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.
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

How To: Make Hot Glue Placemats + More Crafts Ideas!
3 Gorgeous Ideas to Use Photo Frames - and Not for Pictures!
30 Stylish Update Ideas You'll Want To Use For Your Bedroom
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
Easy DIY Remedies For Your 7 Most Hated Bugs
31 Clever Ideas To Reuse Muffin Pans And Cupcake Liners
24 Update Ideas To Make Your Kitchen Look Fabulous

Have a question about this project?

3 of 15 questions
  • 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

    • Jaggwire
      on Oct 26, 2020

      You can buy (not cheap) rubber treads (or carpet strips) for this purpose. I never wear socks on my stairs, though. Too risky. However, I would never carpet the stairs I have.

  • Julia
    on Jul 30, 2019

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

  • Amanda weaver
    Amanda weaver
    on Oct 2, 2020

    Where were the stair treads purchased

    • Jaggwire
      on Oct 26, 2020

      I believe these are the original treads that were hiding beneath the carpet.

Join the conversation

3 of 54 comments
Your comment...