staircase to refinish and want to hop into this race, let us know. Or, you know, feel free to just stand comfortably on the sidelines and observe our madness.
Oh, and Sarah? May the odds be ever in your favor.