Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Staircase Transformation



So.........this was a year in the thinking, two weeks in the making!  After stumbling upon ThriftyDecorChick.com, (while I was trying to find out how to paint laminate furniture-which I never did) she had refinished her stairs and I decided that I too, could take off my builder- grade carpet, and create loveliness in my home!  But the spouse doubted me, and as you know,  that just fuels my fire! 

Now, I did not go into this thinking, "this is going to look like a sample home with a hardwood staircase!"  etc., etc.

I knew up front that they would look old and rustic, but that's what I wanted.  So stop right here, proceed no further if you aren't a fan of the farmhouse wannabe staircase! 

 So... after an exciting Super Bowl Game, I ripped the rugs off of the bottom flight of stairs and the rest was history!

I had a ton of questions when I started this and really had no resource for how to do the landing and the outside edges of the treads so I am going to share my way!  Let me know if you have any questions or comments and I hope this helps someone else to...Bloom Where You're Planted!

This is the staircase before, yes there are kids and clutter all over my shots!

The tools I used: 
flat head screw driver
blue painters tape
DAP paintable caulk
Elmer's Wood Filler
(I could've used a second tube- but remember, I'm impatient)
paint brush
edgers- small ones
Porch Paint in black-for the tread
Semi Gloss trim paint in white
oh and my Favorite New Discovery, Working Hands (optional) :)
 I left out the brands of the paint because quite frankly nobody endorses any of this so who cares, it was the cheapest one at Lowe's

My stairs had the carpet wrapped around the tread.
(This became so much fun when removing the staples- I think the installer had a bad staple gun that misfired and shot out 5 staples in one shot? )

Look close at all that sand and dirt the grey stuff ewwwww

The landing has a curved edge but plywood, hmmm solution?

After the carpet came off, some of the spindles had gaps,

so caulk,
and caulk again!

 Then I sanded with a palm sander and 60 grit (whatever I had-remember - I'm impatient with 5 kids, not going to the store)
 Finally some progress that won't destroy my nails,
I painted every other step, but a certain member of the household who isn't human, didn't understand me and walked his big hairy body up every stair, so I had to do some of them twice.  I should've taken
other blogger people's advice and done this when kids and pets are in bed!  Again, patience -zero.

I used a remnant of our new family room carpet and re-carpeted the landing.  Oh yeah...the spouse was impressed. 
So after taping and painting and taping and painting again, it's done kinof?

updated pic check out the staircase update!

I want to add some trim under the treads like this one below that I found on Pinterest, and I love the mill work!

So now I need a compound miter saw.......


  1. Beautiful! Looks like a historic colonial.

  2. Amazing!! I have the same carpet and wood underneath and have been thinking of tackling this myself. Very inspiring. BTW I found you in the back of the September 2013 issue of bhg magazine. Congratulations!!!!

    1. Thank You Julie! I haven't seen the issue yet! I am waiting, waiting, waiting for it to arrive on the shelves this coming week around here!!!

  3. Did you use stain on the steps called porch paint or did you literally use paint intended for porches on the steps? Thanks, Jackie

  4. Hi Jackie, yes, I used paint intended porches or stairs, in soft black. I bought a gallon and have enough left over to probably do every house my street!

  5. I would love to do this but I have one problem.The stair carpet continues up to the entire landing and into the rooms. Is it possible to just cut off the carpet at the highest step neatly and add a strip of some kind of divider? Would it look weird or destroy the landing carpet in some way? Thanks for advice.

    1. Hi May, I had the same problem. We have a landing, and I might think I'm good at home projects, but I couldn't even try to lay wood or anything. I did cut a leftover remnant of carpet for the landing and nailed it down. At the top of the steps,I simply cut the hallway carpet about a 1/2 inch over the top tread, and folded it under, nailed it down, and painted the top tread to match the rest of the steps. I'll take pics of it and put it under a FAQ's tab!

  6. Any chance of getting a photo of the landing? I have found the same issue (plywood) after ripping off my carpeting!!