Refinished Stairs

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About This Project

pine trim

Finally got rid of the yucky worn-out carpet on the stairs. Instead of painting or staining the tread surfaces, I sanded, filled in holes, primed with a high quality primer, and used luxury vinyl flooring planks on the top of the treads, and finished the fronts with pewter stair nose. The risers and skirt boards were sanded, primed, and painted with 2 coats of semi gloss paint. Below the front edges of treads and where the treads meet the risers and skirt boards, added a finishing touch with some trim. This project was time consuming and I had sore muscles all over from crawling up and down those steps, but I think the finished result was worth it. They look much nicer, and we can get dust and dog hair off of the steps with just a Swiffer. Plus, it only cost about $200 to do 2 sets of stairs (6 steps up and 6 steps down).

So, why didn't I stain or paint the tread surfaces? I originally planned to, and did a lot of reading and research on what to use. But, I was worried about slipping on the stairs. Mom (who lives with us) isn't as mobile as she used to be due to a hip replacement and arthritis, and I was worried about her slipping on the smooth tread surfaces. Even if I'd used slip resistant paint, I was still worried about her foot slipping off the round bullnose at the front of the tread (that's happened to me with the carpeted stairs). The vinyl planks have a textured surface. We have these on several of our floors throughout the house and they aren't slippery for her feet. The stair nose has ridges and also is a bit squared, so it doesn't allow your foot to slip off of the front edge.

I know this is non-standard from what most people would expect to see on stairs, and we'll surely have to change it if we ever sell our house, but in the month we've had this project complete, so far it has been great.

Required Skill Level: 
Estimated Time Investment: 
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Finish Used: 
Pulled up a huge number of staples and tack strips, filled in holes with wood filler, sanded with 80, 150 and then 220 grit sandpaper, vaccuum and tack cloth wipedowns. Primed with Zinsser Bullseye primer. 2 coats of Ace Royal semi gloss in Wishbone on risers, skirt boards and trim. Tread surfaces are luxury vinyl plank with pewter stair nose edge.
Estimated Cost: 


As you can see the photos above before it has been installed the vinyl flooring and after it was installed you will see the difference between the before and after the installation.

As you can see the photos above before it has been installed the vinyl flooring and after it was installed you will see the difference between the before and after the installation.

How have your stairs held up over the last year? I'm considering doing the same thing. I'm worried about them being too slippery (my planks are not textured) and the fact that the manufactuer says not to use for stairing. Your stairs look great!

Thanks SunnyL! The stairs are holding up great! The stair nose makes it so your foot doesn't slip off the end, and they sweep up beautifully. We have 2 beagles that shed a lot, and it's a cinch to get the dog hair off the stairs ;).

I'm not sure about doing this with a slick surfaced plank, though... One of the reasons I chose to use this particular plank is that it's textured and not slick at all.. These have the adhesive on the back and haven't moved or lifted a bit. This is the one I used, it was a great price and is wearing beautifully.|0&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_price%7C0%26Ntt%3Dvinyl%2Bplank%2Bflooring&facetInfo=

Good luck on your project! :)