The Stairs

Mas Oms has three floors, with two full-flight staircases connecting them.  A third short staircase leads up to a landing and a bedroom between levels 2 and 3 (Euro 1 and 2).

The frame of the staircases is iron.  For about a year, I lived with the bare iron and provisional (that means temporary) steps I cut out of of MDF (medium-density fiberboard or “chipboard”) that was lying around the house.  They held up surprisingly well!

I sampled a few different metallic paint options and settled on “brown oxide” from Titan.  It has tiny bits of metal embedded in it!  The effect is rusted iron, but clean and pretty rusted iron that will not disintegrate on you.  Below you can see the painted stairs with or without MDF.

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Now it’s time for the real treads.  I used the same material as the floorboards [oak recovered from huge wine barrels], but the treads are a whopping 6 cms thick.  All four sides are brushed for the rustic look.  Below is the raw material and the highly technical varnishing process, which was carried out in a clean-room under the highest standards of precision according to ISO 123.456.789.

Below are views of the long flights with the oak treads in place:

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Close-up of the fancy hardware:

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Below is the finished half-flight to the landing on floor 2.5.  The top 2 steps will remain as is, with brick treads and plaster risers and sides.  I see I need to touch up the paint a bit!

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I scraped and cleaned and scrubbed and polished the brick landing at the top of the half-flight. This is the ONLY original flooring in the house that I have been able to preserve.  Before/during:

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And after, below.  You can see the winter sun gently reflected in the new satin finish.  You can also see centuries of unidentifiable stains on the brickwork.  I call it “patina.”

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And finally, I had Jesús fabricate one last tread for the transition from the living area into the master bedroom.  This step is adjacent to the top of the first flight of stairs.  I’m going to try to use recovered bricks as the risers (the vertical part under the step), but if I am not satisfied with the look, I will use remaining hardwood flooring.

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Next week we will take a peek at the master bath!

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