Carpet to Wood ~ Staircase Update

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Friday and I have big plans for this weekend,
hopefully I'll get the staircase priming and painting finished!

Here's where we are now...

After removing all the carpet,
carpet tack strips,
staples and nails,
we began removing the paint, filling all the holes and sanding...

If you remember our stair treads and risers are pine,
the type of wood intended to stay underneath carpet, but we decided to see what we can do with it
and were happy to find the front of the treads were bullnose even though the exposed ends are just a straight cut.

When the spindles were originally painted some got on the stair treads so we used paint remover to loosen it up...

These lower spindles are too close!

It's been tough trying to get the paint removed around them.
I have to admit I'm not looking forward to working in this tight spot when I stain this stair tread and repaint these spindles...

Here we have applied paint thinner...

and are scraping off the paint...

Most of the paint came off the stair treads but not all of it,
thankfully the stain adhered just fine...

Time to fill all the holes and gaps with some wood filler...

We used Minwax stainable wood filler which is very grainy, like small pieces of saw dust, and it worked great!  It was easy to use, sand, and it took the stain perfectly as you'll see in a bit...

There were many tack holes and gaps to fill...

Ellie-Mae, my right-hand pup, was always close by.
Here she is peeking at me from the top of the stairs...

Once the holes and gaps were filled with wood filler it was time to sand.

Starting out I used my DeWalt hand sander with a very coarse paper...

For the tighter areas I used a sanding block covered with the coarse paper...

Plastic was placed over the open doorways to keep the dust contained in the foyer
to help keep the dust down I would vacuum after sanding every two to three stairs, it was DUSTY!

The exposed sides of the stair treads are a rough cut so I went over the flat edge a number of times with the electric sander and a coarse sandpaper.

To soften the edges I angled the sander just enough to round the edges a bit...

I was thrilled when my cabinet maker gave me some extra cherry stain that he had on hand, it worked perfectly!  Here I had applied one coat to a stair tread...

It looked pretty good, so I did a few more...

and then did them all...

I stained two stair treads, skipped three, stained the next two, skipped the next three...

this gave me room to work and go back up and down easily to work on the areas just coated...

A closer view of the stain and pine wood grain...

In between the three coats of stain I sanded each stair tread by hand using fine sandpaper.

I knew I was going to repaint the side molding, stair treads and spindles so I didn't focus on being too neat.  One of the hardest parts was making sure underneath the lip of the stair tread was totally covered with stain.  I used a short handled sponge brush for this...

Here the staircase has three coats of stain...

It was perfect timing to remove the carpet from the stairs because when the kitchen remodel is completed all the existing hardwoods will be recoated.

The newly installed floors will be getting an oil base sealer and 3 coasts of poly finish.
The last coat will be applied when the kitchen project is completely finished and this is when the existing floors will be redone.

While the guys were here applying the finish to the new hardwoods, they are doing the staircase for us too!  Applying sealer, light hand sanding in between with a fine sandpaper, then sealing again with a total of three coats of poly finish.

The staircase after one coat of sealer and one coat of poly, the poly is still drying...

And once dry...

The second coat of poly is being added today and the final coat will hopefully be done in two weeks, that's when the kitchen should be finished...Yippee!

This weekend I hope to begin priming the molding, risers, spindles and if all goes well paint them too!

You can see how the staircase started here...Carpet to Wood ~ Staircase DIY

Thanks so much for coming by!
I hope you are enjoying following along...Kitchen Remodel Diary

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  1. Your stairs are shaping up great. I went back to your older post to see what they looked like with carpet. I can't stand the carpet on our stairs, but I mentioned removing it to my husband and he was not on board. I'll have to keep working at it :)

  2. Hi Cindy! Oh you've been a hard working little gal! Your stair steps look beautiful! I love the dark stain on them. Now I've gone from carpet on our stairs in Texas to wood on our stairs here in New York! It scares me a little bouncing down the wood steps. I think we're going to put a runner on it so I won't be scared any more! ;) You are doing so many wonderful things to your lovely home and can't wait to see your kitchen!
    Be a seweti,e
    Shelia ;)

    1. I'd be scared of falling down the stairs, too!

  3. Cindy, this looks terrific. I am so impressed with how you handled the straight edges of the stairs - way to go, girl! Oh my, just the possibility of seeing the finish line and/or the light at the end of the tunnel must be energizing enough to get you through the priming and painting. Have a great weekend!

  4. Oh Cindy.. i can relate to ALL of this. Its such a process and one must have an incredible amount of patience. Love the color and look so far! .. and adorable pup. Have a great weekend:)

  5. That's a lot of hard, grueling work, but it sure looks good!

  6. How wonderful, it is going to feel like a whole new house! It will add so much value as well. Hope we can do ours soon, hubby has to have shoulder surgery this winter, so DIY projects are on hold for a bit.

  7. That looks like a lot of hard work! It's looking great though, and will be so much more interesting when finished than the carpeted stairs were. Very nice.

  8. This looks very similar to the project I did years ago on my staircase. We added dark treads and white risers, white banisters and dark handrail, then a carpet runner down the middle. I was pregnant at the time, and my husband did the messy parts, but I sat on a pillow and moved it up and down, up and down while I painted the tiny round nooks and crannies. - I feel your pain, but it will look fabulous!

  9. A lot of hard work but it is going to look amazing. Can't wait to see it finished.

    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

  10. What a lot of work, Cindy, but it is going to be so worth it when it is done. I love how it is looking already. You are a brave soul--but just think how nice it is all going to look for the Holidays- xo Diana

  11. They are looking great! I'm sure you're SO ready to be done and enjoying the beauty of your finished work!


  12. I know it is lots of hard work...... they look wonderful.. great job! I know it is exciting with all the new work going on....can't wait to see all the great work.. Blessings!

  13. That is looking great, Cindy! I would love to do that to the stairs in our (new to us) house. Your stairs are going to be gorgeous when you are done with them. Hugs, Cindy

  14. What a job! You have been working so hard, Cindy! Your stairs look great and the end result is going to be well worth your hard work.

  15. Wow, I'm so impressed both by the look and the hard work this has taken. Good job!!!

  16. Oh is this ever going to be incredible once you are finished - won't be long now. Keep up the good (hard) work, ma''am!

    Well done, love it!!

  17. You are doing a wonderful job! I love how dear little Ellie Mae is cheering you on!!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  18. So beautiful! We are pulling up the carpet on ours next week... wish us luck. I think we have the same house as you... it all looks the same but luckily our banister is only a straight one! Thanks for the inspiration!


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