Painting the Stairs | The Reveal

Oct 27, 2015

I'm back with another reveal! The inspirations just keep coming these days and you can't even imagine how good it feels to be checking all of these major projects off of my list!!

This one has been a long while coming. Can you believe we lived with stairs like this for over 6 months? (although it went by so quickly, we didn't really have time to tackle this before now). Yes, the carpet was extremely plush and comfortable but vacuuming them was an absolute nightmare not to mention the fact that it's red carpet.... I believe the photo speaks for itself.
To say the least, I am beyond relieved to have this transformation finalized; and very thankful for how well it turned out.

The overall process wasn't that difficult. The hardest and most time consuming part was removing all of the nails and staples that were left over from the carpet. Good music, podcasts, and wine helped but it's still an extremely painful and tedious process. Once this step is completed, the next step was to start sanding and painting. In my opinion, you have to be up front going into a project like this and realize that the end result is not going to look like a proper hardwood staircase, and if that's what you prefer then great! For me,  this is a tie-me-over solution but it definitely looks a lot better than where we started and who knows, maybe it will be our permanent fix.

For the whole process, I followed this tutorial from Young House Love almost to the tee, so if you're looking for detailed step by step instructions, check out their tutorial, it's great.

Once all of the nails and staples were removed, I started using putty to fill in the significant holes. Another gruelling and time consuming task, and I'm not going to lie, I definitely skimped a little and only covered those holes that were the biggest and most obvious. The end plan here is to install a carpet runner which will thankfully cover up the majority of the flaws.
All the red you see is carpet pieces attached to staples. Hundreds of millions of staples. 
Next it was finally time to prime! I had some grey primer left over from when we painted the wall in the living room black so I used this on the treads and white primer on the risers. My favourite product of all time, Zinsser Cover Stain was my go to for painting the handrail and balusters - it covers all of that shine and allows latex paint to stick; it did the trick in only one coat.
The grey primer decreases the amount of coats of black you need to apply.
Once fully primed, I did a final light sanding before starting to paint with the black and white. I didn't tape off anything, which Nick will tell you was a bad idea, however at this point I've got a pretty steady hand and with the right brush I made out ok.

If you're planning to paint your stairs, the best approach is to paint every other stair, let those dry, and then go back and do the others. That way you can still use the stairs!! (Some visitors were amazed at this process!)

After about 3 coats each of white and black (over the span of about a week), and the same amount in Polyurethane to protect them, the stairs were done!! Have a look and let me know what you think! I would definitely recommend this project to anyone who would like to remove their carpet but isn't ready, or does not need to replace the stairs entirely. This is a great solution for us.

I achieved the look I was going for with minimal cost and effort. Now if only there was an easy solution for that tile....
I still have to paint the railing at the top of the staircase but we are still plastering in the second floor hall so I'm going to wait until all of the dust has settled (pardon the pun) before I finish the makeover. The pretty finished stairs are also currently covered in packaging paper to protect them while we continue the upstairs reno.

This week I am completing a surprise project for the new master bedroom which I'm also entering into a local contest on creating something with reused materials. I will definitely share all of the details of this DIY project with you very soon! Have you painted your stairs before? How did they turn out?

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