Refinishing the stairs is relatively simple and cheap but it’s a lot of hard work. We’ve put Part 3 (the actual finishing part) on hold while we renovate our kitchen (are you following along on Instagram?), but we have Part 2 for you right now. Part 1 can be found here.
Typically when you take up the carpet on your stairs, the very top step is actually a bullnose attached to the last riser and level to the subfloor. So you’re faced with figuring out what you’re going to do to replace that bullnose. Normal people would probably purchase the piece that matches their floor for that section, but at $80 a pop, we decided we could do better. So we searched online for an unfinished bullnose at 3/8″ (the thickness of our flooring) that also had a groove, and found one from Lumber Liquidators for $20 for an 8′ length, allowing us to use just one for both the very top step and the landing. Score!
For us, another issue cropped up when we realized our flooring didn’t have a tongue on the end we had going into the groove. We incorrectly thought it did but were faced now with a groove to groove connection. My husband didn’t let that stop him and created a tongue he could glue into both boards at once, for a nice solid seam between.
Then came the sanding. I started one night and wanted to stop within a couple minutes because the entire house was being covered by dust. I decided to wait until the next day so I could open some windows but when that day came, I was still really reluctant to start again because I hated that dust everywhere. My husband realized we were being completely dumb because our sander was made to connect to a shop vac, we just needed the adapter. Well, the adapter we had was not for our vac but it also wasn’t far off in size, so we rigged it by taping the connection with left over duct tape from our Halloween costumes. Worked like a charm! I am happy to say we are MOSTLY finished sanding. There’s still some stubborn corners to get but finishing the stairs is right around the corner.
Stay tuned for Part 3 as we accomplish are first officially completed DIY project!