Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Preparing and Priming the stairs

Progress has been a bit slow on the hallway as of late, so I really needed to do something to give myself a boost.  Little effort for maximum benefit.

The stairs really needed painting as the old yellow and mustard coloured paint look was really starting to get tired!  But first a little prep...

There were some big old gaps between the steps and the steps had taken a battering with the amount of staples and nails that had been put in them over the years.

So, I started by filling them in.  Some of them were really quite large so I started with Gripfill, hoping that might do the trick.  Some also needed some stripwood to fill the gap as it was that large.

Unfortunately, even in areas with a small amount of filler, it shrunk quite a lot on drying and it all cracked up.

Round 2 of filling.

I went back to my trusty deep gap filler from Toolstation.

There was one particular hole which wouldn't retain any filler.  So I got a little crafty.  I cut out a small section of foil from a foil tray (narrow enough to just be able to fit through the hole) and pierced a small hole in the middle.  I then got a pierce of string and knotted it underneath.

[It just happens there was a big hole in one of the stairs, and one hole in the floorboards on the landing - the following photos are of the landing, but I used the same technique for the stairs]

I then put some gripfill on the upper side of the foil (the side with the longest length of string), and carefully poked it through the hole.

Once I had poked it through, I used the string to gently pull the foil up  and make contact with the underside of the floorboard.  I used a piece of tape to secure the string just whilst it dried, and then added a little more gripfill to try and fill the gap a little bit to start with.

Once dried, the string can be cut.  The hole on the landing I topped up with wood filler as this would be stained to match the floor, but the hole on the stairs, I filled with deep gap filler as this would be painted.

I intended to use Johnstones Acrylic Eggshell Paint in Brilliant White as it claims to stay white and not yellow over time.  I will see how it lives up to those claims in time.  But to use this product it advises you use Johnstones Joncryl Acrylic Primer.  A bit of a sand of all my filler first and I was good to go.

What a difference a bit of paint makes!  I also LOVE the contrast between the white and the wall colour. Yum!

I also discovered the joys of masking tape, specifically yellow Frogtape (for sensitive surfaces).  It has paint block technology to give a really clean edge.  I'd never really had much success with masking tape and it always bled paint underneath.  Confession - I always figured it was for people without any skills to paint a straight line.  That is until now! I LOVE it!

It saves so much time.  Rather than faffing about - just tape on, paint (not even taking any particular care), tape off. Done. I'm sold.

That's only the primer on the steps, I still need to prep  and paint all the spindles and banister on the stairs (a job I'm putting off as I know it will take ages!), as well as properly paint the steps with the top coat, but progress is progress nonetheless, and I'm chuffed.

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