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Mystery black layer on wooden stairs

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Iara, 6 Oct 2021.

  1. Iara

    Iara

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    Hello, I've just done a patch test on our stairs which have many layers of poorly applied paint, as I was looking into restoring them back to wood. Our house is built early 1950s for reference. While paint stripping, I found a couple layers of white emulsion, then a semi gloss cream coloured coat, then a strange mystery black coat, then at the very bottom brown varnish directly atop the wood. When I came to the black coat I thought at first it could be fire damage because it wasn't responding to the paint stripper very well, but eventually I was able to scrape it off. It had a strange smell to it as well. Would anyone know what this black layer is, is it just a coat of paint or some sort of treatment?
     

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  3. cwhaley

    cwhaley

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    Location:
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    I would guess it is an old carpet adhesive I forget the name of. In the two 'old' houses I have lived in (1900 and 1947) both have had remnants of black, stubborn residue -- generally towards the middle of the stairs where traditionally a carpet runner would have been although I've seen it all the way across too.
     
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