Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ugly Stairs

We have some UGLY stairs. Long ago, someone decided to apply linoleum on just two stairs. Next, the entire staircase was covered in disco carpeting. Upon moving in, we tore the two layers up. The end result was not pretty and the discovery of linoleum on the bottom steps was quite disheartening. We had to use a scraper and a hammer to chisel it off. We’ve been living with a staircase that looks like this for the past 3 months.

We’ve gotten used to the ugly stairs. I bought a vacuum cleaner and sucked up the gray powder left from scraping at the carpet backing. Once my feet and floors were powder free, I stopped noticing the backing at all. I don’t even “see” it as I go up and down the stairs. As others have discovered, it sometimes takes a visitor to realize that your house resembles a construction site. My eyes were opened when we had our housewarming. Our guests seemed generally delighted with the house, but their jaws dropped (in a bad way) when they saw the stairs. My friend Jamie later confided to me that her boyfriend, Matt, wanted to help me get started on them right then and there!

Although I wouldn't let a guest perform physical labor at the party, I did solicit advice. Matt recommended that I use a heat gun to remove the glue and backing. In theory, the heat softens the glue and then the offending material can be scraped off. I bought a heat gun and leather gloves two weeks ago. Alas, I have not even opened the box. I promise, I’ll tackle at least once stair tonight, or maybe tomorrow night, or maybe this weekend….

If anyone of my readers has experience using a heat gun, removing glue, or refinishing stairs, I would love to hear about it!


Blogger Pixie Potters Adventures said...

Stick on a carpet you like or... clean those ugly stairs like crazy!!

7:01 PM  
Anonymous kingstreetfarm said...

in my opinon those stairs call for an all out sanding-fest, with rough sandpaper, then fine. It's a LOT of work, trust me I know, but it's the only possible way I can think of to get rid of all that residue without 1) noxious and potentially dangerous fumes from a heat gun, or 2) burning the place down.

3:34 PM  

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