Stair Update: Skirts and Landing

12:43 PM

Now that we've had time to settle back in from our trip to The Netherlands, I was itching to get back to work on the stairs. Just so you know, vacation wasn't the only thing holding us back from making some progress on the stairs. In fact, if you're really good at remembering everything I've written (of course you are!), you might notice about a month of inactivity. Why you ask? Here's a hint.



It's an MRI scan of Matt's knee. What might not be obvious to those who don't know how to read an MRI scan is that it's pretty messed up. We were at my friend Jenna's house warming party and Matt was participating in the usual tomfoolery that is expected at a party, and the next thing he knew was he was laying on the ground with his patella (knee cap) on the side of his leg. It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that he will need surgery to repair it. So with his knee messed up we've been doing less working-on-the-house and more sitting-on-the-couch. But enough about Matt's knee.

Last week I had had enough of sitting around and started the next step of the stair makeover progress. That next step would be cutting and installing skirts for the stairs. Sadly, I didn't take many any pictures of the process, but I still have the top half of the stairs to do, at which point I'll be better about documenting the process. It was a little complicated and I didn't quite do it right the first time around. I did remember to take pictures after they were both notched out, go figure. Here is the skirt while it was still really tall.



A little too tall for my liking. To cut them down evenly, I measured up from the same step on both sides. I chose to make them 3 inches taller than the edge of the step. Once I had that marked, cutting it on my table saw was pretty easy.



After a quick trimming the painting began. I took them out to my spray booth (ok it's just a garage) and primed and painted them. I was going to hand paint them at first, but after the first stroke of the brush I opted to break out my trusty paint sprayer. It just makes it look so perfect and I love it!



The step after the skirts has been the one I've been wanting to get to since the begining because we already had all the supplies. So because of that you'll just have to wait to see the skirts til later. That next step was flooring the landing in the same hardwood that we have throughout the house. The reason I waited was because I wanted to start from the bullnose and work toward the back. And in order to put the bullnose on I had to have the skirts installed, and before that I had to have the nose cut off the steps, and before that the carpet had to go. To say I was a little excited to finally get to this point would be a slight understatement. Here I am marking how much to cut off the bottom spindle on our railing so that the bullnose piece could just slide underneath.



Once the nose piece was installed it was a quick project. I spent about an hour Sunday night installing the bullnose and some flooring, then called it quits so I could watch The Walking Dead.



I finished it up on Monday morning in probably an hour, it was really pretty quick. Also, it's kinda funny how much I enjoy this little slice of our staircase now!



Here's that spindle I undercut so the bullnose piece could slide underneath. It needs just a little paint touch up on the bottom, but I'll worry about that when we put the moulding on top of the skirts and around the landing.



And speaking of those skirts.... here one of them is. We plan on putting some baseboards right on top of them, so they're not really finished. Just enough so we could move on to the next step.



That next step would be covering these crusty risers with pretty white ones! I can't wait.



In fact, I wanted to keep the ball rolling so much so that I went ahead and bought the material for them Monday afternoon and they are already primed!


Hopefully we can cut, paint, and install them this weekend! At the very least it will improve the view from the couch. So wish us luck! Oh and if you have any encouraging stories about ACL replacement surgery send them our way!


Nikki Kelly


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  1. First off - HIS KNEECAP WAS ON THE SIDE OF HIS LEG??? I think you would have had to send me to the emergency room for the shock alone. SCARY! Second - fabulous job! I'm so jealous of your handiwork. You're so talented. It's a little irritating.

    1. I was glad that I didn't see the initial injury. Apparently his foot was pointing in an unnatural direction as well. He had his friend Justin re-set it right then and there. He was quite the party pooper that evening.

  2. Ah. . . Progress! it always feels so good:)

  3. ACL replacement surgery: go for the hamstring!
    The recovery is a little bit longer more because you're rehabbing 2 locations, but you're getting a stronger (read:less likely to have to do the whole song n dance again) graft. And who doesn't love a little upcycling, yo self included?
    Take your meds (being a 'hero' hurts, not worth it), stretch, listen to your physical therapist; and you'll be back to shenanigans in no time. I've had a couple different joint surgeries (ACL replacement being the 2nd on that knee) and while this one took some hard work to get back from, I feel like I got a bionic-super-knee out of it. Good luck! :)

    1. Matt spent some time googling Torn ACL and read a little bit about the replacement options. We will probably find out more on Monday at his next appointment. I'll ask about the durability though. Thanks for the encouragement!


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