Remove Carpet from Stairs to Stain

Here’s a quick post recapping my carpet removal adventures before I forget the entire process. Let’s get right to the point, what you are actually after; the before and after.

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Now that that’s over with, more detail. I’ve had my eye on this project for some time. The stairs are the heart of our home. In our little house, you can see the living room and the kitchen from the stairs, all while yelling up them to anyone who may be in the bedrooms. Plus it’s one of the dogs’ absolute favorite hang out spots so we spend a lot of time on them. And you can only imagine the amount of dog hair and dusts these stairs have accrued. I’ve been wanting to rip of the carpet for ages and last Friday evening, I impulsively followed through after spending the ten minute car riding from a restaurant researching what other bloggers have done. One of the pieces of advice given was that if you have rounded caps on your stairs, you may actually have hardwood underneath and from memory, I thought we did. So when I arrived home, staple gun in hand just in case there was only plywood, I peeled back a piece of carpet with a pair of needle nose pliers.

 

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See how the stairs have that rounded little lip on the tread? That’s how I knew there might be some sort of flooring under there instead of just plywood. 955C55D4-F067-4023-8CBE-1F3A9B146155

 

I continued pulling up the carpeting using some combination of the a razor blade to cut the carpet away from the way, the needle nose pliers to tug with to avoid staples, and a back of the hammer to pull the tacking up.

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Some of the tacking was particularly stuck so I wedged a flat head screw driver under it and tapped with the hammer.

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The bottom portion of the stairs were individually done but once I got to the top, it was all one piece so I started from the top and ripped all the way down. In total, it took about 4 hours to pull up all of the carpet from start to finish because I had to be extra specially careful about picking up all of the nails after each step because of the pups. I wasn’t sure how long this would take me so I removed almost all the nails in one fell swoop. 62385570-F355-4F79-AC4F-B9359CC00872

Remus, my trusty night guard and diy partner in crime, manned the project from his usual spot at the top of the stairs well into the night. Looking at the stairs, there is clearly over spray on the baseboard and on the stairs. Knowing I wanted to stain the steps, I picked up this stripper that a colleague at work recommended. It felt less toxic than any stripper I’ve used before and had a great citrus scent. Would absolutely recommend if you have pets or small children because I didn’t feel like I was gagging them with this product especially since Remus insists on sitting so close to the work zones.

20FDD455-FA77-4655-8077-E63E0FB2DB1E I started my way at the bottom painting each stair with a cheap chip brush with a heavy hand and worked my way right to bed. It can be left on for 24 hours so I left it over night. 5A7DF75A-9D6C-4EB9-A1ED-3BAE9589864B

The next morning I scraped it off relatively easily and wipe up the remaining ashy coating with mineral spirits that I had lying around as recommended by the product label. I then started patching up the stairs with wood filler and began painting the backs of the stairs white after it dried.

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I sanded by hand with a 300 and 800 grit. It’s just what I had on hand, there was no particular rhyme or reason. I am really glad though that I sanded by hand because there was a lot of staples that I missed. People aren’t joking when they say it feels like a million staples. Thankfully most of them were against the backs of the stairs and underneath the rounded part of the tread.

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After painting the backs white, I repeated the process of painting my way up to the tops of the step only this time with stain. I used a thin coat and painted my way up around 9pm. It takes at least 6 hours for stain to dry to the touch which was fine because we didn’t come downstairs until around 6 am the next morning. This is the first look of the stain with no rubbing or smudging off.

170BA1EA-9244-4866-9CEA-173CAD69ED79I gave it a second coat, smudging this time and making my way to the top of the stairs for another night. The next morning I pulled out the caulk gun to touch up the edge. See the next two pictures from the difference between before caulk and after.

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See how the edges are all filled in. Also notice how light the stairs are now after the smudging process. I am thinking of giving them another coat and leaving it but I actually quite like the patterns that have settled in here. Plus I am tired of dealing with the stairs. Later on this week I will go in and do more touch ups like to the wall where it meets the stairs but I want to wait to figure out what color I want to paint this hallway. What ever color I paint will wrap around the entire downstairs and the upstairs hallway because there’s no true break in the walls. So I want to choose wisely. In the mean time, I am just going to enjoy this “completed” project.

New Headboard. Who dis?

