my house is 150+ years old... however there was a fire in 1942 that gutted the whole house but they outside walls were saved... they (the original owners) bought a house up the road that was slated to be demolished and used the wood and stairs from that house to rebuild mine. my best guess is the stairs were built in about 1900 - 1920's (why else would they be demoing a house that was in good shape?) I have a runner carpet on the stairs now that was here when we moved in 5 years ago... but under the runner its a wonderful mustard yellow.. its pretty (insert sarcasm here) some of the yellow id starting to peel off revealing a wonderful brown thats the colour of a cardboard box... (again insert sarcasm) I am figuring that these stairs are most likely a mahogany or oak under the many many layers of paint. Giving the fact that many moons ago there was led in the paint I know I have to be really careful so I dont want to sand it off.. I am thinking of a chemical stripper but I dont know whats best... any suggestions would be great. as you go up the stairs around the top of the stairs.. all this carpet will need to come up and floor under stripped.