We’ve Moved!


If you aren’t redirected here is the link:





Under $100 Carpeted Stair To Wooden Tread Makeover DIY

08 February 2011

Under $100 Carpeted Stair To 
Wooden Tread Makeover DIY
contributed by Cleverly Inspired

For about a year I have been thinking about redoing our stairs. Should I?Can I? Would I dare? Rip up carpet??

Almost 7 years of wear....stains that can't come up...

 I just don't know. It would be the largest project I have ever done. The hubs was completely behind me." you can totally do that. It is just carpet. It the wood is bad we will deal with it. Go for it!"
So I did. And here is how it went down.... By the way, thanks for the support. It sure does make a girl feel good!!

Tools needed for ripping the carpet....

Needle nose pliers are your best friend for getting carpet off of steps....

Starting at the corners and pulling with all your might...

I pulled about 3 steps at a time, rolling the carpet as I went up the stairs. Then I used a sharp razor knife and cut the carpet and took it outside. Continuing on this way until I got to the top....

At the top, I cut the carpet with an extra sharp razor knife...leaving the carpet on the rounded part of the top thread where the upstairs hall starts. Pull up all the carpet pad....

To take up all the carpet tack strips, just place a flat head screw driver under the strip---tap in with the hammer and gently pry it up. Keep moving the screwdriver until the tack strip comes up. Do this same technique with all the 3,567,987 million staples....

Ok, maybe not quite that many....but it sure felt like it! I saved them in a solo cup...then I sat with a nice glass of red wine and admired my hard work!!! Phase one complete! Money spent during phase one...ZERO---besides a little blood, sweat and tears....I joke,I joke....
Stay tuned!!!

So if you were here yesterday...you saw that I decided to take the carpet off my stairs....Phase One--Operation Stairs Makeover and here we continue.....

The project continues with a day of sanding and scraping up the paint and caulk that was on the stairs.

Plastic was hung up from every doorway to help the dust...which there was a bunch of ...dust!!

We used my Dad's quarter sheet sander....and we got course (60) grade sand paper. I bought 2 packages. 
We ended up using about one little quarter sheet per step...
After all the steps were sanded there was still some junk on some of the steps. So for the stubborn parts I used a stripper. This stuff is awesome!

 Please follow the directions though...be careful please.

You basically brush it on, let it sit 20 minutes and take a metal scraper to it and the paint and gunk just shrivels right off!

So satisifying

When you are finished getting all the gunk (for lack of a better word, sorry) You need to clean the steps gently with some mineral spirits to remove any residue from the sander and the epoxy remover. We decided instead of staining we wanted to paint the treads a deep chocolate color and the risers and semi-gloss white. We could have stained....but a couple of stairs really had paint built in...and we loved the color of the paint. It looks really rich...but also has alot of character. Love that!

Seek peek at sample board.....so pretty!
Phase 2 we spent:
$3.94 for 2 drop cloths
$5.97 air-masks
$5.05 for 2 packs of 60 grit sandpaper
$2.68 small metal can for epoxy remover
$8.97 Epoxy and Paint remover
$2.00 for 2 chip brushes
$2.94 jar of sample paint

$31.55 spent....
Stay tuned for Phase 3!

such a good guy....he vacuums more than me! Love you babe!

Here is where we started this project if you are just joining me....Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Operation Stairs Makeover.....

 Putter has lost all patience with me by this point. Poor dog...if he could talk, he would be saying "could you please just put back the carpet and end this nonsense woman..." oh no....no carpet for you!
After stairs were all cleaned up good I could start painting. I primed the risers with a white primer.

Then I painted the treads with the brown. We loved the color Behr Sweet Molasses, it is a true chocolate color--rich and warm and has lots of character. I bought a quart or eggshell finish.

