Saturday, April 19, 2008

Carpet Diem

Today was a red-letter day in our part of the borough-- It was Annual Large-Item Curbside Pick-Up Day.

Large-Item Curbside Pick-Up Day comes but once a year, so you want to take full advantage of its joys.

This year, I didn't have much to throw out. Just a couple of really large cardboard cartons that yeah, I really should recycle but they'd hardly fit in my car, let alone in the recycling dumpster.

So last night I got them off my back porch and onto the curb.

What else should I get rid of? Went down the basement, to survey the scene there. I noticed the roll of fake berber carpet scraps on top of the metal paint can shelf. No, I might use some of that to make scratching posts for my kitties.

But wait a minute. Carpet . . . carpet . . . Oh, hey, I still have that godawful filthy pet-hair-covered over-ten-year-old installed by the previous owners that my oldest cat dumped the can of white paint all over back in 2003 berber carpet on the stairs going up to the third floor!

Seize the day! Seize the day! It's gotta go sometime, and if I got it out to the curb last night, the borough would take it away this morning for free! Otherwise, it's an upcharge from the regular trash haulers! Do it! Who cares if it's not on the agenda! Do it now!

So I did. Took about five hours to remove carpet, pad, tack strips, and most of the staples. Well, a lot of the staples. Around here, the carpet staples have carpet staples, and they don't give up easily-- I've got the scratches to prove it.
Look what we have here! No paint!

Soft but tough things with lots of pointy ends (No, Rhadwen did not go to the curb. Just supervising)

The good news: The paint didn't seep through too badly, and the treads and risers were never painted!
Carpet avalanche

The bad news: One or two of the treads are cracked or broken. Couldn't feel it through the carpet and pad, but now it feels weird to walk on. Of course the really broken one is at the bottom with the doorway casing sitting on it. More complicated than just prying it up, bracing it underneath, and reinstalling it.

The inevitable news: The treads will have to be stripped anyway, because they do have splotches of paint on them. And I'm thinking I want the floor to be not so dark, anyway.

So I'll redo the treads in a lighter toned natural finish. But I'm thinking of painting the risers white to match the rest of the trim going up to the 3rd floor. Seems a little stark as it is, and I think it'll set this part of the house off as a different zone.
But here's the question: Considering all the wood stripping I've been doing around this place, am I a screaming hypocrite to even consider painting any woodwork that's currently natural finish? Or am I just looking to do what'll look and work the best?

I'm open to input. This much is certain: I got up this morning and looked out the window, and all that nasty old carpet is gone! It's gone!


Sandy said...

Good job on tossing the carpet. Loved the supervision! I have seen a lot of staircases restored/ refinished in the tons of blogs I read, and 2/3 of them have the risers painted white. It always looks nice. They are usually the ones that kept their stairs a dark stain. The ones that have lighter stain don't paint their risers. Hope that helps. Lord knows, I'm no expert -- especially because my house is all on one floor.

Green Fairy said...

Congratulations on getting all the carpet up. I was lucky not to have any on our stairs when we tackled the job of removing carpet a few months ago; the previous owners had already removed it from the stairs, but left the stuff in the bedrooms for us to deal with.

I always like the look of natural wood, but it really depends on how light you go. Our stairs were sanded and restained a medium color, and you can still see the staple marks quite clearly if you look for them. Darker stain or paint would hide them better, I think.

Elaine said...

Congrats on the de-carpeting. Stairs are a bear! I'm dreading finishing ours. Lost my nerve when I discovered that under the carpet is (gasp!) LINOLEUM!!! Oh, the humanity....

Jayne said...

Good job on the carpet removal! I find chores like that are much nicer with the cats there to help/supervise. I think the risers would look nice painted white, but then you'd have to get rid of that cool McDonald's bumper sticker. So that's something to consider. =)

Kate H. said...

Ah, yes, that bumper sticker. Other remodellers uncover mysterious Messages from the Past, I get an advert for McBurger's and some defunct FM radio station!