Removing old carpet from steps, glue removal

Flooring Forum - DIY & Professional

Help Support Flooring Forum - DIY & Professional:

75Formy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Danville
Hello everyone.. We purchased our 1970's home in 2002. Kids are grown and gone and i'm getting around to some very long over due tasks. Pulling up old carpet from steps leading to the basement/garage. The garage also had berber carpet on it when we bought the house ( A previous owner removed the garage door, walled it with a single entry door turning in into a bedroom, I since demoed the wall and installed a garage door to keep my car happy ) I removed the berber carpet that was glued to the concrete, you may be able to see some remnants of glue on the concrete in one of the photos. But, this is about the steps, Back on topic. Sorry. I have wanted to pull this carpet for some time and finally got around to it. You can see what it looked like on the landing. So, it was glued and nailed, uhg. I scraped much of what i assume was the carpet backing with a putty knife and floor scraper blade. I'm curious what would be recommended to further remove the glue from the steps, so that i can paint them and add strips of Non-skid or other material. Thankyou,, Ron
Steps3.jpg
Steps.jpg
Steps1.jpg
Steps4.jpg
 

Incognito

Professional
Pro
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
1,199
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Going from what you've got there to a clean looking paint job would be pretty serious effort. Because it's wood you can neither use heavy solvent nor heavy mechanical equipment (scrape/grind/sand) without dorking them up.

So were that my house I'd re-think paint.

If you're hell bent on paint my first attack would be with heavy grit belt and palm sanders with vacuum attachments. Ultimately you'll lower the grit on the sandpaper til it's suitably smooth for paint. Hell, by that time a coat of spar varnish might look sweet.

 

75Formy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Danville
Going from what you've got there to a clean looking paint job would be pretty serious effort. Because it's wood you can neither use heavy solvent nor heavy mechanical equipment (scrape/grind/sand) without dorking them up.

So were that my house I'd re-think paint.

If you're hell bent on paint my first attack would be with heavy grit belt and palm sanders with vacuum attachments. Ultimately you'll lower the grit on the sandpaper til it's suitably smooth for paint. Hell, by that time a coat of spar varnish might look sweet.

Yeah, that's what i was thinking about liquids/solvents. Palm sander starting with 80 grit and working up may be the best option. And like you said, after going through all the work, spruce them up a bit with varnish..If your house, what would you consider? Thanks, Ron
 

C.J.

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Pro
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
2,417
Location
Over here now
How much time you got. How about taking the treads and risers off. Now you can sand, plane or whatever you want to do with them from a workbench or even a set of sawhorses. Outside? So you can let the dust blow away. Besides sanding into corners sucks so I like the idea of taking them off. Shoot, now that you’ve gone that far, I’d go ahead and route a nice bullnose on those 2x treads. Then you lay em out in the driveway and stain? or spray them with several coats of finish. Reinstall them and putty the nail holes and you’re done.
 

Tile Tom

Professional
Pro
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
393
Location
New york
Their wood. I would clean them best you can and cap them with some 3/4 select. Done deal without the headache of all the manual labor.
Or see what you can find for some pre finished oak treads?

If you're a glutton for punishment then a sander is going to be your go to. I would opt for a orbital myself and the sanding attachment for my oscillating tool for the nooks and crannies.
 

Tile Tom

Professional
Pro
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
393
Location
New york
I like what CJ has in mind too. Only problem I see is that damn near any stairs I touch have the tread inserted into the stringers. If you can get them out you could probably just flip them upside down and have a fresh surface to start with. But again if it were me I would probably just get a couple new 2x's and start fresh.
 

Incognito

Professional
Pro
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
1,199
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Yeah, that's what i was thinking about liquids/solvents. Palm sander starting with 80 grit and working up may be the best option. And like you said, after going through all the work, spruce them up a bit with varnish..If your house, what would you consider? Thanks, Ron
I was thinking to start with a belt sander at a much heavier grit---------in any event it's trial and error. We don't know if that glue will sand away or gum up on the pads. There's all kinds of scrapers we use. On wood generally you'll have to use a PULL type. wood scraper - Google Search
 

Incognito

Professional
Pro
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
1,199
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I like what CJ has in mind too. Only problem I see is that damn near any stairs I touch have the tread inserted into the stringers. If you can get them out you could probably just flip them upside down and have a fresh surface to start with. But again if it were me I would probably just get a couple new 2x's and start fresh.
Those were also my first thoughts----to use new wood. It's going to depend on his carpentry skill level and/or budget. I actually thought first of capping it with a layer of 1/4" Masonite. When we've built stages for elementary school multi-purpose room the finish layer is just an epoxy-painted Masonite.

