Last spring I removed the carpet on the steps. It was pretty cruddy underneath and we've been living with it like this for, like, ever:
Funny story - the guys who refinished our floor way back like almost two years ago were like "We can refinish the staircase for $300" and I was like "Ummmmmm.... well... no, i don't know what we're doing" and they were like "Are you sure?" and I was like "Yes, I'm just not sure if we're going to replace the carpet or what we're doing, so I'll wait til later to make a decision" and they were like "ARE YOU SURE???"
Lesson learned - just get the stairs refinished next time!
So this week I sanded it myself. First with 60 grit, which was really slow going. Then I upped it to 50 grit, which did help a lot. Smoothed it over with 60 and 120 and we're ready to stain:
There are still little dents and dark spots and places where old grime didn't lift up, but seriously, after 6 hours of mind-numbing labor I just don't care.
You can see the remains of a runner from years back. Also, you can't see from this angle, but a lot of the front parts of the steps are worn down and a little busted.
My plan is to stain the treads dark to match the floors and if we can still see these lines, or if we are not satisfied with the outcome, we'll add a runner.
The risers will be painted white and I see lots of touching-up in my future!
To date this is the most "outside my comfort zone" project I've taken on. Crossing my fingers this will work!