Not too long ago, I wrote about my aversion to bad vinyl flooring. During the course of that floor restoration project, I removed some particularly lousy faux-rock vinyl squares that were in my entryway (read the whole thing here if you want). But this time, I’m writing a little bit about the vinyl flooring in a side entryway/basement staircase that’s located just off the kitchen. I had a hunch that the steps that had been covered with vinyl had a solid wood base beneath them (the steps that lead to the basement are like that, but never had been covered up).
Like the front entryway, I’m sure the original floor was covered with vinyl to be more suitable for regular wear and tear with wet shoes. A little exploratory surgery on one of the steps confirmed my suspicions – solid hardwood steps were tucked beneath the tiles – however, the layers (yes, layers) of vinyl and glue had really taken a toll on the condition, and rehabability (I make up words a lot). While I took the vinyl material off the step up in one full piece (somehow), there was lots of residue left beneath. I did quite a bit of scrubbing, scraping, and goo-gone-ing to see if I could make the surface clean and sandable, but in the end I figured I needed to come up with a new solution. (Sadly, I didn’t take any photos of this process back when I worked on it). I considered covering the old wooden floor again with some new vinyl, because if it was simple and clean, and preferably in one smooth sheet, I could probably live harmoniously with it, but instead, I carefully re-secured the old vinyl step back in place, closing up the surgery wounds, so to speak. I hoped for inspiration. In the meantime, I cleaned up the walls, painting them white, and even updated a charming light in the stairwell (removed the glass panes and spray painted it).
Finally inspiration struck. Paint. I had leftover heavy-duty porch paint from when I painted the sunroom floor earlier in the year, so after scrubbing the existing stairwell vinyl clean, I applied a few coats of gray paint (letting it dry a full day between coats). The quick update made quite a difference – it looks fresh and neutral, and has worn very well so far – that last photo was taken after 3 months of daily wear (I half expected it to scratch off the day after I did it, but it’s been great).