I made my way through scrubbing the cottage and got all of the surfaces completely clean. One problem was that the stairs to the 2nd floor looked like garbage with extremely worn and dirty carpet. I could have bought a carpet cleaner to try and scrub it out, but it seemed weird to have carpet on the stairs when there is no carpet anywhere else in the cottage. Also after seeing the amount of sand and dirt under rugs in the main house, I knew these floors would be filthy. I had seen a picture in one of the costal living type sites with stairs painted in a 2 tone style with white risers and blue treads and I thought that would be a great nautical look for the cottage stairs.
I started ripping off the carpet on each step. The staples didn't come out easily and instead the carpet was ripping. I ended up using scissors to cut the strands off knowing that I'd have to go back through to pick the carpet out of the staples later. As I was peeling off the carpet there was a ton of dirt kicking up so I put on the dust mask so I didn't get some disease from the ancient filth. As I made my way down the stairs I saw what I expected with wood stairs, painted a light brown with tons of paint splatters on them. I don't understand how they painted this place because it seems like no one used drop cloths and just splatter things around on the floors.
No surprises except 1 stair which was made out of OCB. The neighbor had mentioned he repaired that stair, so I knew it wasn't original, but too bad they chose to use OCB. After all the carpet was off, I'm now staring at hundreds of staples and torn fragments of carpet to pick out. I spend a few hours plucking staples out of the steps and constantly sweeping off the dirt and sand. It's definitely going to take another round to get everything clean and then I'll need to start sanding and priming the stairs before painting.