Removing Carpet from Stairs and Painting Them

Earlier last week I decided to rip the carpet off of my stairs and paint them. Here is my progress so far. Still have a lot of the finish work to do i.e Install moulding, board and batten and paint. Will keep you posted.
Step 1 - Remove the Nasty Carpet from the Stairs
Step 2 - Remove Nails and millions of staples, Patch any holes, Prime the Treads and Risers.
Step 3 - Repair all of the holes in the walls the builders hid with the carpet.
Step 4 - Repair the many shortcuts the builders took and hid with the carpet.
Continue to repair holes in the walls that the builders hid with the carpet.
Yet more holes in the walls to repair.
Replace the landing with new MDF to hide the particle board landing that was installed by the builders
New MDF landing to cover the particle board landing that was installed by the builders.
Add decorative moulding to simulate a stair trim
Add decorative moulding to simulate a stair trim
Add decorative moulding to simulate a stair trim
Apply painters tape and second coat of primer
Apply painters tape and first coat of white paint to the risers
Apply painters tape and first coat of black floor paint
Apply painters tape and first coat of black floor paint to the landing
Remove painters tape. Floor is painted. Wait 3 days before resuming normal use for paint to fully cure.

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Teri Uliasz Boyungs

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

5 questions
  • Lee R
    on Mar 8, 2016

    what did you use to patch the short cut stair treads and risers

    • Teri Uliasz Boyungs
      on Apr 19, 2016

      For the really large gaps, I filled with spray foam then cut pieces of wood and wood filler.

    • Lee R
      on Apr 27, 2016

      Thank you for your reply. Great idea!

    • Linda Holmes Cummings
      on Jul 2, 2017

      For the spray foam, did you use something like Great Stuff? We have 1" gaps on either side of our steps, so I was thinking of filling in with that. Was just curious what product you used.
  • Cheryl Dentzer Love
    on Oct 29, 2016

    How did you remove the strip that has the nails and a million staples?

  • Janin
    on Feb 23, 2019

    You did a fantastic job!! I am getting the nerve and time to do mine. My hubby has no idea. He usually finds my projects when he gets home from refinished our cabinets...he came home, WHAT are you doing now?? Always a project!! Keeps us DIY'ers busy. I can't wait, get rid of the old dirty carpet..

  • Kimberly Newman Barker
    on Feb 8, 2020

    What if you have glued down carpet padding.

  • Pam F
    on Feb 24, 2020

    What kind of paint did you use? I already started doing my stairs and had purchased white paint for the risers and handrail from Home Depot that was recommended, but it's awful and runny. I switched to a trim and cabinet white paint that I had purchased to repaint all the baseboards and that looks much better on the handrail. I wonder though whether I need to use that on the risers as well. Also, the Home Depot paint person sold me on porch and floor paint for the treads. I hope that is OK. What do you think?

    • Teri Uliasz Boyungs
      on Feb 25, 2020

      I used Floor & Porch Paint on the treads, but mixed a bit of high gloss paint with it as it was very matte looking and dull. The White paint was Behr Ultra Pure White in gloss finish as that is the easiest to erase scuffs with a magic eraser.

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