Back Stairs

August 30th, 2008 § Comments Off on Back Stairs § permalink

There hasn’t been much activity on the blog lately because all I’ve been doing is stripping paint in the laundry room / back stairs area of the house.

In order to properly strip the paint on the skirt board we had to remove the carpet. Removing the carpet allowed me to strip the skirt board and part of the steps themselves so that I could get a nice clean finished edge, and it also eliminated the possibility of me setting the carpet on fire with the heat gun.

The Lovely Christina was in charge of pulling up the carpet and I cut it up into small pieces that fit nicely into some cardboard boxes we had. The under pad had been on the stairs so long that it had either a) disintegrated into dust, or b) fused itself to the steps. And so the afternoon went – scraping, sweeping and vacuuming under pad dust.

And then there were the staples. I think the carpet was installed on the same day that the installer bought his first staple gun. There were literally thousands of staples holding the carpet in place. I say were, because the Lovely Christina and I have spent days pulling them out. There are still a few stragglers but I am patient and meticulous by nature and they don’t stand a chance.
The above picture shows the bottom portion of the stairs. The steps making up the “turn” and those below are new. Well, not exactly new but newer than the other steps which are original. The house was made up of two apartments in the ’70’s and from what I can tell, the lower portion of the back staircase was removed and blocked off to provide the necessary separation between the main floor apartment and the upstairs apartment. When the house was converted back into a single-family unit, the stairs were replaced, with a considerable amount of skill – it is only evident after close inspection.

Being newer, the steps only have two thin layers of paint on them and are in really good shape. A quick sanding and they will be ready to be repainted. On the other hand, the steps above the turn have considerably more layers of finish on them and are in need of a full stripping before being repainted.

In addition, a portion of the base cap needs to be repaired. You can see the white bit on the base cap in the photo. It looks as though this part was notched out, possibly to allow a partition wall to sit flush. In any case it should be an interesting repair, involving templates, epoxy, sore fingers, curse words, and hurt feelings (in that order).

This photo shows steps above the turn after a two-day stripping marathon (not nearly as fun as it sounds) while the Lovely Christina was out of town visiting her aunt. As you can see, I stripped the skirt board, the base cap, and a two inch strip down the side of the steps. This two inch strip will allow me to fully refinish the skirt board while leaving the steps until later.

That’s all for now.

New Old Truck

August 30th, 2008 § 5 comments § permalink

Ever since I had to put Truck-Truck down this past winter, there’s been a void. We tried to make do without a truck but after four months it was finally too much.


Here’s the new truck – a 1999 Ford F150. It still needs a name… any suggestions?

40 Days and 40 Nights

August 30th, 2008 § Comments Off on 40 Days and 40 Nights § permalink

Once upon a time I went to Home Depot and bought some deck stain. Then it rained. Then it rained some more. Then the sun came out one morning, made a nasty face at me and promptly went away again. Then it rained some more.

The rain continued every day for about 4 weeks. And then something remarkable happened – the sun came out again and didn’t make any faces. In fact it stayed out for nearly two days.

I seized the opportunity and stained the deck on what was perhaps the hottest, most humid day of the year. It was so hot the stain was dry moments after being applied.

Here is the result:


The colour is Oxford Brown by Behr.

Where am I?

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