How We Refinished Our Staircase


Ripping up the carpet from your stairs can make a huge difference visually and functionally- so much easier to clean without carpet!! However, it can be a little intimidating knowing what steps to take once the carpet is ripped up. 
I was the person thinking this was going to be a quick little project... wrong lol. My husband was the one who actually did the research and gave me the directions (not sure where I would be without him.... or what the staicase would look like..) 
A friend of mine recently asked what we did to refinish our steps so I decided to compile the process here to help anyone else who is planning this type of home project. 

 

How We Refished Our Stairs:  

Step One:

Rip up that carpet (obviously, lol). Tip: make sure you have on some good gloves for this, it’s very easy to accidentally grab on to a staple or nail. 

 

Step Two:

 Pull out allllll of the nails and staples. It's going to feel like there is a million of them and they alllll gotta come out one way or another. Tip: if you have a stubborn nail that will not come out and a teeeny tiny bit is sticking out, you can sand that down if it's impossible to remove.  

 

Step Three:

 Typically where the staples were you will have little holes and dents, those will need filled in so you have a smooth surafce at the end. Fill in holes with wood filler like this one. 

 

 Step Four: 

Once the wood filler is dried (follow the instructions on the container), it's time to sand sand sand. This step is kinda like several steps in one because you will have to do several rounds of sanding, each time with a different grit. You'll begin with a low number/ extra coarse grit to strip the wood down. Then you'll do several more rounds of sanding, each time with a higher number grit. 
Here is a chart to help you understand sandpaper grit: 

 If my memory serves me right, we did 4 rounds going from 60, 80, 120 to 150. 

 

 

Step Five

 All the prep work is done and now it's time to make them pretty! Yay! Step five is all about paint, polyacrylic, polyurethane and stain (if you are choosing to stain the wood). 
I painted the riser part white first with the same white paint we used for our trim (fundamental white by Sherwin Williams). 

 

Once that was dry, we began our layes of polyeurtane. We did not do a layer of stain (however, I think I may want to darken the treads sometime in the future). 

 

Before you begin with the polyurethane, remeber that you will not be able to walk on the stairs for several hours. Make sure to plan your day around this. 

Lastly, I did 2 layers of polyacrylic on the white risers. This adds a protective layer so your shoes dont scuff it up so easily. 

 

Note: these photos are not edited. 
 
ANNDDD That's all! Its a lot of prep work but sooooo worth it in the end. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! 

 

Cheers! 
-Adeline  

 

 


Leave a comment