DIY

DIY Stairs Makeover – From Carpet to Hardwood Stairs

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While we were waiting to close on our first home, we knew one of the first DIY projects we wanted to do was change the basements stairs. The basement stairs had very stained carpet. We wanted to change them from carpet to hardwood stairs.

This transformation turned out better than I pictuered. Beautifully stained hardwood stairs will truly transform your space and make it feel like a whole new house.

DIY stairs makeover from carpet to hardwood stairs

We thought it would be an easy DIY stairs makeover project where we could get it done in a weekend. We thought we could paint the wall, rip up the carpet, and refinish the hardwood all in a week.

Refinishing the basement stairs took longer than we originally expected. After we ripped up the carpet, we discovered a minor hiccup, which caused the project take longer than expected.

In the end, everything worked out perfectly and we were able to do a DIY Stairs Makeover from carpet to hardwood stairs

So learn from us so you can do DIY stairs makeover in a weekend!

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Our basement stairs leads to a finished basement but the carpet on the stairs were wicked stained. The walls were white but very dingy.

This space desperately needed a makeover!

First we painted the walls. We used Behr paint from Home Depot. Since we didn’t care about the carpet, we didn’t have to worry if we dripped paint on the stairs.

Once the paint dried, we removed the carpet.

The carpet was stapled down so all we had to do was pull it up. It required a lot of pulling, but the carpet came up easily. Once we removed the carpet from the first step, we realized we had plywood.

We now knew this project was going to take longer since the stair treads and risers would need to be replaced. We were really hoping we could have refinished the wood, but there was no way we could do that with plywood.

We continued on and removed the carpet. At least we didn’t have to worry about removing staples and the carpet pad.

Once the carpet was removed, we headed to Home Depot , which is our local home improvement store. We only had to purchase Oak Wood treads, since we already purchased the other supplies we needed: stain, polyurethane, and brushes.

Home Depot offered a few different options but we decided to go with Oak Wood Treads, as we knew we would like the look of oak wood. Home Depot did offer Pine Wood Treads for a lower cost, but we knew Pine is a soft wood, so we decided to spend a little bit more so we could get the look we wanted.

We headed home so we could finish the project

We has just moved into the house so we had yet to get a dining room table. So we lined the floor with plastic and laid out all the Oak Wood treads. We sanded each stair tread outside on the back deck.

Once they were all sanded, we applied a wood conditioner,. Then we stained  each stair tread twice. We let it dry.

Next we removed the existing plywood and replaced it with the stained stair treads. We used the Finish Nail Gun to attach the stair treads.

Next we put one coat of polyurethane on each stair tread and didn’t walk on the stairs for 2 days. We then put another coat of polyurethane down and we didn’t walk on the stairs for 5 days.

We then installed the risers. We painted them white along with the railing. We had to touch up the walls since we scuffed it up a little when we put the stairs treads in since they had to fit tight against the wall.

It took about 2 weeks to get this project done. We both work full time jobs, so we weren’t able to work on the stairs every day. Also, we had to factor in the drying time between coats. Otherwise we could have probably done this in a weekend.


The hardwood stained stairs came out beautifully.

This DIY Carpet to Hardwood Stairs has truly transformed this space and was relatively an easy project to do ourselves. If you have stairs with carpet that you are looking to replace, I highly suggest that you change them out for hardwood stairs. You will not be disappointed with the outcome.


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