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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Basement Stairs Makeover

Last April my husband took a new job that required us to relocate.  We weren't planning to move so we had a lot of work to do before listing our house for sale.  After living in a house for 12 years with 4 kids, there were plenty of small maintenance projects we never got around to doing that all of a sudden we had to do.  And then there was the basement.  Ever since we moved into that house we talked about finishing it.  I had big plans for it and even picked out a color scheme.  Well, that was another thing we never got around to finishing.  We did start.  We had the studs up and the electric was done, it was even insulated.  But that is where we stopped.  So now, we had to finish it before selling the house.  If we were going to continue living there, we would have put down carpet, but since we needed it done fast and as inexpensive as possible, we decided to paint the basement floors.  I thought we would do something like THIS, but to save time we just ended up painting the floors a single shade of brown.  With area rugs on top, it didn't look half bad.  But I digress.  Back to the issue of the stairs.  Since the idea of carpeting the stairs was out, and I thought just painting the stairs looked a bit cheap, I headed over to Pinterest for some ideas.  It didn't take me long to realize what I wanted to do.  And it looked so upscale, not like we were being cheap at all. 

Here is what we started with.  Plain, unfinished wood stairs.  

The first thing I did was to tape off the stair treads and then stain them.  I made sure to skip some so I could still walk up and down the stairs.

I chose this dark brown stain because I wanted it to match the dark brown wood floors in the foyer leading to the basement steps.  I was hoping it would all blend in and it did.

I started at the top and worked my way down, leaving every 3rd step unstained so I would be able to walk back up.  In the picture below you can see two steps that are taped off so we don't walk on them.  They are two I didn't stain with the rest so that we could still walk up and down the stairs.  After staining them I put a clear coat of polyurethane on them so they'd be nice and durable.  The ones that are taped off still have wet poly on them since they were done last.  Oh, and I also stained the handrail.  

After all the steps were dry, I taped them off so I could paint the risers.  Before painting the risers, I filled in any nail holes with some wood putty.

I thought going from the unfinished wood to a rich stain made such a difference, but painting the risers white made an even more dramatic difference.  I loved it!

Another thing  we did which isn't shown was to add trim to the top of the risers on the sides to give it a more finished look.  I also caulked the seams from the sides of the risers to the molding so it looked more professional.  I didn't take pictures of that but you can see in the 'pre-caulk' photos, that there is a little gap on the sides.

Our stairs turned part way down so we had this landing.  It was particle board so we put some thin veneer wood on top and stained that to match too.  I forgot to take pictures of that, so just use your imagination.  

Here is the before and after shot.

I totally love it and would consider doing this to a house I planned to stay in.  I really like the stained stair look, and it was pretty quick and easy to do.  It took several days just because of drying time but it only took about few hours total to complete the project.