A “WOW” Staircase Re-Do

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20131114-133238.jpg Need a little inspiration?  How about this incredible staircase makeover! 20131114-133245.jpg This staircase is the main feature of the entryway to a friend’s beautiful home.  Cosmetically, the home had a lot going for it when they bought it, but Rebekah and her husband wanted more.  My friend Rebekah took a little inspiration from these photos and ran with it. 20131114-133229.jpg Here’s a full set of before photos with the dark stained railing and carpeted stairs: 20131114-131053.jpg 20131114-131119.jpg 20131114-131132.jpg 20131114-131151.jpg 20131114-131210.jpg 20131114-131714.jpgAfter wanting to tackle this project since buying the house in the spring, she went for it.  First she set about tearing out the carpet.  In the spirit of inspiration, Rebekah has two young “helpers” at home.  So, if you are using young kids as an excuse, here’s proof that you can still tackle a major project yourself.  She saves the more dangerous tasks for after bedtime and called in help when she needed it.20131114-131649.jpg When you pull carpet up, you should find glue holding the pad down and tack strips around the edges.  To remove the glue, Rebekah used a scraper.  For tack strips, a pry bar will be your best friend. There will also likely be staples so have a flathead screwdriver and players handy. 20131114-131849.jpg Did I mention that Rebekah is tons of fun?  A good sense of humor is important for any huge project.  You’ve gotta know when to take a moment to have a little fun…


And don’t forget that she has a family at home in the middle of all of this!  Keepin’ it real.



There was lots of stripping going on from what I hear.  She used a gel-type stripper and it sounds like it did not go so well.  I’d suggest using a scraper to remove as much glue as possible, then using a sander to get down to nice wood.

Heh, heh, stripping & nice wood.

Rebekah opted to use the existing risers to keep this DIY affordable.  If you are going for a different look, you can but hardwood stair risers, but they will run you a pretty penny.

Here they are all prepped:


This is where the stripping gets really crazy…

20131107-132659.jpgShe stripped the paint off of everything.  Every.  Thing.  Initially, she thought she would be staining or she wouldn’t have gone to this extreme.  The paint was chipping, so in the spirit of being thorough, she went for it so that the new finish would hold up to her two little monsters helpers.  The stain didn’t take the same way to the treated oak and the bare pine so she ended up painting more than she originally thought she would.  Seriously, this is hardcore:


Eventually things got pretty crazy juggling kids and a major project, so while the family was away, she had some help come in and finish prep work and do the painting.  Sometimes it’s best to call in reinforcements before you get totally frustrated.  When you rush a project, you won’t be as happy with the results.


Here’s the staircase in all of it’s naked glory:


Then came the paint.  She went with a dark color on the railings and stair treads

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And here is the FABULOUS final result.  This is such a beautiful make-over.  It was a lot of work but the result was well worth-it.  Don’t you think?  It’s such a brighter space now and fits in much better with the feel of the rest of the home.  Color me impressed!

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