Renovating a Staircase

The finished staircase

I finally tackled what I thought was going to be a daunting project. But in reality, it was not hard at all, just a little time consuming. Honestly it was more about the proper steps in the  prep work, and when it finally came time to paint, that was the easy part! And the fun part. You CAN do this too, just a few tools and you TOO can tackle this project and have a beautiful staircase.

The staircase after I began removing the carpeting.

Our stairs were in pretty bad shape. BUT the good news was they were solid pine underneath all that nasty carpet. I originally thought I would paint the molding up the sides (there was an awful stain left from the previous owners) and replace the treads with new ones, but that wasn’t something I could do alone, and I don’t have a handy woodworker I know. 

The stairs were solid pine underneath the carpeting.

The first thing I did was remove the carpet and padding. I used four tools for this. A pair of pliers, a box cutter or carpet cutter a scraper and a hammer. I started with cutting the carpeting in sections so it was easier to roll up and remove. Luckily my staircase is right when you walk into the front door, so I was able to just toss it outside for the trash. Once the carpet is removed, the padding pretty much was easy to lift off the stairs and remove. 

Next, I needed to remove all the staples and the carpet strips. This was messy I won’t lie, and this is the part that can discourage someone. But, honestly, taking one step at a time helps. I was able to remove all the carpet and the staples and nails in one day for 12 stairs. Once the carpet is gone, then the tack strips, staples need to be removed. The easiest way to do this is with a pair of pliers for the staples. The tack strips are a little harder, but with a good scraper you can get underneath it and use your hammer to pull it up. 

I vacuumed the dust and made sure they were free of any missed staples or nails.

The next thing I did was get out the vacuum and clean up all the dust and leftover padding scraps. I wiped down all the stairs and checked for any staples I might have missed. Once the steps were clean of any dust and staples, I was ready to start preparing the stairs for paint.  

The painted molding and the banisters.

I used BIN primer for the first coat. I primed the side moulding, where there was ugly stain from the previous owner. Next I used a wood filler for some of the large scratches and to fill the nail holes and the staple holes. I sanded the filler and then was ready to finally paint.

I patched the holes and large scratches with wood putty.

I applied two coats of the BIN primer on the moulding and stairs. I let that dry for a day, then painted the rails with the primer as well. After everything was dry, I applied two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint (Ash) to the banisters. Two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint (White Picket Fence) to the posts and the back of the stairs (risers). When that was dry, I applied Fusion Mineral Paint Tuff Coat to protect it from scuffs. I was finally ready for the treads.

I applied two coats of primer to the stairs and molding.

I painted every other one first! Then went back to paint the other’s after they were dry. I applied Fusion Mineral Paint Finishing Oil to the treads and banisters to give them extra protection from wear. I am absolutely amazed at how well they turned out.

I painted every other one first so they dried an I didn’t accidentally step on wet paint!

I would recommend this process to anyone wanting to refurbish their stairs. The Fusion Mineral Paint products are so easy to use, have great coverage and hold up well on this staircase. I can’t be more pleased with how they turned out. 

Finished staircase!

For extra texture on the staircase, we added some molding along the walls and painted it the same color of the walls. You can find the wall paint color at Lowes, the color is Alibaster.

I hope you enjoyed reading about renovating a staircase, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me, I’d be happy to walk you through the process!

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Hello! My name is Lori. Welcome to my blog! I love comfort food! The old fashioned recipes that I grew up with! I love DIY projects! Refinishing something in my house, or finding antiques or something at the thrift shop and turning into something new again. I hope I can inspire you to try a renovation, craft, or recipe in your home.

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