Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Staircase Remodel-Ripping up the carpet

There is a picture of a staircase that I have loved for years from the cover of Atlanta Homes Mag.  I have dreamed of a staircase like this.  It is so classic and still comfy with that southern farmhouse feel.

I seriously love everything about this picture. The creamy white stairs with a dark ebony railing and wood plank! 

But my staircase is far from this picture...

...mine are not classy nor farmhouse...they are just blah builder grade, covered in carpet with blah colored railings.

It is time to stop dreaming and start doing
...and that is when the carpet came off...

Initially afraid of what I'd find underneath, Ric and I just started ripping that carpet off.

What we found was solid pine stairs...(with 6 inches of white overspray from when the builders painted the trim and spills of some type of adhesive all over the stairs...but nothing a sander can't fix)

A few treads were cracked so Ric replaced those with new ones.

The landing was the only place that was not solid wood, so we took all the pressed wood board out and built a wood landing. (Ric also added additional supports under the floor cause there was only one.)

Our sweet dogs had also chewed some of the carpet on the corner of the step up for the hallway, so we went ahead and cut the carpet back and put a tread in its place.  (it was cheaper than replacing all the carpet in the hallway) ;)

Lets sum things up so far....
*Ripped up carpet- removed tack strips, and about a million staples
*Replaced stair treads that were cracked
*Built new landing and step
*Filled holes and sanded on to the railings...
First step-Sanding!
(my house has been covered in a layer of dust for a week)
It will soo be worth it though!

I sanded all the railings by hand with a 100 grit fine sand paper-you don't need to sand much, just enough to remove the gloss.

After cleaning them we started staining.
We used Varathane stain in Ebony. (love this stain)

You can see the before on the railing going down the stairs...such a difference already

I love how it is turning out!!
Of course as usual our projects tend to grow as we go. We have decided to also add beadboard to the risers. We just started that yesterday...can't wait to share the progress. 
Stay tuned for the rest of the remodel

(seriously love this pic) :)


  1. What a difference. It looks great. I have been needing someone to hire someone for staircase remodeling. Mine is so out of date. I want to do something like this. Thanks for the post!

  2. These are so nice! I love the ideas. We have a similar staircase and we are thinking of getting staircase remodeling to increase the value of the house. What other places did you guys get your ideas?

  3. Thank you!! Make sure you also check out the most up to date post of the finished remodel! It turned out soo great!!! Honestly, like most of our projects the initial idea is the starting point, and as we go the project grows. :) When we took off the carpet we weren't sure what exactly was underneath so my husband created the idea for the landing once we realized it was not wood. Our risers were solid wood, but with all the white I wanted to add a little depth and the beadboard was perfect for giving it some.

  4. Wow, that really looks lovely. I've heard that staircase remodeling is a big project to take on yourself! Did you have anybody help you with it? It looks SO good, congratulations!

    1. Thank you!! My husband and I did the entire project ourselves. We love DIY so it was a lot of fun for us. The worst part about this project was the fact that we have 3 kids and 3 dogs that want to go up and down the stairs all day :)

  5. Great post, and the before and the after picture of the remodel look like completely different houses. And my wife and I are looking at doing a staircase remodeling project. Because they're starting to creak more and more. And it's starting to worry us, so now we just have to decide on the design and color that we want for it.

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  7. Which varathane stain product did you use? How many coats did it take? And, how did you apply the stain?

  8. We used the ebony stain, by Varathane purchased at Home Depot. We did about 4 coats on the railings. Less coats will work also but you will see the wood grain through. It looks pretty like that also, but I wanted it to be less visible. We applied the stain with a rag. Remember with stain, you rub it in and wipe the excess off. If you leave it on like you would paint it will never dry. :)