We use something submitted by the designers so I'm sure it has all the required slip coefficients--------if that's the correct wording. Regardless you'd need those anti-slip self adhesive strips.
 

75Formy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Danville
How much time you got. How about taking the treads and risers off. Now you can sand, plane or whatever you want to do with them from a workbench or even a set of sawhorses. Outside? So you can let the dust blow away. Besides sanding into corners sucks so I like the idea of taking them off. Shoot, now that you’ve gone that far, I’d go ahead and route a nice bullnose on those 2x treads. Then you lay em out in the driveway and stain? or spray them with several coats of finish. Reinstall them and putty the nail holes and you’re done.
Thanks, i like that idea...
 

75Formy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Danville
I was thinking to start with a belt sander at a much heavier grit---------in any event it's trial and error. We don't know if that glue will sand away or gum up on the pads. There's all kinds of scrapers we use. On wood generally you'll have to use a PULL type. wood scraper - Google Search
Yeah, lots of work, i used some 80 grit on one of the cleaner treads, and the first clogged up kind of quick, second sheet clogged too. Still have some glue remnants although it looks better and has a smoother feel, But.. Man...
 

75Formy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Danville
Those were also my first thoughts----to use new wood. It's going to depend on his carpentry skill level and/or budget. I actually thought first of capping it with a layer of 1/4" Masonite. When we've built stages for elementary school multi-purpose room the finish layer is just an epoxy-painted Masonite.

We use something submitted by the designers so I'm sure it has all the required slip coefficients--------if that's the correct wording. Regardless you'd need those anti-slip self adhesive strips.
I have to go to Lowes for new furnace filters, so i'll look around. My skills are a bit better than beginner. I've done projects utilizing my table and miter saws to lay a floating floor in my dining room and a couple other projects. But i hate when i run into glue.. I can do some electrical work, adding outlets that kind of thing, I'm probably better with cars.. lol..
 
Last edited:

Incognito

Professional
Pro
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
1,199
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Seeing the underside now I really like the idea of flipping the treads and risers. Might split a few boards or otherwise dork up on the demo but if you're painting that's just a matter of putty/patch------maybe Bondo if the repair is directly on the stair nose. Worst case scenario seems like you could replace anything really damaged. Now I'm really curious how easy it might be to tap those up from the underside, get a crow bar up in there and gently lift. Let's see some progress photos when you decide.
 

75Formy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Danville
Seeing the underside now I really like the idea of flipping the treads and risers. Might split a few boards or otherwise dork up on the demo but if you're painting that's just a matter of putty/patch------maybe Bondo if the repair is directly on the stair nose. Worst case scenario seems like you could replace anything really damaged. Now I'm really curious how easy it might be to tap those up from the underside, get a crow bar up in there and gently lift. Let's see some progress photos when you decide.
I'll post as i decide what to do and as progress continues,, Thanks..
 

C.J.

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Pro
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
2,417
Location
Over here now
Break it down into simple ‘steps’. Maybe take one or two treads and risers off a night. Put a couple 2x4 scraps down to use as a temporary tread while you’re working on your steps.

If you do a couple stairs a night you’ll be done in a week. Or you could break it down to weekends if that’s what your schedule allows.

You ever used General Finishes? They have a lot of wipe on wipe off products, both stain and poly, that are super easy to use and are also really good products. I’m thinking the wipe on wipe off aspect is less work than setting up and cleaning up a sprayer and you won’t be huffin a cloud of fumes.
 

75Formy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
13
Location
Danville
Break it down into simple ‘steps’. Maybe take one or two treads and risers off a night. Put a couple 2x4 scraps down to use as a temporary tread while you’re working on your steps.

If you do a couple stairs a night you’ll be done in a week. Or you could break it down to weekends if that’s what your schedule allows.

You ever used General Finishes? They have a lot of wipe on wipe off products, both stain and poly, that are super easy to use and are also really good products. I’m thinking the wipe on wipe off aspect is less work than setting up and cleaning up a sprayer and you won’t be huffin a cloud of fumes.
Thanks, i'll check into those finishes.. I appreciate it.
 

highup

Professional
Pro
Joined
Mar 6, 2011
Messages
15,472
Location
,
If you remove the treads, very carefully center punch the nail heads, then, use a small drill like 1/16 or so, then follow up with a 1/4 bit to drill the head off the nails.
With access to the underside, use a block of wood and a #2 mini sledge to tap the treads upwards.
If that doesn't work, my name is Daris. 😉
 

Latest posts

Top