Please tell me this project will be worth all this effort
Hi everyone. I have an old house (built in 1923) that I think is an American Foursquare. Lots of craftsman accents in the house ( built-ins, tapered pillars on front porch, beadboard ceiling on porch, etc.
Over the past 9 years, we have done a lot of work to the house to get it in good shape. in 2001, my husband and father rented a sander and refinished all the oak floors on our main floor. They are still beautiful.
Well, I just decided a week ago to rip up the carpet on the stairs leading upstairs. Underneath, I found what I believe are oak stairs (and the landing is definitely the same oak as the main floor). The upstairs hallway is also the same oak, but I'm not concentrating on doing it, yet.
So, I stripped the shellac (or whatever it was!), and just finished. The wood is still very dark, and I'm getting discouraged. We have a palm sander (the kind that uses the clip-on sandpaper). My husband used it on the first stair step, and worked on the entire thing for 20 minutes, and it's still not bare enough for staining. Also, he couldn't get into the corners, so I think we're going to have to buy/rent a mouse-shaped sander, and who knows if it will even work??
My plan is to paint the risers white, and sand/stain/poly the treads the same shade as my floors in the living room. It's going to look gorgeous, I know, and I'm so happy that my floors going upstairs will be always be clean (unlike the carpet)...but I have to say, I think I'm in over my head.
We can't afford to have a company come finish this, so I'm pretty much on my own.
To make matters worse, one of the previous owners must have had a rubber stair tread cover installed on the middle 2/3 of each step, so even after stipping, there's a dark vertical line on each side that I'm afraid will not go away.
Do you have any recommendations on products, tools, etc? Any advice? I feel great knowing I'm restoring this house to what it was like (almost), but I'm so tempted to somehow get the money together for new carpet and call it a day.
Thanks for any advice!