Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Painting the Stairs - Part 1

before and after:

This is not really a "tutorial", this is more just my experience.

I hated the carpet on my stairs and upstairs hallway.  Hated it.  It was builder's beige carpet that had been through 12 years of red clay, dogs, cats, spills and drips.  It was gross.  So, after getting spousal approval, and spending way to much time on pinterested drooling over painted stair photos and tutorials, I decided to rip out the carpet and paint! Woohoo!  This is going to be EASY! no sweat!  take me a couple of days tops!  That's what all the bloggers said.  Sat there on their newly painted, gorgeous steps, big smile on their faces, and said "This is an easy project."    And I, in my starry eyed hope for non-disgusting stairs, believed them.  *sigh*  I don't know.  Maybe they had slaves, or home improvement elves?

Here are the before photos.  I really should have gotten a close up of the grossness:

I started in on ripping up the carpet.  You need a pair of pliers and a good pair of work gloves.  There are evil carpet strips that live under your carpet waiting to attack anything that disturbs their peace. Gloves are a must.  Probably, you should wear a mask if you any kind of dust allergy. I removed the carpet, the carpet strips, the 1,897 staples, and then vacuumed each step as I went.

  There was a bunch of brownish stuff under the carpet, which I thought was dirt.  Of course, I immediately googled "dirt under carpet" to see if everyone's carpet was that dirty underneath or if we were just special.  Turns out, it's not dirt.  Or at least, not all dirt. In order to give the carpet stability and make it more fire retardant, the backing of the carpet is coated with a mixture of glue, marble dust, and some other stuff.  During use, the marble dust slowly comes loose and ends up on the floor under the carpet. So, I didn't feel as dirty then, but I did run to Home Depot and grab a couple of masks.

Ripping up the carpet:
padding and carpet strips

my helpers from top to bottom:
Emp, Diva, Chief, and Annabelle

Using a chisel (upside down) was the best method I found for getting up the strips. 
If I had been staining the floor, I might have been gentler.  
All the carpet off. 

The next morning, my right hand had swollen up from pulling up all the evil staples.  I took a day off to ice it and whine about the dangers of home decorating. After that I wore a very attractive wrist stabilizer for the next few days.  But I was determined to carry on!   Part 2 coming up next.