Friday, May 29, 2020

Stair Makeover

Stair makeover with paint

I know we have a tendency on any social platform to only show the good and gloss over the mistakes. Whether it be about our every day lives, or failed recipes or projects. Well, that's just not me. Life isn't perfect. And neither am I. And my projects certainly are not. In fact, I feel like I fail more often than I succeed. And even though failure can be frustrating (and time consuming!), I am truly enjoying the experience of learning new things. I just wish I could learn a little faster! Don't we all?

So, this project. I wanted to rip out the carpet on my stairs soooo badly! Last year we took out our downstairs carpet and vinyl and replaced it with laminate. I love it! 

This kid loves to help!

Laminate flooring
                                        Such pretty floors!

I saw all these beautiful staircases on Pinterest and I wanted one! However, I didn't want to break the bank. For that reason, I tried the cheap option of simply refinishing the existing treads and risers. 

Old stairs with carpet

This is my staircase before. It is difficult to see how abused these poor carpets were. I wanted them GONE!


Benjamin was so funny. He didn't want me to tear out the carpet. When I started pulling it up, he pushed it back down and said "maybe next week." 

He got over it quickly when I let him help!

OSB covered stairway

What was under our carpet was.... OSB! It wasn't as simple as slapping some paint over it. I knew it was OSB going in so I wasn't surprised. I decided to cover it with joint compound so the strands of wood wouldn't show through the paint. 


First coat of joint compound on. The joint compound says to wait 24 hours between coats, but we only had one day without the kids. I tried speeding up the process with the heat gun. It still didn't dry enough. We did the first coat way too thick. 

The next day my husband sanded it all. 



We didn't have plastic to cover anything. Such. A. MISTAKE. I am still finding dust in places, a couple of weeks later! 

We did one more light coat of joint compound. Next a coat of Kilz Klear bonding primer and sealer. Then started painting. We chose a porch and patio floor paint in dark walnut. 

We did the first coat of paint on every other step. I tried to go as fast as I could because I have little children with short legs that can't skip steps. 

On the second coat of paint, I used this fun little tool that you can use to make faux wood grain in the paint. It was really fun and easy to use! 

After all the treads and the landing were painted, I coated them all with Minwax Polyurethane for Floors. 

Finally came painting the risers. This is where I am really not pleased. I was trying to convince myself that the treads were alright looking, but when I go to these risers I just knew my stairs were going to look ridiculous! You can still see the texture of the OSB and the joint compound left it bumpy in places (even after tons of sanding). 

Refinished OSB stairs with join compound

This is what it looks like at the moment. I am not super pleased with it. Especially because someone, who shall remain nameless, chipped the edges of the treads. But, it is what it is. We are going to add a stair skirt and baseboard on the landing and call it good for now. Eventually I am hoping to get stair treads that match our lovely laminate floors and new risers. One thing at a time.

If you are wanting to redo your stairs, I would recommend installing new treads and risers. You live you learn. :)  



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