Voila! The stairs are complete:
They were actually finished last Sunday, but last week didn't present time for a proper post. After all the work we did to get these finished, they deserved a proper DIY reveal.
When we bought the house, the stairs were painted white, had a green runner and orangey-stained railings. The post looked like a dog chewed it (because a dog chewed it) and the runner was 99% dirt. It didn't suit our style and was pretty ugly.
We decided to pull off the carpet and to our surprise, they painted the stairs just enough to hide the runner. And the runner was hiding a whole lot of junk like old glue and fuzz and dog hair and other stuff that is nightmare-inducing. It was disgusting.
So we decided to strip the stairs of all the peeling paint and disgusting stuff and repaint them. Once I realized what a big job that would be, I gave myself 10 years to complete it.
We got it done in less than 2.
Old houses have a certain charm, which means that no corner is square, stuff has bumps and nicks and evidence that lots of people have lived here and without completely ripping things out and replacing them, they will always have some part of that left.
So our stairs aren't perfectly smooth or even; but they are sturdy and straight.
We decided to add trim to mask the not-so-perfect edges where the Bitter Chocolate meets the Natural Linen and I'm very pleased with the effect; it gives the treads a bit more heft and makes things look much straighter.
We had to use alkyd paint on the treads and at first the plan was to do the railings the same colour. It was such a pain to work with, that I used the riser paint instead and while we were a bit unsure about the colour at first, we're used to it now and will live with it for a while. If it proves too difficult to keep clean, or we just don't like it, I'll get some latex paint in the brown colour and re-do them. It will be a bit of a challenge because I'll need to take out a teeny artist brush to paint where the railing meets the walls or ceiling (which are the same colour as the risers so it was easy!), so there's another reason to love the railing I already have.
I'm so happy with how it turned out. But at least right now I can say I will never tackle that job again. Well at least not at this house.