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Removed Carpet from stairs - stain/fit questions

Posted by Eric Snodgrass on February 18th, 2003 11:44 AM

Hi, over the weekend I removed the carpet from my 13 stairs in my 2-story condo. I had to do some paint and laquer removal as well, but that's another story (almost done though - that 3M safest stuff is a pain...but relatively non-toxic). The boards underneath are pretty nice (nicer than expected), I think they're a soft wood (they yellowish and there are some visible knots). The condo was built in the mid 80's. There are some staple and nail holes I have the pleasure of filling over the course of this week as the stairs have had 2 messy carpet jobs on the them over the last 15 or so years. I'm planning to stain the treads and banister dark and paint the risers and bollister (sp?) white. I have bought my stain and urethane to finish the job, but i have one question about finishing it.

The treads are not a "perfect" fit for the stairwell. On either side of the tread there may be a 0" to 1/32" to 1/8" of an inch gap between the trean and the wall. My question is, is this normal? Should I consider adding some trim on the tread and riser or something or will it look fine when it's stained and painted? The only weird part is that fromt he front of the tread there will still be a smallgap. I have no references to see what normal wooden stairs should look like and cannot find any online. Can someone help me out?

Also, what's the best method of removing sawdust after sanding before I stain the treads?

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