Stairs and Balustrades

We believe the house dates back to around 1900 or before. The Stairs and Balustrades are very 1920’s art deco. The stairs are made from solid oak and are could be restored to a reasonable state.

Over the years these once beautiful stairs have been subjected to what can only be called vandalism. The oak art deco skirting board that once ran all around the ground floor has been removed and replaced with sticky back black paper. Worse than that, central heating pipes, telephone cable cables and wall lighting wires have all been passed through the steps in huge crudely cut holes.

When we arrived at the house the crystal ball had been filled with plaster which took hours to chip out. I had to use spirit of salts like descaling a kettle to get out the remaining bits. I believe at one point it may well have been lit on the inside.

Many of the screws are missing from the bottom rail holding the balustrades on. The large decorated balustrade noticeably leans to the right.

A missing balustrade was found in the loft and like many things in this house had been painted pink.

Luckily, under that utterly horrid and probably lead filled toxic pink paint was was glorious wrought iron work. Most of the balustrades have coat of black paint on them, which we will strip as polished wrought iron looks much better.

Using one balustrade as an experiment I found that sanding removed the natural iron colouration and ruined the valuable patina I wanted. Therefore wire brushing and paint stripper was the best approach.

At the base of the stairs is a magnificent balustrade with the sort of decoration rarely seen outside of a chateau.

At one time the staircase went up three floors into the attic. Yet for some reason the banisters were sawn off, the fancy balustrades tossed away and hardboard panels were substituted to block the loft stairs in.

We might experiment with gold and copper leaf to highlight some of the moulding work.

In the above shot of the loft stairs, you can see the 6 inch oak vertical beams in the left hand wall. These beams run through the whole house. It’s our intention to make a feature of these in many of the rooms.