Entering Menegroth

Haha! Well you need an impressive entrance to Menegroth and we’ve got one. A set of custom stairs, lighting, and decorations are going to really create a great entry into our basement. To make the stairs really nice we contracted with a carpenter to really do a nice job – and he sure did.

Entering Menegroth: Re-Building the Stairs

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We’re going to try and stain these the same color as the cabinets. That will be quite a challenge to get the stain right. I have not figured out how to get a good picture of the lamp we have hanging here, but it is an industrial design with an old multi-filament bulb in it.

Since this feature is so important, I decided to do the finishing work myself. One of the themes in our basement is to remind us of houses we have lived in – the bathroom from our 23rd St. apartment in Manhattan, the stone and slate from our Neshanic Station, NJ house, and these stairs from our Lebanon, NJ house. We really loved our house in Lebanon and still thinking about moving kinda chokes me up still. 🙁 Well that’s life  – so for me especially these stairs are important. I’ll have to get a pic of the stairs from Lebanon and post it as a comparison – onto the work!

My son and I started out this morning – Amy and I figured out a stain formula together. Quite a bit of testing. We need the color to match the cabinets – Sherwin-Williams couldn’t do it. I think we got a real match here. You be the judge. So far we sanded down everything, wiped it down with tack cloths, and applied a mixture of several Minwax stains. Epic kick-ass results!

Entering Menegroth: Finishing the Stairs

Here’s a few pics you can expand:

Dior on the sander!
Dior on the sander!
No shoes at this point!
No shoes at this point!
Wiping down the handrail.
That's a great match! Perfect - so excited when something actually works like you thought it would
That’s a great match! Perfect – so excited when something actually works like you thought it would

Stair work is one of the hardest carpentry jobs there is. Very tricky. These stairs are really just replacing the cheapo-builder stairs. So really we’re just replacing the treads and adding nicer risers. The real work is on the railings, spindles, and newel post.

The bare oak will get a quick 220 grit sanding with a Ryobi Korner Kat sander. Then I’ll go with a 40/40/20 mix of Minwax Red Oak, Gunstock, and Chestnut stains. Minimal rubbing of the stain and then I’ll hit it with 3 coats of Minwax Polyurethane – water based.

Some more pics…that looks awesome!