Pamela P
Pamela P
  • Hometalker
  • League City, TX

Removed Old Nasty Carpet From Stairs

The old carpet on my stairs was worn out and stained. It's time was up and it needed to go. I'd seen other projects of people painting their stairs, so this is what I did with mine.
Only tools I used for this job was a palm sander, a small nail gun, assorted pry bars/nail pullers, hammer, a putty knife, a coping saw, caulk gun, and a paint brush.
I hung painter's plastic sheeting at the top of the stairs, along the banister arches, and at the foot of the stairs to help control the dust from getting all over the house. This kept it confined to this area but I did have to wear a face mask, several as they got clogged, in order to breathe.
Underneath the old carpet was standard builder's grade pine stairs. These were not cut perfect, have nail holes, hammer dings, knot issues, and other assorted markings or imperfections all over them. They needed some love. I had originally hoped to strip them down and just stain them, but seeing all the issues made me decide on painting them as I needed to do some putty work to repair a busted out knothole and lots of large nail holes.
At the edge to the left which was covered with carpet, the gap was varied. I had to notch it a bit on most of the steps in order to slide the molding into place. It cut very quickly with a simple coping saw. The pine wood was easy to saw through.
Here you can see a dry fitting of the molding being fit into place in that notch. All the angles were simple 45 degrees. No complex compound miter cuts.
As I progressed up the stairs, I would use my small nail gun to nail each piece in place before measuring and cutting the next piece. A lot of cuts were slightly different from each other because of the imperfect placement of the original builder's grade stairs.
I added an extra bit of quarter round underneath each tread edge to give it just a little more finished touch. For my staircase, I have 15 steps, It took 4 1/4 tubes of paintable caulk to seal all the edges.
At the suggestion of the sales clerk at Sherwin Williams, I went with their Extra White Satin finish Porch & Floor Enamel. My son has asthma and I didn't want to risk an oil based paint triggering any breathing issues with him. I was pleasantly surprised with how low the smell was with this paint. I was expecting a lot more odor. I highly recommend it.
Here is how the stairs look all painted up with the first coat. I will put a second coat on.
I found these little tread carpets at Home Depot. They are 9 inches by 26 inches. I ordered 15 to put on for a decorative finish.
This is my test layout of the tread rugs, also to let them uncurl from the shipping box.
Looking at the tread rugs from the living room. This shows the original trim on the outside of the stairs that the builders placed.
This is the inside view of the right side of the step. I only had to put a bead of caulk to address this side.
The stairs are all finished. The tread rugs are nailed in place. I used a string line going from the top step to the bottom step to help me align the design with the center graphic.
My total cost for the entire project, including buying the nail gun to keep for future projects, was $327. What do you think?
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3 of 46 questions
  • Carol Z
    on Jul 22, 2019

    This is an incredibly beautiful result!! Your "before" could have been pictures of my own stairs! I also tore off the old carpet years ago, because it's easier to sweep than to vacuum stairs, and because I have asthma. This gives me hope that I could fix mine up. I don't know how to use all the tools, so it would probably be a more cosmetic than structural re-do! The gap between some of my stair edges and the wall seem wider than others, maybe almost quarter-inch or so. Is it possible to use caulk for filling those larger gaps? Is there putty for filling those impections of the raw wood thats strong enough to walk on? I've only ever used it on minor wall scars! I just love your result! Great job on this! INSPIRING!! 😙

  • Tedward
    on Sep 4, 2019

    Won't the paint wear off on the nose of the stair treads? Only problem I see is it's going to hurt more when I fall on those stairs. I'm getting old and falls are most likely. You did a good job on somebody else's poorly done staircase.

  • Andrea Macgillivray
    on Nov 7, 2019

    Hi I like your idea. I have old squeaky stairs in my House. How would I stop this so I can do your lovely design.



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