The Carpet Had to Go....didn't It?

Don't you ever just want to take a peek under the carpet on your stairs to see what the builders left you? I wanted to, and I did! Fourteen years of going up and down these "white" stairs and I couldn't resist any longer. From the looks of it, I was not blessed with hardwood like some folks but a soft pine wood instead! Beggars can't be choosy, I had to make this work!
One stair lead into another, and I went from this.....
To this....
Taking that peak meant I had a project on my hands. I scoured the internet for inspiration and came up with this beautiful entryway. I was told by many people that I could not refinish the pine treads for our staircase. I took that as a challenge, and felt that I had nothing to lose by trying. Isn't that inspiration picture gorgeous?
A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into refinishing the pine treads and I am so glad I didn't listen to the naysayers!
Not exactly like my inspiration piece, but I am so happy with the results. Pulling up the carpet, removing all of the tack strips and staples, staining the pine treads a gazillion coats, and finishing it up with new kick plates (stair risers). An easy DIY project for anyone who tends to go against "the grain"!
Shaunna @ Tempting Thyme
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Peggy Burdette Peggy Burdette on Oct 24, 2015

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Nov 02, 2018

    Hi Donna.

    Squeaks/creaks are silenced by screwing down the treads.

    Four locations to screw the tread to:

    1) Screw through the front of the tread into the riser below it.

    2) Toenail a screw into the skirt

    3) If there is a center skirt (middle of the tread), screw into it.

    This is hidden from view; it's part of the framing. Drill a small hole through

    the tread at the center point (left to right) to determine if there is one in place.

    Usually you'll find these on wider steps.

    4) If the riser behind the tread extends below it, toenail a screw into it. I was able to

    do this.

    **Pre drill the holes for the screws and countersink the screw heads so you can fill

    the holes and hide the screw head. Wood filler works best. It is paintable, but

    does not take stain very well.

    Depending on how wide the gaps are between the risers & the steps, you might

    be able to push foam tubes into the gaps before you screw the risers down tight.

    The foam will help quiet the squeaks. Caulk the seams before priming & painting.

    As seen in pic #1, I also hammered wood shims into the gap between the treads

    and risers. These hold the treads firmly in place. Foam fills the space between the

    shims. The foam also provides a backing for caulk.

    For screws, I used 2 1/2" coarse thread drywall screws. Coarse threads are easier

    to screw into wood.


    riser=vertical panel between treads (your toes kick these as you climb your steps)

    skirts=side panels (L&R) usually attached to a wall

    toenail=at an angle

    foam tubes or backer rod=inexpensive solid foam material. It's grey, looks like a snake & is available in 3 or 4 sizes (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8"). You can either snap off the piece you need or cut it with scissors.

    pic #1 shows I also used wood shims to tighten the tread.

    pic #2 is an overall look at the wood filler I used.

    pic #3 shows the screw placement at both the front of the tread and the center rear

    of the tread near the riser.

    I hope this info is helpful to you, Donna. If you more questions, just ask. I'll be glad to try and answer them. I know I've written a lot, and it might seem difficult, but it is not. The work I describe here is very easy. It's just time consuming. Take your time and you'll be happy with the results.

    Please let me know how you make out and send a pic or two.