Valspar Signature is a paint and primer in one. I chose Eggshell finish because I am going to be putting 3 coats of polyurethane on the steps and I didn't want the paint to be so glossy the poly wouldn't adhere. Perfect for this project. You can find it at Lowes. A quart was plenty for 2 coats on just the treads.

Purdy is really a great brush to use!

I didn't bother taping since I have to paint all the white anyway. I painted a coat on...let it dry 2 hours (can said I could recoat after 2 hours) and then put on the 2nd coat. We were able to go up the stairs at night. I painted while the kids were at school so it really wasn't an inconvenience at all.

The next day I was able to cover the treads with some craft paper and tape the sides so that I could paint the trim white and the risers. Craft paper is sold in rolls near the paint supplies. I cut it to fit on the stairs.

Frog tape really seals nicely---when you go to take it off it has a nice clean edge.
I used a semi-gloss quart of Valspar Signature in White Umber (the color of my trim). I put 2 coats of white on and let dry overnight before taking the paper and tape off. Placing a fan at the bottom of the stairs helps the drying process.

Phase 3 Money Spent:
$30 for 2 quarts of custom mixed paint
$3 roll of Kraft paper
$6 Frog Tape

Grand total Spent so far on Operation Stairs: $70.51

 You've been so patient....so encouraging...so excited for me. Thanks! I am still in the middle of polyurethane all the coats on the treads....but you can see the final product.
A few of you have asked how many hours this project has taken me...well the first phase (clearing out the carpet and pulling all staples and tacks) took me 2.5 hours--mind you I did this by myself on a Friday. Phase 2 took Bill and I from about 11:30 on Saturday morning till about 4:30 (that includes prep work, sanding, and cleaning up all the dust!). And on Sunday I took about an hour and did all the scraping with the stripping remover stuff. Phase 3 was the painting process and that took about an hour per coat...then I would let it dry for 3 hours and a re coat. So I think you could accomplish this in one weekend (minus the polyurethane step...because that requires some dry time).
If you haven't seen the first few post on these stairs you can read all about it here....Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3 .....

Electric candles people...not to worry---wouldn't advise real candles on newly lacquered stairs...just sayin

Ta Da!


I am coating the stair treads with Minwax Fast-Drying Satin. I am doing every other step. I put one coat on, let it dry 4 hours; then placed another coat. I am doing 3 coats on just the treads. I placed a small piece of tape on the steps that I was allowed to step on (just a mental note for me!) I am using a foam brush. Place a fan at the bottom of stairs to aid in quick drying. It is about $11 for a can.

I know they look dark here but I wanted to show how pretty they look at night with these electric candles on...

He's impressed....my biggest supporter ;) We feel so satisfied knowing how much we saved and that fabulous feeling that comes from doing something with your own bare hands.

Goodbye worn out carpet....HELLO pretty wood stairs!
I would say they look like a million bucks----but then again....I only used $81...and a bit of sweat---but that is always a good thing!!

Video Tutorial is here....


Lisa February 8, 2011 at 7:33 AM  

I saw this last week but I am still impressed. What a difference and it totally gets me fired up to tackle my treads (the only part remaining for my stair-redo). Thanks for the very comprehensive tutorial! It's beautiful!

Darlene February 8, 2011 at 7:45 AM  

Wow. I.am.in.LOVE with your stairs. I have been eying up my carpeted stairs and seriously debating the carpet removal. After seeing your transformation, I think I will be attempting that soon. Thank you for a great tutorial!

Tonia February 8, 2011 at 7:52 AM  

You did an awesome job!!! Go you!!! The refinished stairs are beautiful!

Meowlissa February 8, 2011 at 8:07 AM  

The stairs look fabulous! I am definitely a fan of carpetless wonder :) Great job! Definitely an inspiration to me for my own staircase ;)

SANDI February 8, 2011 at 8:08 AM  

I am a new follower, and this is the first post I've seen of yours and I am in awe...Wow! What a wonderful job. The end result looks fantastic...Much better than the carpet. Thanks for sharing.

