Hello, Probably a bit late now but I would advise against sanding down paint that is a hundred years old, It probably contain lots of lead. Even if you are using face masks the type you find in DIY stores don't work well unless you use a proper respirator. Lead dust can make you very ill and cause brain damage and worse if ingested. It is very dangerous. Don't release it into the envioronment. Use a wet paint removal system instead. I think Nitromores is the best. I know it is expensive (but at least you'll live to tell the tale) and in 5 litre tins from a trade outlet it is much cheaper than DIY stores. You will need at least 10 litres for an old staircase assuming you are also doing the treads at the side where a carpet runner would have been.
beat wishes, Brian
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