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My Staircase Project

So, here goes my first post!

My first inspiration from Pinterest was to remodel my staircase. I hated the dingy and dirty carpet on my stairs and it was time to get rid of it. When I discovered Pinterest.com, I stumbled across this post:

Which linked me to this blog: http://yourhomeonlybetter.com/painting-stairs-diy-faqs-and-tips/

I did some research of my own and went back and forth trying to decide if I was going to try and tackle this or not. I am certainly glad I did! I am thrilled with the outcome!

Here’s a before/after shot of my staircase, and I will walk you step-by-step through the process if you want to take this on yourself:

Before After

Here’s what you’ll need for this project

  • Leather work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Carpet knife
  • Hammer
  • Tack puller
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Small crowbar
  • Scotch masking tape (wide)
  • Broom/dustpan
  • Lots of trash bags
  • Wood filler
  • Sanding block
  • One quart of interior semi-gloss paint in white (I used Behr from Home Depot)
  • One quart of interior primer and sealer tinted a few shades lighter than the color you choose (I used Behr “Sparrow”)
  • One gallon of Porch & Patio Floor Paint Low Lustre Enamel tinted in the color of your choice (I used Behr “Stealth Jet”)
  • Lots of patience!




floor primer Floor paint trim
1. The first thing I did was paint the railings. This was super easy, but did require some careful taping. I used the same paint I used for the stairs, and I spent a few hours one evening doing this.


2. The next step is removing the carpet. I was really worried about doing this, and more importantly what the stairs would look like under that carpet! I immersed myself in YouTube and found some very helpful videos on exactly how to do it:

Once I got started, the carpet wasn’t that hard to pull off. In fact, this was probably the easiest step in the process! Mine came off in one long strip, and I was pleased to find yellow pine all the way up the staircase. I will warn you that what you will find under there is disgusting! There is so much dust and debris (the builders obviously did not sweep them off before they installed the carpet) you should wear a dust mask while you’re doing this. You should also invest in a nice pair of leather working gloves, there are so many tacks and staples (more than I every imagined!) that you will be glad you wore them.



Progress 1Progress 2


3. Once the carpet is off, the real work begins! There were 3 tack strips on each stair, and so many carpet staples it boggled my mind! While many of them actually come off with the carpet, there seem to be just as many that will stay behind! I used a tack puller and a pair of needle nose pliers to remove them from the stairs. This is the hardest part of the project! It took me about 6 hours to remove all of the staples, tack strips, and little bits of carpet. In fact, I had a cramp in my hand by the end of the day.

Progress 4 Progress 3


Here’s a video with some good tips on how to remove the tack strips without doing too much damage to the wood:

4. The next step is to fill in the holes. There were lots of little tiny holes left behind from the staples and the tack strips. Take the time to sweep the stairs clean, use a good wood filler to fill in the holes, let it dry, then sand. I did the previous three steps in one very long day. I was sore from all of the bending and stooping and twisting that is required to work in this very confined space. Just relax and take it easy, and continue your work another day!

5. The next day I started painting the risers. This step did not require as much taping as the final step, but I would highly recommend using a good quality tape. I used the wide Scotch Blue Painters tape, which was about $8 at Home Depot. I bought 2 rolls (and I have plenty leftover on the second roll) for the entire job. I did not prime the risers, but it did take 3 coats of the white trip paint. The paint cured fairly quickly, so I was able to complete this step in one day.

Progress 5

6. I took a break for a while after this step was completed because #1 I had a cold and felt terrible the next few days, and my niece got married the following weekend! It was a beautiful wedding and it was a nice little break!

7. I was determined to finish this project when I got home. I did a little prep work during the week in the evenings after work. The most tedious thing was to tape everything up. This took me a few hours over a couple of evenings. It’s definitely easier to do it a little at a time.

8. The next step (and nearing the end!) is to paint the treads. This is when the entire project begins to come together. I started at the top and did every other stair down to the bottom on the first pass. By painting every other stair, you can still get upstairs while they are drying, if needed. The first coat was a primer (tinted a few shades lighter than the color I used). You only need a quart (and I still have about 1/3 of a can left). I used interior primer and sealer by Behr tinted in “Sparrow.” Once the primer had dried, I painted two coats of the paint (I used Behr Premium Porch and Patio Paint in a low luster enamel tinted “Stealth Jet”). It is not slippery at all, and since it’s floor paint it appears that it will hold up pretty well! They only sell the porch and patio paint by the gallon, so you will have plenty left over for touch ups later, if needed.

Progress 6 Progress 7

9. Finally, you are ready to paint the rest of the stairs. This is the quickest process, but it is not fun watching paint dry! If you’re like me, you can multitask and clean the kitchen while you wait!

Progress 8 Progress 9


10. This is it, the moment of truth! You are ready to remove the tape. Did I say I used a lot of tape?


Here’s the finished project! I still have some touch-ups to do, but I am so happy with the way it turned out. Don’t be afraid to tackle this one yourself! It delivers fantastic results for so little money (less than $100!), just be patient and don’t get in a hurry! Let me know if you have any questions!

After 3 After 2 After 1


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