by brae  

The stairs that come with the Newport kit are made of mdf and needed to be assembled from three individual pieces.  Since I planned to flip the stairs to accommodate the two story addition on the right side, I spackled the back of the stair assembly to hide the seams.

I wanted the look of painted stair risers with stained wood treads, so I painted the entire assembly white (several coats with sanding in between to remove the "fuzziness" that mdf can get when painted) and then masked off the treads.  I painted a base coat of brown and then did three layers of paint and glaze in two other colors of brown.

The faux wood attempt turned out well save for one small problem.  No matter how well masked, the lines between the white and brown were not sharp enough for me.  Any stray marks are especially obvious on a miniature scale and can ruin the illusion.

I looked into buying replacement stairs, but nothing fit as well as the parts that came with the kit.  I still didn't want to give up on the idea of having wood treads, so I first scraped off the front lip on the individual stairs that was meant to represent the tread and then sanded off most of the paint I had previously applied.

I added some fretwork since I didn't care for the look of the plain stringer that came with the kit.

These are delicate laser cut pieces that were a chore to remove without breaking.  I broke quite a few of them but since they were being glued to a flat surface, you couldn't tell they were pieced.

To finish off the bottom edge, I added a piece of 1/8" x 1/4" strip wood.

I painted the entire assembly white, leaving some mdf exposed on the tops.  I cut individual treads from a length of strip wood with a rounded edge and repeated the paint and glaze process I had originally done for the faux wood finish on these pieces.

Once dry, I glued the treads in place.  There will be a railing further along in the build, but I love the way this turned out.  It's exactly what I had in mind.

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge


Comment from: Monkey [Visitor]
Ooooooooooooooooooooh. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!
11/10/09 @ 17:32
Comment from: Amy Hastings [Visitor]
In my 'spare' time I have been catching up on your blog ... going back 2 + years!! This staircase is just beautiful.
03/06/12 @ 05:53
Comment from: Jette Sauerberg [Visitor]  
I see you have trouble with masking the stairs. If you put masking tape whereever you want it you must paint the edge of the masking tape in the same colour as under the masking tape. In that way you seale the masking tape. When dry you can paint the surface whatever coulour you want. When dry you can remove the masking tape and the transition will be as sharp as a razor. I know this post is some years old and you may have found another solution in the meantime. I love your work and the fact that you are so perfect with everything you do. I would like your permission to use some of your ideas in my future projects. Many kind regards Jette from Denmark
05/08/14 @ 05:00

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