Making Over the Stairs!

Before we actually purchased the home we now live in, we shopped around for the "perfect" house...and realized there is no such thing! Thus, our house is not perfect but it works for us right now. It has so much potential to become a true gem amidst a sea of cookie-cutter homes circa 1980. Among the things I desperately wanted to change right away were the stairs. They were covered in hideous tan carpet that had seen better days. I wanted to bring in some of the architectural details and quality craftsmanship of the older homes that I salivate over love, which includes beautiful wooden staircases.

Luckily, I didn't have to wait long to take a crack at the stairs because, well, they were already cracking. Our home inspector "forgot" to mention that the stairs in our home were made of 1/2 inch-thick plywood, held together with some glue, a few staples and a pinch of tension. Oh, and the best part was the fact that the stairs were not even screwed into the studs of the walls. They were just sort of hanging out. The scary thing was that every time we walked on the stairs, we could feel them moving and shifting underfoot. Every time I think about what could have happened had we not discovered the problem in time, I cringe.  Anyway, with the help of a close friend experienced in home renovations, we got to work tearing down the old and bringing in the new. 

This is what we started with:

Hubby inspecting the stairs just before demolition.

Demolition begins!

The old stairs are completely gutted! Please, I beg you- ignore the mess down stairs in the family room. At that time, we were still unpacking. But, for the record, it looks much nicer now! Okay, moving on...

Putting the red oak treads in place that we purchased from Lowe's. Gotta love that place!

Boys and their toys.

Risers and treads in place! It already looked spectacular at this point compared to the "before" condition of the stairs.

Next, it's time for the beautiful reddish brown stain! It's called Red Mahogany by Minwax. In retrospect, staining and painting should have been done prior to installing the stairs, but now we know for next time. Oh well, it's a learning process!

We chose this color as opposed to the honey color hue of our kitchen/living room/dining room floor because we initially planned to refinish said floor in this darker-colored stain. After much deliberation, we  decided to keep the honey color. We simply purchased a box of in-stock flooring at Home Depot and replaced the water-damaged planks with new ones. We like the contrast of the two tones, and plan to continue the dark color upstairs when we install the hardwood floors on the upper floor.

And for the final product (ta-da!)

I am happy to report that the stairs are not only beautiful in person, but are 100% safe! There is no more shifting and no more white-knuckled, nail-biting trips upstairs/downstairs. Beauty and function!


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