Stairs From Carpet to Wood

11 Materials
4 Days

My husband and I recently tore the carpet from our stairs and painted the wood underneath creating a fresh, clean, and modern look! We did this project over a full weekend and two additional weeks nights following.
Stairs Before
This is our stairs before. The carpet was old and dirty giving the entry a very dark and dated feel. Our main goal was to rip off the carpet, see what wood was underneath, and create a brighter, more modern entry.
Pulling carpet up from stairs
To see what was under the carpet, we began to tear at a corner piece, using pliers for assistance. You can also see here a gap between the treads and the risers. This gap was too big for caulk, so we decided we will have to buy trim pieces to cover this.
Wood under carpet
We were pleased to find that we had pine wood under our carpet in great shape! The rest of the carpet easily pulled off in two long strips.
Removing staples and nails from wood
The longest and most tedious part of this project was removing all of the nails and staples from the wood. This alone took about 1/2 day.
Stairs after staples and nails removed
We initially wanted to stain the top of the wood and paint the risers white. However, the pine wood was so soft that removing the nails and staples left many big holes and indents in the wood. We filled these holes in with wood putty and rushed to Home Depot to get floor paint instead.
Priming the stairs
After the wood putty dried, we sanded down the wood. Then we primed the entire staircase using a quart of Kilz primer.
Painting the stairs
We painted the risers first in a white semi gloss stain resistant paint. After 3 coats of the white, we taped off the sides and painted the treads using a floor paint in dark brown. This took 3 coats.
After the final coat dried, we applied a coat of semi gloss polyurethane to the treads and applied the trim pieces to the back using wood glue for a finished look.
Stairs After
Voila! Our entry is much brighter and modern now with the old carpet gone! We also replaced the light fixture in the foyer to compliment our new stairs look.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 14 questions
  • Donna
    on Dec 17, 2018

    BEAUTFUL!!!! Would you like to do mine?

  • Dan
    on Dec 18, 2018

    When you tear all the carpet off and get the nails out full the holes in paint it what can you put down on the Step not to slip

  • Julia
    on Jul 30, 2019

    Can you link to where you bought the new light fixture?

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