We are making awesome progress on our curb appeal makeover! If you don’t remember, I shared the “before” earlier… It was really bad, but we are getting it fixed up! We recently redid the front steps, and it has made a huge difference. Goodbye cracked and peeling paint, hello gorgeous red stain!
PPG Industries generously offered to send me Sikkens ProLuxe’s Rubbol® solid stain for the project, and we happily agreed! I decided to go with their Navajo Red stain to add some fun color to the front of our house. Rubbol® Solid Stain is a hybrid alkyd/acrylic stain, and it has the advantages of both technologies. It has excellent penetration and adhesion over both bare and previously coated surfaces, which is a huge bonus if you’re redoing steps instead of starting with brand new wood.
But since the paint on our steps was so badly damaged, we decided it was better to get rid of the cracked and peeling paint than to just paint over it. If you remember from the “before” post, this is what our steps used to look like.
The paint was cracked and peeling everywhere, and in some places it was so bad that even the two or three layers of paint under the black coat were also damaged!
So we started by stripping the paint off the steps. We used a heat gun and the scraper tool that came with it for some of the paint removal, and used a paint stripper and paint scraper for the rest. There were about four layers of paint on the steps, so it took a while! I had to work while AJ was napping or once JM was home from work, so all together it took about two weeks because we had to work in fits and starts.
But eventually we had removed all of the layers of paint. The wood was actually in a lot better shape than we had thought! It seemed like the steps were in really bad shape, but it was probably just the cracked and peeling paint that was tricking our eyes, because the steps looked pretty good once the paint was gone.
I used an exterior wood filler to fill in a couple really big dents, then used our random orbit sander with 80 grit paper to sand the wood down smooth. I also used our cordless drill with a skinny wire brush attachment to get the paint out of the grooves in the steps.
Once the wood filler was dry and the steps were sanded smooth, it was finally time to start staining!
The Rubbol® solid stain was so easy to apply! My husband helped me, and we got all of the steps covered with a first coat (including the risers, stringers, support posts, etc.) in about an hour and a half. After two weeks of stripping paint and sanding, we were thrilled with how easy and quick it was to get the stain on the steps!
We waited a day and then applied a second coat, and the second coat went on even easier than the first. The stain filled in all the tiny little cracks in the wood, and even though it’s solid stain, you can still see a little bit of the wood grain showing through, which I love!
I’m just thrilled with how the steps look now, and I know this stain is going to do a great job protecting them from the harsh winters we have here in Chicago. It’s like having a brand new set of stairs!
We have ordered a new front door, and we’re just waiting for it to arrive. But that should be installed sometime in the next few weeks, and once the weather warms up and all of the plants we recently planted start to fill in a bit, the front of our house is going to look great!
PPG Industries actually sent us 3 gallons of Rubbol® solid stain in Navajo Red so that we can also redo the back deck and stairs; I’m so excited!
We’re going to wait until spring because it’s too cold now, and it’s about to snow. But once the weather warms up and we get that project finished, I will share a super detailed step by step tutorial here on the blog. So if you’re looking for more details on how to strip and stain an existing deck and stairs, be on the lookout for that tutorial in spring!
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Disclosure: I received compensation from PPG Industries in exchange for my participation in this campaign, and my honest discussion of their products. But the stain that they sent us is wonderful and I’m so thrilled with how our steps turned out, and as always, all opinions in this post are 100% my own. I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was useful or interesting for you guys, and Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts for companies or products I love and believe in! 🙂
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