DIY Network

Updating a Staircase

This DIY Basic will provide tips on updating a staircase.

More in Remodeling

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Give your old staircase a fresh look with iron balusters, painted steps, and new carpet. First, gather the necessary materials and tools.

Materials and Tools:
paint scraper
power drill with 7/8-inch bit
3/4-inch Iron balusters with bases
2-inch angled paintbrush
bound carpet strip
carpet cushion

Step 3: Choose Carpeting

Start by choosing new carpet. Stairs take more abuse than most other floor areas because of the traffic pattern concentrated in the middle of the step.

To make your stairs look better longer, choose carpeting that is durable and soil resistant. The denser the carpet and the higher the twist, the more durable a carpet is. Bend the carpet tufts back and see how much of the backing is visible; the less backing you see, the denser the carpet. Soil protection is especially important to protect stairs from dirt tracked in by shoes.

Take paint and stain chips of wall, banister, and steps to the carpet store to make choosing colors easier. Bound carpet gives you more choices in color and pattern than do pre-manufactured carpet runners.

Step 4: Prep the Area

Remove the old carpet and patch and scrape the steps.

Saw the wood balusters in half and remove them.

Drill bigger holes in the underside of the handrail to hold the iron balusters if necessary.

Step 5: Apply Primer and Paint

Sand, stain, and varnish the handrail.

Priming the exposed ends of the steps will hide wood grain.

Paint the exposed ends of the steps.

Tip: Paint out of not into corners, joints, and crevices.

Step 6: Install the Balusters and Handrail

Slip the iron balusters into the handrail holes. Screw the baluster bases to the steps.

Install trim under the handrail to hold the balusters in place.

Step 7: Have the Carpet Installed

Have a professional install the new carpet.

Make sure the new carpet is at room temperature before installation. A carpet cushion with a built-in moisture barrier will protect wood steps from spills and pet stains.

Tip: When you have a spill, always blot from the outer edge toward the center to prevent the spill from spreading.