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Refinishing an Hardwood Staircase

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Step 3: Stripping the paint, part 3: the little details

Picture of Stripping the paint, part 3: the little details
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Finishing up the removal.

I actually removed the old color in several sweeps. This photo is after the initial sanding. My husband used his chisel to carve out the edges. It took out a bit of wood in a few places, but for the most part, it just brought up the paint that had been loosened by the chemical stripper. 
I did another pass with the sanders after this, and mostly used those to get in close. In a few places, and in the square corners where my round sanders couldn't reach, I used the chisel. Just a little tap-tap-tap with the chisel angled to take off the tiniest fragment of wood and pigment. The second picture shows the before-and-after of removing the paint.
Then I used a sanding block and sand paper to smooth out the chiseled areas, and to remove the last of the color. Here you see my daughter "helping". She lasted about 3 minutes before she ditched me. Ah, well.

Finally, you see my naked stairs.
 
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blounsb9992 years ago
I have sanded floors professionally in the past. If you end up doing this again, or for those who read this and want to tackle this themselves - forget the chisel, get a good ol' Red Devil scraper. 1 1/2 inch blade (just the blade and make your own handle if you have to, that what we did and do). You will get much better results.
60, 80, 100 ARE finishing grits when it comes to floor sanding. Forget what the salespeople try to sell you.