Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ugly Basement Stairs update

The stairs aren't completely finished yet but they sure did look better for company.

The problem with needing to paint stairs is trying to find an entire 24 hours that they won't be walked on.

With company coming and staying in the basement it just wasn't feasible to paint before they arrived so that's my project this week.

BUT I had to share the progress because it's so amazing!!

Okay so here's what I DIDN'T want them to see

Not pretty!!

Look at all the huge gaps

So I went to Lowes and bought a 1/4 in 4'x8' sheet of plywood that was on clearance for $10.77 and a 1/4 in 4'x8' sheet of beadboard for $19.88

I then searched the trim section for a piece of trim that was 1 3/4 inch thick as that was the thickness of  the tread after adding the 1/4" plywood. It was the biggest purchase at $44

I found 1 that would work (talk about L-U-C-K-Y)

Also purchased Stop trim for the bottom piece of trim where the tread meets the riser. Cost for that trim was just under $25

I first attached the beadboard with trim adhesive

Looking better already!!

Next step was to paint the plywood with some gripper paint. I knew that I was going to have to cover the entire staircase in paint so used the clearance paint floor paint I found while shopping. Has an additive in it that makes it rough so it's not slippery.

It was on clearance for $8.00 and already had the gripper mixed in so I was sold ;)

While the new treads were drying I used the miter saw to cut each piece of chair rail and stop trim to fit.

I then applied adhesive to the back side of the plywood, chair rail and stop trim. I used subfloor adhesive for the plywood that was going to be the tread and trim adhesive for the trim pieces.

Using the nail gun I secured the new tread, chair rail trim and the beadboard risers in place. I only used the adhesive on the stop trim as it's so thin I didn't want to risk splitting in anywhere.

I worked my way down from the top but that was just how it happened, I think either way would work just fine.

As you can see there are still gaps.

Nothing a little caulk can't help

Now I still need to paint, add trim to the ledge and a handrail but....

It's so much better than:

Don't you think??

The plan is to paint them all white but then I spied a few pictures recently (on pinterest of course) with a painted runner and now I'm not so sure what to do. 

What do you think? 

All white or add a fun color with a runner??

Total cost so far: $ 107.65

plywood $10.77
beadboard $19.88
chair rail $44
stop trim $25
paint $8


  1. Looking good!!! This is the staircase leading to the basement right? I would totally do a painted runner. That would be so much fun!

  2. The stairs look better with that quick fix and also seem to be safer for your company to use while they stay at the house for the holidays. The finishing touches can be done after they leave.

  3. Painted runner for sure. I was going to redo my basement stairs and buy a new runner, but painted sounds cheaper and endless with creativity!

  4. Amazing turned out, Nice blog . You have done great bed sale UK

  5. Hi, this looks like a great project. One thing I have to ask though, why did you install plywood on the steps and not paint over the existing wood?

    1. Pretty sure that was to make the gap between the step and the wall smaller

    2. She was trying to get away from painting the actual stairs because she would not have ben able to use them for 24 hours. Very difficult with children and pets. :)

  6. Looks fabulous! Love the beadboard. I wouldn't have thought of that. One thing though--I would be a little leery of only using adhesive to attach the trim. With the pressure of constantly stepping on it, it seems it might pop off unexpectedly and cause a fall. I sure do love the way this looks.

  7. Looks fabulous! Love the beadboard. I wouldn't have thought of that. One thing though--I would be a little leery of only using adhesive to attach the trim. With the pressure of constantly stepping on it, it seems it might pop off unexpectedly and cause a fall. I sure do love the way this looks.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm in the EXACT predicament as you are. You showed me how to begin! Go with intuition on what you want about if they are finished or not. I know I've got big plans but I've got a toddler at home lol.

  9. Beautiful...My steps look worse than your before

  10. Looks sooo much better! And, definitely the painted runner! What better place to play than the basement stairs?

  11. You're a life, er... project saver! I'm in the process of replacing my flooring and found plywood when I took the carpet off the stairs. Ugh. I was not looking to spend money on a carpenter or new treads and risers. I was hoping to find a way to cover them, and you provided a great way of doing so. Thank you!

  12. Did you ever finish? Would love to see a finished photo to show husband who wants to put linoleum on our stairs to our MIL apartment.

  13. The stairs look so nice! Thanks for the idea; we have the same staircase and I think I will attempt this with a painted runner for fun and color since they are basement steps!

  14. Your stairs look better but I'd think about your safety. This has at least one and likely more code violations and is unsafe. Treads are supposed to be solid or you NEED to use stairnose moulding. You can't just tack nosing on to the vertical face of the tread; guess what happens when that nosing fails and you are relying on it for support. That quarter round is unsafe too, code requires toe space under the preceding tread and a minimum tread length. The quarter round reduces the effective run of the tread, acts as a heel catch and diminishes/eliminates the toe space. For the sake of your safety, please research projects beforehand and be safe!

    1. WOW!SO negative!

    2. Better to be made aware of potential problems than to find out the hard way.

  15. Very nice idea. It came to me that pre-painting all items before installation would solve the problem of finding 24 hours no one could use the stairs.

  16. Nice work! That makes a huge difference and you proved a nice outcome needn't be expensive.

  17. I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks. overland park basement remodel

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