So I have been slowly (heavy emphasis on the word slowly) completing projects around our home. The most of the ones I have completed so far are boring (read: not design based) but my first completed design project was a reupholstering of our headboard.

I fell in love with a sketch of a Kate Spade bed from the comforter that we purchased and thought how cute would it be if this bed were a real bed?

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It was just my luck that Kate Spade actually makes a very similar bed and the design in the photo is just up my eclectic preppy little alley.

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So I drove myself down that alley of the Kate Spade Worthington Bed and instantly pumped my brakes, as it retails for the low low price of $7,345 and includes an additional fee of $199 and a shipping and handling charge. But who’s counting?

So this piece became my lofty inspiration and the jumping off point for several ideas. I dabbled with the concept of getting this feel with a vintage scalloped headboard and painting the trim black or getting an upholstered headboard that had the wood exposed. Nothing was showing up when I hunted for vintage wood beds and I refuse refuse refuse to pay $2000 for a bed when I am currently sleeping in a perfectly good one.

One weekend, I woke up and realized I love the shape of our current bed. I just want the feel of the contrasting Kate Spade bed. *Queue DIY music* I decided to reupholster our headboard and just add a contrast trim instead of the piping that was already there.

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Here’s a before shot of our headboard. Note the comfy way I’m reclining against it. I more than paid for that because after years of owning it, our headboard had giant prepford wife (and prepford husband) size stains from body oils. Knowing I wanted a white headboard I took that into consideration when deciding on which fabric to get.

Before leaving the house, I stripped the old headboard so I would know how much fabric I needed.

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It is very much apparent that I did this project on a whim since I didn’t even clear out space for it in our bedroom. Basically in these photos, I removed the legs of the headboard then the decorative black backing GENTLY as I had no intention of paying for more of that strictly decorative netting. When I removed the netting, I realized very quickly that our headboard was made of two pieces which is what gave it the trim that we had. In the third photo, I also realized that there was piping that created that nice line of piping that was on the original headboard. I gently pulled it away, mentally documenting the order that I removed the pieces.

I ended up with three pieces of distinct fabric in the end; the part from the main headboard that I rest against, the trim and the piping. I am the “Measure halfway twice and cut three times”. By measure halfway twice I mean I guesstimate and eyeball how much fabric I need and then run off to the store. I have a good eye for spacial reasoning and distance and have only been wrong maybe once or twice. I swear this method makes my husband nervous.

I went to Joann Fabrics (armed with my customary 40% coupon) and sprinted back to the upholstery wall. I have to be fast in the store because the husband loathes the fabric store and I took him along for his opinion. I purchase furniture the same way I purchase clothing; by touch. I went to the white upholstery fabrics and found a piece that felt appealing and after a visual assessment looked appealing. At $24.99/yd and with 40% I could absolutely swing it. While we were in the upholstery section we also snagged a can of Scotchgard because we were not going to make the same mistake twice with the body oils.

I knew from measuring that I needed about 1.75 yards of fabric and I was going to bump it up to 2.5 yards because I was so lazy with the measurements. At the counter the girl helping us said there was only 2 yards on the bolt. Insert nerves in my gut here. Obviously I took it since I was on a serious deadline here. I also decided to make this a no sew project  -oh you know, since I don’t sew- and grabbed a roll of grosgrain black ribbon for the contrast trim.

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I spread the white fabric out on the living room floor (don’t worry, I swiffered first) and laid the biggest panel of fabric from the old headboard out in a way that left room for the other panels. I eyeballed as usual.

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I cut the panel out, making sure to leave enough to be able to pull around the edge and staple it down. At the bottom of the panel which is the straight end. I left enough fabric to be able to lay the large plank which had the trim (it’s the part that labeled A in the earlier pictures) onto this and staple the fabric to the back of it.

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The batting on my headboard was in surprisingly good condition but if you need any, definitely add it before stapling down. You can see my batting peaking out at the bottom there. IMG_5606

I then added fabric to the piece where the contrast is (part A again). I cut out a piece of fabric by just cutting a few inches from around where I cut out the first piece of fabric since it pretty much made the perfect cut out. For the part with the corners, I just created a bit of a fold in the fabric, pulled really taut and then stapled down to the back to create uniformity. Now for the piping.

