So being the crazy person that I am (read impatient), I managed to completely redo my stairwell in a matter of three days, even with working two 12 hour shifts and an unplanned all nighter to the ER while my husband was out of town. I get antsy when Aaron is gone, and one night I decided that I had had enough of the carpet in our basement. I'm still saving to replace the floors, but I decided I could do something about the 25 year old, smelly, stained carpet going up our only set of stairs.
Take a look at this before and after comparison. For $150 that's not bad!
You can definitely tell I did them myself, but who cares! They are so much easier to clean, the whole space is brighter (four coats of paint helped, whole other story), and its CLEAN.
So first thing was tearing out the old carpet. Seriously was gross. I'm convinced our allergies will improve once we replace all the flooring in the basement. There is no perfect way to do this, but I basically loosened a corner and started pulling. I got lucky that there was hardly any glue, but someone went trigger happy with the staple gun. I used a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers to remove everything. And unless you are able to keep your littles or pets off the stairs (I was not) you need to get everything done in one sitting so someone doesn't get stuck accidentally.
So that leaves you with your subfloor! I then spackled up as many bumps and holes as I could on these, which is all the white you see in this picture.
I decided that the wood I had for the risers was in pretty good shape and that I was happy enough with it. So after a serious clean, I painted the risers (vertical pieces) and the trim all a clean white with left over paint from my kitchen.
I'm pretty sure I'll never finish painting.
SO MUCH BRIGHTER ALREADY.
Next came my weekly trip to Home Depot. So much of my paycheck goes here, but whatever it's my happy place. There are worse things.
I stained each board before attaching them, which saved me a lot on touch up time. I recommend letting these dry over night so they're not sticky when you're working with them.
Using a super intense wood/construction glue and long screws, I attached the freshly cut & stained treads to each step. I got the $10 pine ones, but you can get as nice of ones as you want.
After placing the screws, I covered them with wood putty. This is stainable in theory, but you will see where you use it so proceed with caution. I didn't do the best job with this part, but whatever, now I know better.
Last thing I did was cover everything in several coats of polyurethane. And being that I accidentally spilled the can down the stairs, trust me, they are well sealed. I even sanded and stained the banister to match the stair treads, just to try and bring it all together. We are going to finish painting and put in a new light fixture at the top of the stairs and it will officially be done!
So it may not be perfect, but I am SUPER proud of it. I did absolutely everything myself, and managed not spill the beans to Aaron while he was on his trip, so he was surprised when he walked in the door! (I'm horrible at keeping things from him, especially when I'm excited. The six hour time difference was helpful.)