The next step was sealing the steps. After much debate, I decided on Minwax Polycrylic rather than polyurethane. Polycrylic isn't rated for floors, but after researching it I read that I may just have to re-seal them in a few years. That works for me! I've had bad experiences with polyurethane being sticky even after drying and I was not about to ruin all of our hard work!! So far, I've applied one coat. It needs two more! Here are some photos:
The top step in this photo has the polycrylic and the bottom step doesn't-
Same with this one-
The next thing we tackled was the landing at the bottom of the steps. When we ripped the carpet up, we revealed a plywood base. It appeared that there were two layers so Ian attempted to cut the top layer off. We had to do this so that the flooring we added on the landing would be level with the lip of the landing that already existed. Here's what we found under plywood sheet #1:
Then, Ian began cutting and laying the flooring. This was flooring that was left at our house when we bought it and it matches the downstairs flooring. Here it is in progress:
Now it sits flush with the lip (which will also be stained- don't worry!) and makes for an even transition.
-add two more coats of polycrylic to the treads
-add trim pieces on the landing
Here is the big question. What to do with those risers?! We originally were going to paint them white- and still may end up doing that. But a few other ideas floated around in my head as well. I've seen people add beadboard to them but I'm not sure that goes with the style of our house. The other idea I've tossed around is adding paintable wallpaper to the risers and painting it either white or black. The only worry I have with that option is the durability.
Hmm... it will be a little while before I have to make that decision! I've got to keep this motivation up so I can add two more coats of sealant!!! Maybe being snowed in here in NC will help with that... NOT! I already want to eat junk food and drink hot chocolate all day long and I haven't even seen a snowflake yet!