How can I update my old stair case?

by Pamela

How can I update my stair case

  16 answers
  • Erin Erin on Jan 26, 2019

    Paint? Close in the open steps? Replace the railings?

    Spend some time on Pinterest looking at stairs to get ideas.

    It’s certainly a modern type of stairs.

    Look at your furnishings. You should probably consider letting the furniture you like influence and complement the stair design. Or completely contrast with it. Depends on the look you want.

    Just remember the stairs must meet safety codes for a reason.

  • Craft Invaders Craft Invaders on Jan 26, 2019

    I think some bright pops of colour would look fab on your stairs :)

  • Oberlinmom Oberlinmom on Jan 26, 2019

    It's all about your taste. I would think that the space under the landing is wasted. I'd close that in and make it shelves, storage etc. Since the stairs look to be central in the room it will be a big change to put backs on the treads. I'd want to paint them and maybe use some kind of treatment on the treads.

    I hope this isn't an insult but I don't like the railings it looks like some thing used on a deck. That would be my first choice of a change. Those come in so many styles and materials it's really going to be your taste. I would look for something that is less dense. Like one spindle to a tread, or heavy plexiglas with simple framing. I like wrought iron but I have no idea if you'd like that.

    Like another person posted Pinterest is a great place to find ideas.

  • LibraryKAT LibraryKAT on Jan 27, 2019

    I would replace the balusters, the things holding up the hand rail. They shriek 1970/80s to me. It would mean major surgery on the staircase, but so worth it. I'd also consider enclosing that area under the stairs. Visually less cluttered and more storage (closet or bookshelves) is always welcome. Please post a photo of your finished project. Good luck!

  • Brenda Brenda on Jan 27, 2019

    I would leave the stair component and nix the rail and spindles. If you wanted to close risers you could, but if you leave them open it will give a feeling of openness. Whatever you prefer. There are any number of bannister and rail collection in big box stores and online you could replace with. Hope this helps.

  • Randal Randal on Jan 27, 2019

    Agree to above posts/ I would enclose the treads and bottom of the stairs for storage. Replace the spindles, with perhaps an easier panel look, this will save you time and money. What I mean by that is say perhaps a 1/2 inch thick flat panel the length of your spindles ( with a width of your satisfaction), with a scroll design within in it and designed curves and cuts on the outside edge as well, which would take the place of say three or four spindles. This way you can still use the railing and save labor and cost, while also making sure the railing is stabilized enough to pass code. You will have to plug some holes left from certain spindles, but still a nice look and also cost effective. Depending on your design, it would look so much more ornate as well. Good luck

  • Emmen Emmen on Jan 27, 2019

    Metal spindles instead of the wood and cutting the hand rail in half so it’s not so deep would do a ton to update it.

    If you wanted to go all out I’d spend time stripping and sanding the stairs hand rails etc down to natural wood and stain them, not too dark more a medium brown such as Minwax Special Walnut 224 (it’s beautiful and a real brown brown no red or yellow in it). With a nice metal spindle it would look amazing.

  • Valleycat1 Valleycat1 on Jan 27, 2019

    Narrow molding to frame out the baluster strips that are already there, and add finial posts at the ends of the railings to make look more finished. Use trim either the same depth as the existing posts or slightly deeper. You can also buy finial toppers in any style, if you want to dress things up. Paint it all black, or another dark color to match your decor (porch or floor paint is great on steps). A glossy sheen would give it the look of metal without the cost.

  • Kelly-n-Tony Kelly-n-Tony on Jan 27, 2019

    I agree the rails/spindles seem to be something normally used for an outdoor deck but I think if you changed the spindles to something different and/or perhaps painted them it would be a nice update.

    I also think it might be a good look to enclose or somehow use the under the stair space. How about a partial enclosure that becomes a book nook with shelves for books inside and a raised platform cushion with pillows to relax and read? Lights inside of course.

  • Pamela Sanderson Pamela Sanderson on Jan 27, 2019

    We have a similar staircase. The wall on the upper left could be finished off with sheetrock to simplify the busy look there. Ours on the right side has only the hand rail (probably not to code) but add some iron spindles in black to update. The open stairs keep it airy but enclosing the area under the platform would give tons of storage as ours does, Carpet on individual stairs is safer for pets and people. Hope this helps.

  • Bijous Bijous on Jan 27, 2019

    Hi. This was always an interesting mid '60s design that, to me, took up a lot of space. I'd tear the whole thing out and have the lower section reconstructed against the wall - either in the living room or dining room. Also use glass rails for a contemporary look.

    comment photo
  • Dpbeee2 Dpbeee2 on Jan 28, 2019


  • John Biermacher John Biermacher on Jan 28, 2019

    Lots of good suggestions. I was thinking of replacing vertical spindles with horizontal cables and turnbuckles for a industrial look. Obviously depends on the look you are going for.

  • Mlh27628035 Mlh27628035 on Feb 23, 2021

    Wow, that’s the same staircase I have. I’m really leaning toward the cable look and getting rid of the blocky looking 80s spindles and rail. That would really open it up.

  • Janice Janice on May 25, 2024

    The open stairway really makes your home feel spacious and friendly. You could give it a new look by simply adding some contrast to the spindles and the rail...suggestion go a dark color with the trailing and perhaps lighter on the spindles. This looks as though it's in a late 70's to early 80's home and personally I like the clean lines.

  • Hi Pamela! You can check out this article on how to update your staircase. Hope this helps!