From Carpet to Hardwood: How to Easily Transform Your Stairs | Little House of Four: From Carpet to Hardwood: How to Easily Transform Your Stairs

Sunday, June 12, 2016

From Carpet to Hardwood: How to Easily Transform Your Stairs


Wow, did this weekend fly by!  My husband and I got to enjoy a nice dinner and evening alone for our anniversary (thanks mom and dad for keeping the kids overnight), we took the kids swimming, 4-wheeling in the woods and I busted my butt removing carpet and refinishing the basement stairs. 
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
Let me tell you, refinishing stairs with two young kids is no easy task.   No matter how many times I told them not to use the stairs they used them anyway.   Thank goodness I still have a baby gate, haha.  It definitely tested my patience and pushed me to get this project done faster. 


I was able to remove the carpet, tack strips and staples on Wednesday while the kids were at school. It worked out great, since I didn't have to worry about them stepping on staples or getting hurt from the tack strips.

The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com


The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
I started at the bottom, ripping off the first section of carpet that covered the bottom couple steps. You guys, this carpet is only 5 years old and look how dirty it is!!!  Not to mention the hideous walls from not having a railing.
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
I had no idea the carpet was in this bad of shape and was shocked to find the backing was already falling apart and disintegrating.  I wasn't for carpeting the steps when we finished the basement, but it seemed like the right thing to do with young kids in the house.  Now that the kids are older and I don't have to worry about them tumbling down the steps, I'm convinced I'll NEVER carpet them again.
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com

Once the carpet and padding was removed from the bottom couple steps I used a wonder bar and hammer to pry up the tack strips.  I then used pliers to remove the hundreds of staples that were used to keep the carpet pad in place.


The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com

I found it easier to work on just a couple steps at a time.  First removing the carpet and padding then the tack strips and staples.  Not only does it reduce the risk of injury from stepping on sharp nails, but it's also a good feeling to get to the top and know you're done!
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
After I had the carpet, tack strips and staples removed it was time to sand and prep the steps for stain.
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
I used my RYOBI Corner Cat Sander to remove the top layer and clear coat from each step, eliminating the need for harsh strippers.  It was perfect for getting in tight corners and maneuvering around the steps.  I went over each step first with 80 grit sandpaper then 120 grit.
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com


The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
After the steps were sanded I vacuumed up the dust then wiped down each step with a tack rag.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!  These rags get up every last bit of dust that you don't want mixing with your stain.
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
My plan was to have the stairs match the new basement floor, but that ended up being much harder than I thought due to the yellow tones in the Pine treads.  I ended up mixing general finishes gel stain in Black and Java to try an achieve a similar look. I applied the stain using a foam brush then wiped off the access with paper towels.  After the stain was dry I sealed the stain with water based poly.  The steps ended up darker than the floor, but I'm okay with that since I've always wanted and loved the look dark stained stairs.
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
The holes were filled with wood putty then the steps were given 2 coats of Sherwin-Williams Super Paint Semi-gloss.
The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com

The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com

The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com

The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com
I am so happy with how they turned out and can't believe how much cleaner the space now feels.  I've definitely cleaned the steps way more than I did when we had carpet, but that's a good thing.  Thank goodness our neighbors gave us their old handheld Dyson.  I leave it in the basement and it takes all of 2 minutes to vacuum off the steps.

The easiest way to remove carpet and completely transform wood stairs. - www.littlehouseoffour.com

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Next up is to add the wall treatment down the stairs and finish the floor and trim around the baseboards.


A huge thank you to RYOBI for providing product for this post.

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18 comments:

  1. I loved from carpet to hardwood post. Thanks for sharing each bit of your story and providing us complete information.

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  2. What a transformation!! The stairs are gorgeous now. I've had my eye on that RYOBI corner cat sander for a while now. Looks super easy to use!

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    Replies
    1. You must get one Leigh Anne! It's super easy to use and perfect for small projects.

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  3. Wow! They are beautiful now Katie!!

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    1. Thanks Emily! I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out!

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  4. Holy smokes Katie! They look incredible!!! LOVE the contrast of the dark wood with the white! PERFECT!

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  5. Girl you're on fire! I can't believe how quickly you busted this out! It looks amazing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bre! I don't mess around when I'm on a mission, lol!

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  6. awesome job love the look with the white, and if a baby gate won't work there is always duct tape ha ha xx

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    Replies
    1. Haha yes, duct tape is good for everything!

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  7. I really like the stain that you chose. It looks great

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  8. Congrats! Your stairs look great. I'd love to do this to the staircase in my home, but my stairs are only plywood. Not sure how it would turn out.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! You can stain plywood, but it won't look as "finished" as higher quality wood. For what it's worth, my treads are not the best wood and they still turned out.

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