What would you do if you took out the carpet and saw this?

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We are taking the burgundy shaggy carpet off our stairs. White dog and burgundy means spending countless hours vacuuming.
All the trim, doors and windows are white.
The main floor has laminate flooring and we also have laminate flooring upstairs which is different color then the main..... I don't know why the previous home owners do that either.

Anyway, we decided to tackle the carpet and started with the basement stairs. It took forever and there was plywood /composite mix. We fixed and painted it white and want to put a runner down the middle (see photo of the stairs).

Now it's time to tackle the main floor. We have a staircase with 40 spindles in oak color which we dislike and want to paint white as there is a skylight above and I think it will brighten the place up nicely.

We thought that we will have plywood/composite floors under the carpet and the plan was to fix and paint white unless in really bad shape, then we just re-carpet with a light not so shaggy carpet.Paint the spindles and banister white.

We have a dog so a runner is a must otherwise he will tumble down LOL

But to our surprise we found what it looks like oak or pine under.

So here is the dilemma, What do we do now?

Options:
1. Tear out the carpet and paint the whole stairs white and place a runner (like the plan in the basement, including the spindles and banister
2. Re-carpet the stairs fully and paint the spindles and banister white
3. Paint the steps, raisers and spindles white,stain the banister.
4. Stain the steps and banister but paint raisers and spindles white

Now, we may down the road change the floors to hardwood on both floors. What are the chances of staining the steps to match new floors?

What would you do?
q refinishing wooden stairs after removing carpet, hardwood floors, painting, stairs, reupholster, Main staircase to upstairs
Main staircase to upstairs
q refinishing wooden stairs after removing carpet, hardwood floors, painting, stairs, reupholster, Two steps by the main staircase on the main floor to go to garage
Two steps by the main staircase on the main floor to go to garage
q refinishing wooden stairs after removing carpet, hardwood floors, painting, stairs, reupholster, Stairs to the basement One more coat of white paint to go then a runner will be installed
Stairs to the basement. One more coat of white paint to go then a runner will be installed.
  14 answers
  • Lyn Bolt English Lyn Bolt English on Jan 02, 2015
    Would have looked at this further but it was posted sideways!
  • Lori Lori on Jan 02, 2015
    Without giving this hrs of thought, I think, if you are serious about hardwood down the line, I would pick a stain as close to the colour of hardwood you love and stain the steps and bannister while painting the risers and spindles white. My reason is two fold, I recently saw dark stained stairs and bannister with white spindles and risers and it was breathtaking AND if you decide on hardwood later and stick with the plan you could be very close in colour and able to leave it or so close that it is able to be sanded lightly and re done st mach. That's my two cents worth and I'm sure you will get many more. Good luck.
  • Lori Lori on Jan 02, 2015
    Sorry, that should say - to match
  • Judy vacarra Judy vacarra on Jan 02, 2015
    white is a very bad color for stairs you could not see the step and miss one and fall .use a color or mark the edge of the steps with a color you can decern from the other steps
    • Angelika F Angelika F on Jan 02, 2015
      We are planning to install a runner on the stairs because we have a dog and we don't want slippery stairs
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jan 02, 2015
    I agree with Lori!
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jan 02, 2015
    I think I like an off white better than white white.
  • Sheila Lilly Sheila Lilly on Jan 02, 2015
    Just remember, once you paint the wooden steps, staining later may not be a viable option. It's really hard work striping paint down to bare wood in an attempt to stain and match new wood that you may put down later. A suggestion for your stairwell with bannister and spindles -- you could paint the spindles and stairs white BUT paint the top of the steps (tread) and bannister BLACK. You can get additives that will make the paint non slip. The combination of the black and white can match any décor and can be very elegant. I hope this gives you another option. Good luck.
  • Megan Megan on Jan 03, 2015
    That was really nice wood. It should have been stained. Now it's been painted and you can't go back know :(
    • Angelika F Angelika F on Jan 03, 2015
      Actually the photo with painted stairs is of our basement. Those stairs had no pine wood, it was all plywood and composite. Only two steps were pine and pine is a soft wood, not hard therefore it doesn't last well in heavy traffic areas
  • Qua874440 Qua874440 on Jan 03, 2015
    Match the stain as close as possible. Then paint with a light colored calk paint. Distress that a little or a lot. You'll know it when you see it. Then polyurethane over it. That way. If you ever want to change it, the stain is there underneath.
  • Do something interesting on the steps. Paint the steps a color that blends with the walls. On the riser of each step stencil some of your favorite Bible verses or quotes. Let each member of the family pick their favorite so that it is a family project and you are making memories. Do the stenciling in a dark color, like brown, black, navy, dark gray. If you have a nice hand writing, make a straight line in the middle of the riser with a pencil. Use that as a guideline and use a paint maker in a medium point. Erase the lines when dry. This would be stunning. You could just use one word on each riser, such as the beatitudes in the bible. Let me know what you thing.
  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Jan 08, 2015
    A friend of mine has a beautiful stair case. Every thing is painted off white except the spindles and stair treads. They are stained a natural dark oak.
    • See 1 previous
    • Deborah Burkett Deborah Burkett on Jan 19, 2015
      @ @Angelika F I like the dark walnut but you should look at the red mahogany by Minwax. It is a great color and I am in the process of doing all my kitchen cabinets with that stain. My cabinets are the same color as your handrail and newel post or even paint your newel post an accent color. It is really beautiful wood. Good luck with your project!
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jan 08, 2015
    We are about to embark on the same remodel of our stairs. There are many pictures on Pinterest for inspiration....I've looked & looked:) We plan to restain the stairs as they are already partly stained and will paint the spindles white and bannister will be same stain as stairs. We are also going to put a type of carpet as a runner with part of the wood on each side of the steps showing...not really a runner but a type of carpet that won't be too thick or shaggy....will look more like a runner. This will be safer than the plain steps as I've been told. An idea you might want to think about is something (can't remember what you call them) that you can actually attach to the stairs. You could paint these or stain them. We are going to look into them. Some are expensive; some not so much.
  • Brenda J Brenda J on Jan 09, 2015
    you should have just stained them they were pretty stairs now with white on them you will be washing all the time
    • Angelika F Angelika F on Jan 09, 2015
      @Brenda J I would love to, but the landing in the middle doesn't even have wood, but a partcal board and the wood that's on the steps is very soft :(
  • Sandra Sandra on Feb 10, 2016
    I just finished reading another person's problem with their stairs. The group's advice, because of their dogs, was to put carpet only on the treads. Ask at the carpet store. The carpet is cut just to put on the part of the step you walk on, leaving space on the sides and the riser is left bare to do with as you like. And, you can have extras made so if something stains them or they wear out they can be replaced. It will lighten up your stairs too. Just a thought.