Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stair project re-do

 Hi Friends!!  I just bought a new computer, new editing program and now a new camera.Long story short my Rebel died so I am awaiting the arrival of my new improved BFF. I finally sat down today to figure out how to download picture, how to add them to blogger and how to basically figure out everything new. Apple products are great but it takes so much time to learn a new computer and program.  A few weeks ago I decided to take on the dreaded stair project.  First of all what a difference but second of all I encourage anyone to do this but know that it is lots of work and time.  It really is not hard at all just labor intensive.  I couldn't be happier with the results though.  Here are some before and after pictures and a few instructions.
 1. Remove the carpet, this is the easiest step involved.  After seeing all the nasty, yuck who would ever want carpet on stairs.  I am not a big fan of carpet but living where we live it is really cold in the winters so it does add warmth. That is the only reason we have it.
 2. Let the fun begin.  This is where it starts to get interesting for the first 5 hrs it is not bad but slowly your endurance starts to fail and you start cutting your hands and possible cursing a bit.  There are so many nails and staples.  Carpet installers are nail happy, to many nails!! Love all the dust and dirt, isn't it appetizing.  I used this tool it is some sort of wedge chisel and it worked marvelous for prying up the carpet boards.  You just have to wiggle up a bit here and there and then use a needle nose player to remove staples and a hammer to remove nails.
 3. I just did step by step carefully removing all nails and rough spots.  Make sure you wear shoes,  gloves and safely goggles.
 4. Remove all dust and clean stairs.  Sand stairs with hand sander and clean all dust. Thankfully I had pretty decent steps under the carpet.  Some of it was painted and the wood was real wood and already curved.  I know that some stairs would need a major over hall to make this look right but you might be surprised what is under your carpet.  I have read several blogs that had curved naked wood that was perfect for this project.  I don't think it would matter if the stair were not curved it would be better then carpet in my opinion. If you have plywood then this would probably not work and you would have to add wood steps.
 5. Let the tapping and painting begin.  I read from lots of bloggers to do every other step and start with your staining first. You can use post it notes so the kids and myself ( I stepped on the painted steps I don't know how many times after I told my kids the directions, lol!!) I must have been sleep deprived but the kids did a great job of being careful. I also filled in all nail holes and spots where i pulled up wood by accident.  It was connected so tightly to the carpet boards it pulled up my good floor. I just used stain able wood filler.  Once that dries you sand it and can stain it.  I also had to use it on the white part of the steps.  I taped everything and then stained every other step with MiniWax gel stain in Mahogany.  I used a foam brush to get a deeper dark color. It worked out well because I needed the darker color due to the wood filler which doesn't exactly stain as well as normal wood. Once I did every other stair I removed the tape, reversed it and then painted the white risers.  I choose not to polyurethane my steps at this time.  I didn't want the kids to fall since the poly makes them slick.  So far so good.  I did stain my banisters and used polly.  
 I love it!!  At the landing I had a issue.  There was carpet at one time there, My plan was to buy a good piece of stain able wood and fit it in.  My dear husband cut everything and we got a good fit but the wall is crooked so it never fit in correctly.  Since we don't have all the tools it was pretty much impossible to get the fit, It actually worked out better this way.  I just stained the sub floor dark and it looks great with the little rug I added.  I only had two options and the other one being adding real wood floor the only problem was the transition would have been to high since the stairs were built right into the steps if that makes sense.  There was no room for a step up.  So with the rug it looks great!!

 I like the gray paint with the dark steps I think it looks great. I love this vintage light fixture too! I had my heart set on a lantern or rustic chandelier but my husband is so tall he didn't want to hit his head.  So this thing was actually in our spare bedroom it is real crystal too and it looks perfect!!
Hope you enjoyed my stair project.  If you have any questions please ask away.  It can be done and I think it is totally worth the time and it costs next to nothing to do. Always good in my book.  Major change for only $30!!


  1. gorgeous! love that light fixture!! you are really impressing me Katie!

  2. Looks great Katie! We have the same vintage chandelier in our dining room! LOL


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