30 Comments

  1. i think we will be redoing our icky carpeted bedrooms and your line- the moral don’t be afraid because it will eventually be so much better- stuck out at me and i needed to hear it today!

    1. Don’t be afraid! Haha no really ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Carpet is so awful! I’m glad that yours is gone and I can’t wait to see what you do next ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I can’t wait too LOL

  3. Julia I did the same thing with our disgusting stair runner a few years ago. I swear I sneezed 50 million times a day until that carpet was gone. You did such an amazing job with this project. Isn’t it crazy how wood fill, caulking and paint can hide all sorts of flaws and weird carpentry issues?? I find with every carpentry project I do there are odd little angles and spaces and whatnot, but after everything is filled and painted they disappear. Your stairs look so pretty from your living room. You must be so happy you took this huge project on!

    1. Yes caulk and wood filler are an amazing thing! I do love looking at them now

  4. Christina says:

    Thank you, thank you for this post! I was really hoping you’d explain what you found under the carpet and the pictures were spot on. My cat has made my stairwell smell like old lady house but I’ve been too afraid to rip up the carpet. I’m regrouting my shower this week but next week I’m ripping up that carpet.

    1. Good luck with it! I’m sure you’ll like it much better after

  5. The only thing I would worry about with painting them is the paint wearing off where people walk. Unless you put a clear coat over the paint?

    1. I totally agree that worries me too and I was planning on a clear coat no matter what. But paint probably would wear off

  6. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your process – it’s really refreshing in the “everything is easy and the results are PERFECT” world home design. Makes feel better about doing my projects in stages and living in the process.

    1. Oh it’s not all easy. It’s quite frustrating most of the time and takes forever ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I’m glad we’re not the only ones working on stairs. My husband took the day off to paint the risers. The original stairs were so bad that he tore them out and started from scratch ( it’s been an ongoing project since September). I may need to tell him about that epoxy stuff because there are gaps where he couldn’t get a perfect cut on a riser or tread. I think the hardest part is figuring out how we’re going to fix the gap between the wall and stringer. The dry wall is not even. We’re pretty proud of our stairs! Could I send you some pictures?

    1. You sure could! Good luck with the gaps.

  8. Hi Julia – Your staircase looks fabulous. How you fixed the gaps looks amazing. I removed the carpet from the stairs in my PA house. Now I am in the process of doing it again in the SC house. Although I just had to remove a runner, not upholstered carpet over the entire staircase.

    Thanks for showing us how you used the wood epoxy. It is just want I need to fix a few gaps and holes in the flooring in my new house.

  9. Yay! It looks amazing just with the carpet removed! I’m so jealous that you had actual wood underneath there – we have that nasty OSB under the carpet on our stairs, so it would be a MAJOR replacement if I ripped up the carpet! Hopefully one day ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m not sure how this would fit in with the flooring on the landing, but I’m always crazy for black stair treads with white risers, and the black and white combo would fit in so well with your living room! My two cents ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I love the look of black and really considered it. But the darker the color the more the dirt shows and I do have a white cat and light grey cat. I think that wouldn’t be a good mix unfortunately. I wish!

  10. Julia, you have done such a phenomenal job on those stairs already. Even if you don’t do another thing, it looks fabulous. I can’t wait to see what you decide ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You are my role model. Your stairs are just so good and thanks Katja

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad that some of the worst parts are over

  11. I might be the odd ball here but I honestly like the natural wood…I think your other options would look good too thought! The 2nd to last picture looks like it blends in perfectly with the flooring at the bottom of the stairs. When making these big decisions I just live with it for awhile until I have my aha! moment. It will come to you.

    I really want to rip out the carpet on our stairs, however, we have carpet at the top and bottom that will stay in place. The basement carpet is in great shape so no way am I pulling it up. The upstairs carpet really needs to be replaced but we have to wait awhile for that project and I want wood floors upstairs. My delima is that I have a BEIGE cheap-o large tile landing 1/2 way down the stairs. I don’t like the tile but I’m really at a loss as to what I should do with it since it goes with all of the tile in the house – gotta love builder grade crap. It’s in my mudroom, 2 bathrooms, entryway, and this landing, on the fireplaces, and similar accents in kitchen backsplash & bathrooms. I hate it!!!

    1. That’s exactly my plan to just live with it for a little. Usually always works. Hope you can figure out your situation ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. This looks like a lot more work than I would have originally thought but nice instructions. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot this weekend so wish me luck.

    1. Oh it’s definitely a lot of work but so so worth it in the end. And I’m spending less time cleaning the carpet on the stairs

  13. WOW Julia! This looks AMAZING! How did you learn how to do this? Care to share which tutorials you’ve used to do this? My stairs are U-G-L-Y and I so badly want to do this!

    1. I didn’t really use any tutorial so far since I just ripped it up and went in steps how I usually refinish furniture. Lets see when I’ll finally get to the part2 of the stairs. I have no desire to do it and they already look ok ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. To solve your problem of not being able to use the stairs, just paint alternating treads. Not saying the cat or kids will figure out which ones to use, but at least you and your hubby will know ;))

    1. We have three cats so that might really be difficult ๐Ÿ˜‰

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