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This part is kind of tricky to see but I saved the old piping and made sure that I chose a pretty thick and long grosgrain ribbon. I measured the length of the old piping which was about 156 inches and made sure to get a ribbon that was long enough on the spool so that I would have one continuous piece. When I started this part of the project, I wrapped the ribbon around the old piping like a hotdog bun and then stapled the part that would be open against the side of the white trim. If you look at the pictures above and below, you can kind of see the old canvas color peeking out of the bottom of the black ribbon at the right. I was totally unphased by that since the main part of the headboard would be going over it. IMG_5608

Here’s a much closer picture of it. I continued along the headboard, wrapping and stapling, wrapping and stapling until I got to the curvy portion.

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At the curve, I wrapped and tacked to the headboard and pushed into the corner real good to make sure it didn’t come loose. At this portion of the program it was well into 2 am so the pictures stopped but this is definitely the home stretch. Once the ribbon was in. I placed the other main headboard layer into the hole created for it, pulled the fabric taut on the main headboard piece and staple the back on. Before doing so, I poured almost a whole bottle of wood onto the big trimmed piece.

If I remember I will add more pictures of the headboard.

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Voile finished product. The headboard could definitely have been pulled more taut. That step is very very very important if you want a nice clean finish but overall, I am satisfied with the results and this $35 fix will tide me over until I find the vintage headboard of my dreams.

 

XO Prepford Wife

 

DIY Wire Minnie Mouse Ears

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Today’s post is finally a DIY tutorial from the wire ears I made for meeting my shero, Minnie Mouse. You can see that post here. I saw a similar pair somewhere online and quickly whipped up a pair. Emphasis on quickly.

I made the first pair with the red ribbon in our hotel room at 2am and the second pair with the yellow flowers in five minutes before we had to run out of the room to the park. I feel like it’s safe to consider this a five minute diy.

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Here are the quick steps for the floral crown ears seen above.

Supplies

Scissors/Wire Cutter

24 gauge Gold Jewelry Wire

Ribbon close to your hair color

Hot glue gun

Floral wreath

Cup

ear supplies

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1. Wrap jewelry wire around glass or other cylindrical container to form ears. Choose one that’s the size you ideally want your ears to be. I chose a larger glass because I wanted my ears to be able to be taller than my large hair if I decided to wear it out which didn’t happen because…humidity.

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2. Make sure to leave enough wire to be able to wrap around your headband.

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3. I chose headbands that were close to my hair color so that they would just blend in but you are welcome to choose a color that stands out or matches your color theme.

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4. Cut off a piece of the floral wreath to fit in between your ears. Make sure to cut a piece that is visually interesting to you. For the park, I cut out the yellow piece since that’s the color I was more interested in wearing that day.

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5. Place your headband and wreath together to make sure the fit is right then hot glue your headband to the part of the wreath you cut. Then wrap a piece of the ribbon that you bought around the headband weaving in and out of your wreath to tighten it. Since Florida is so hot, you could have loose hot glue. The ribbon fortifies it and also provides cushion so the wire ears don’t stab you.

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And Voila you have yourself a pair of ears. I won’t do a tutorial for the ribbon ears but you do make them the same way. Just sub out the wreath with really big bow.

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Now go out into the Disney World and hear all the things with your new shiny ears.

Love,

Prepfordwife

Kate Spade Downing Desk Alike

I am head over heels in love with the Kate Spade Downing desk but at a whopping $3,095, I wasn’t in love with the price.

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I scoured the Internet and fell in love with this simple diy version of the desk from Mark Montano and needed to make it. I took a weekend and voila, in three hours it was complete.  We purchased the Alex desk from Ikea and the hardware from Home Depot online. In store had only rounded edge hardware instead of sharp edge hardware. It seemed to visually make all of the difference at least to me. If you’d like to create your own version of the desk, these are all the supplies you need.

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I laid down the drop cloth and put the pre-built desk on it. After attaching the hardware, I simply dabbed the slightly imperfect spots with the daubers. I made sure to cut the edges of the daubers as instructed since Kate Spade’s circles are never perfect. I also painted the legs with a small brush. Unlike the linked diy project, I made sure to seal the desk with a few coats of high gloss top coat. The surface of the desk is so very slick that I am positive the spots would be gone in a week.

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I’ve been using it as a very long nightstand since I often find myself bringing work. I am still settling on a chair. I have a chippedale chair currently but I’m highly considering a lucite or acrylic chair. No matter what chair I end up with, I couldn’t be happier with the results as I saved myself $2,900.