It's hard to explain how bad these stairs really were. They are original, and I believed they could be beautiful again, but how in the world was I going to do it?
I tried sanding them, the sander got all gummed up, and it took forever to get four steps done.
Since I thought it couldn't get any worse, I neglected to cover them up when the drywall mudder came. BIG mistake.
One day I just tackled them. I probably broke all the rules of staining, but I'm a rebel like that.
I first stained them with Minwax stain, and then immediately stained them with Java Gel Stain, until I had a reasonably even finish. It worked! After fretting over what I was going to do with these stairs for 4 years, I finally did it!
You see? I wasn't kidding about how bad they were, but the floor upstairs looked great, and the floor downstairs looked great! So I had to try.
Here they are after the staining was finished. I also used Java Gel Stain on the hand rail and spindles.
I then varnished them two times.
Can you even believe these are the same stairs?
I cannot even tell you how much I love them!