Here is a photo of the damage the winter and the snow shovel did to my front stairs.
See more photos by clicking “read the rest of this entry”
And under that black mat at the top of the stairs is all peeling paint.
Wednesday I did get my stairs sanded and scraped. It is so humid! It’s not all that hot temp-wise but the humidity (74%) had me wiping salty sweat out of my eyes all the time. I was loving the cool summer we were having up until now (except for all the rain.) I don’t do well in humidity as I get over heated and shaky. So I’m just working really slow and drinking a lot of soda.
You have to get into odd positions to get that sanded. The risers weren’t wide enough for me to fit my 2 1/2-inch belt sander and the palm sander was just about 1/4 inch too big so I ended up doing almost all the sanding of the risers with my detail sander. Working around the railing was maddening as was fighting the bumble bees buzzing around me that were on the Russian Sage..
Thursday I took mineral spirits and cleaned the sanded steps really good. I took a break and came back to find paint peeling up in places I had scrubbed with the mineral spirits. I’ve never had that happen before. It shouldn’t have any effect on cured latex paint but the paint must have been failing in those places anyway. I scraped some more and then cleaned some more. I used an alcohol-based dye to the varnished risers where the shovel had gotten down to the wood and removed the stain color. It evened the color out. A few hours later I gave the risers a coat of spar varnish.
I used some of that expanding foam (not the latex stuff but the stuff that sticks to everything) to fill the gap between the bottom of the porch floor and the trim of the steps.It expands and looked really messy until the next day when I trimmed it and put wood putty over it to make it smooth. It’s more for aesthetics than anything else.
Friday I finally was able to actually paint the treads and the area of the porch where the paint had peeled. I consider this project pretty much done but I’ll have to give it a second coat of spar varnish on the risers and another coat of paint on the porch and treads in a few more days when my back gets rested. Stairs are back-breaking work with a lot of kneeling, stooping and twisting to get it done but they make such a difference when they look nice. Below is the after photo.