November 4, 2011

There's a lady who's sure, all that glitters is gold...

Anyone get the title reference? No? Today's post is about our staircase!

Let's introduce our stairs in their before state:

Initially we ripped off the old railing (to get ready for paneling) and removed the carpet from the first step to take a look at what we were dealing with. Unfortunately, there was no beautiful oak hiding underneath, just good old fashioned builder-grade pine (with lots of nails).

That carpet was g-r-o-s-s. The railing (against the wall) was atrocious. The whole thing was pretty much a giant fail. In the middle of our dining room makeover, Brian decides to rip out the carpet and the railing. This was the result:

Looks safe enough, right? Eh, not so much. Not only were there no railings to hold onto, but see that neon green step below? Yeah, that was a broken tread that we were supposed to avoid stepping on. Just imagine how much fun it was to carry a full laundry basket up and down those stairs.

Before we could really begin working on the staircase, we needed to decided exactly we were planning to do with them. The initial idea was to stain the treads and paint the risers. Problem? That was going to cost us over $500 in materials (oak is expensive). There was no way we could justify spending that much on stairs, when we don't plan on living there for the next twenty years. New idea? Replacing the treads and risers with new, fresh pine (only around $150) and then working from there.

First we ripped out the existing steps:

You should have seen us trying to go up and down...

Next, Brian cut the large side piece, which turned out to be the biggest pain-in-the-ass part of the whole thing. See, when he cut the first piece, he immediately glued and nailed it in place, but once the first riser went up, we realized it was off by just a hair. Sadly, a hair is too much and we had to rip off the board, go to Lowe's, buy a new one and re-cut it. Of course the second time around, Brian lightly glued it in place and then nailed it down at the very end.

Here is a progress pic:

And the final:

The extra final step was glueing on the edgy-piece-thingy (very technical) that rounds out the treads:

I bet you're wondering why the new stairs stop halfway up? Well, we weren't exactly sure what our plans were. Want to see our options? (Note: thank you Pinterest for all these amazing ideas)

The first plan was to carpet the stairs, leaving just the edge or the tread where the ballisters will be.

Then we thought about painting all the stairs white and installing a runner:

What about painting the stairs white and leaving the runner off?

Then I discovered the painted runner. Insert angels singing. I loooooove this idea, but we decided it just wasn't write for our home. It's on at our next house!

So what was the final decision? Painting the treads rich brown and the risers white. This picture sold us:

Those stairs are black (we're doing brown), but the re-design was amazing. Here is a color closer to what we wanted:

So, wish us luck with Part II of the staircase makeover. Hopefully we will work on it in the next few weeks.

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