Painted Stairs for Under $50

Fed up with our dirty, builder-basic carpet, I set out to transform this once cave-like stairway that is the first thing you see when you enter our house. This project was definitely a labor love but very affordable. Here's how I did it for under $50:
Once I removed the old carpet, I had to pull up the nasty carpet padding and tack strips. This was a time-consuming job but fairly easy. I used a hammer and crowbar to pull up the tack strips and pliers to pull out the (thousands) of staples.
After cleaning nearly 10 years of dirt, dust and grime off the stairs, I used 3M Wood Filler to fill the nail and staple holes in the treads. I also used the wood filler to cover the knots in the wood. We didn't mess with the risers too much because we planned on covering them with replacement riser boards.
Instead of paying $10 (or more) to replace the risers, we cut our own out of thin plywood and installed them using Liquid Nails and a few nails from our nail gun. This cost us right around $20 and was the most expensive part of our project. We caulked the seams and touched up the paint to create a nice, finished look.
I painted the treads using a $5 sample quart of Sherwin Williams' Halcyon Green. The trim and risers were painted in Sherwin Williams' Pure White.
I love how light and airy this space feels now. Since we finished the project, I've added a kid-friendly, indoor/outdoor runner.
Amanda @ Our Storied Home
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  • B.M. Dunlop B.M. Dunlop on May 12, 2019

    what type of paint should you use on stairs so they are not slippery? Will be doing runner eventually.

  • Anna Dorendorf Anna Dorendorf on Jun 02, 2019

    Did you have gaps between the wall and steps? Because I do. And I’d love to paint mine but don’t know how to handle the gaps.

  • Megan Megan on Sep 15, 2019

    who manufactures the runner?? I'd like to do the same to my stairway...I need it dog and kid friendly!

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