Please help us with our stairs!
We originally thought we wanted to refinish the treads and risers on our 112-year old staircase, and "clean up" all the surrounding woodwork. I've learned that what I've been calling "baseboards" are referred to as "stringers" in staircase lingo. Whatever you call them, they're horribly spattered with paint from over the years, and I'd like them to be refreshed. Problem is, no one wants to deal with that much refinishing. I've been told it would easily be around $3,000 to complete the entire staircase, which is more than we want to spend. This is not our forever home.
One of the guys we had over here told us that a big part of the discoloration on our treads is from 112 years of good ol' dirt. He recommended that DH get something called "Goof Off" and try working on the stairs with that. Here's the spot he worked on -- it doesn't seem like a good overall solution, though. Is it removing too much?
Bottom line -- how can we even out the colors and remove the paint stains/splatters? We just want to pretty things up enough so that we can install a runner. Help!