Eric February 8, 2011 at 8:10 AM  

What an amazing transformation! You did a great job, and documented it so well.

I love the comment about the 3,567,987 million staples... Next time, get a simple pry bar, and those tack strips will just pop right up.

Tricia February 8, 2011 at 9:03 AM  

Love it! It looks great!! I feel for ya ripping out those carpet staples. My living room was covered in carpet and I ripped out all the carpet and staples by myself. My hands were sore the next day.

At The Picket Fence February 8, 2011 at 10:01 AM  

Oh I am so wanting to do this at our house and was just telling my husband about it the other night! Now I will have the pictures as proof to show him that IT CAN BE DONE! :-)

- - Little Miss Martha - - February 8, 2011 at 10:31 AM  

This looks amazing! Random question... did you keep the carpet upstairs or go with wood up there too? Love it!
I've thought about doing something like this myself, but I have carpet throughout upstairs and am wondering how I'd pull it off... Hmmm...

Brittany Pickney February 8, 2011 at 10:42 AM  

Congrats, your stairs look fabulous. What a difference a little paint makes!

Heather @ REOlisticRenovation February 8, 2011 at 11:01 AM  

GORGEOUS! These make such a HUGE difference! Love this whole project. I was just looking at my stairs this morning wondering when we can tear out the carpet and get crazy! :)

Sparta Savings February 8, 2011 at 12:21 PM  

Ok - I love this! Thanks for sharing the step-by-step! I will be earmarking this, as our basement stairs are bare wood (not the beautiful wood that you have on yours, but ugly wood. My Mr. Right wants carpet, and I hate carpet (I have allergies!) Maybe I can convince him to let me paint them until we get to the carpeting and pray that he won't continue to want the carpet. We'll see how that goes! lol

Miranda February 8, 2011 at 2:58 PM  

What a great change! It looks like so much work, but for this project it looks more than worth it. Beautiful!

Chrissy February 8, 2011 at 3:18 PM  

You did an absolutely marvelous job on the steps and the tutorial. They look fabulous, just like a Pro:)

Tricia @ Vintage No. 35 February 8, 2011 at 4:24 PM  

Love this project and thank you for posting this! I also have ugly carpeting on my stairs and I know I will have to take off some paint. Maybe I can convince Mr. H to take off the carpet and redo the steps since it only was $100.

Els Manning February 13, 2011 at 10:42 PM  

Mine are going to be like that this summer. Also old carpet on them, and lifted the corner, and noticed they were wood also. So this step by step is great! Thank you!

Gina February 24, 2011 at 6:29 PM  

This is a fantastic step by step!! I want to do this to our stairs too and our hand rail is just like this one where it's not directly on the treads. Nice to know it can still look fabulous!! Well done :)

billie monster March 7, 2011 at 8:34 PM  

Congrats to you for having the guts to take on this project! I've been wanting to do it to our own carpeted stairs, but am too scared to see whats underneath! hehe. Maybe I should just go for it like you did. Thanks for the inspiration and GREAT JOB!

~ www.billiemonster.com ~

Deesha July 18, 2011 at 7:07 PM  

I've hated the carpet on my stairs for years and after finding your blog I feel inspired to finally get rid of it! You did an amazing job.

Post a Comment

I love comments! Thanks for taking your time to tell me what you think! I read them all and enjoy your enthusiasm for the work shown here!

Please remember that people have worked hard on these projects. Each person's budget and goals are different, so please try to make kind, constructive comments. Remember if it isn't nice, please don't say anything at all.

Please no business links. Remodelaholic reserves the right to remove any comment that we feel is malicious, spammy or otherwise inappropriate. Thanks.

Sorry there is no longer the option for anonymous comments, unfortunately people have been abusing that option!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Home & Garden Blogs Home & Garden Blogs - Blog Rankings

Blogging  tips, tutorials and SEO

From Here to Eternity

  © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP