DIY: Stair Case

We are FINALLY done with the stairs.  3 months later, but we are done!!  Originally the plan was to hire someone to do the stairs, but we were quoted by different people anywhere from $3,500 to $4000 so we said, screw that.  We’d rather use that kind of money for the floor and instead went DIY on our stairs.


Before we had insanely dirty carpet, poorly kept and poorly painted black and brown rails.  What you cannot see are the cracks in the wall.  So we did the following to fix it up!

  1. My husband removed the carpet and the rails
  2. I sanded down the steps (thank GOD they had good wood under the carpet)
  3. We chose a dark brown stain and I applied 3 thick coats to every step and 1 thick coat to the borders that were previously stained.
  4. I applied 5 coats of polyurethane
  5. as I was staining and applying the coating (I did it over the course of a week in the AM and PM while the coats would have time to dry) we took the stair rails to a sandblast shop to be blasted and repainted with a brushed aluminum.
  6. Once those were ready we installed them and took the wood it previously had, measured it out, and cut new ones. (my husband did that part)
  7. when he was done I stained the new wood with the light gray stain.
  8. the part that took the longest was the laminate installation as that was a DIY for my dad and my husband (finding a time that worked for both was difficult).  With the left over laminate from the upstairs job we installed it onto the platform as it had a tacky plywood underneath that looked so bad when it was stained.
  9. The total cost of the job was $936 ($700 for the rails…but still cheaper than new ones)

Life is so good without those dirty carpets and so much easier to maintain!  Plus we learned new skills along the way.  Though we have a few amateur drip marks, still saved $3,000 for something that in a small townhouse does not need to be a statement piece.

Fingers crossed for a new kitchen and new stairs by the end of the year!  The kitchen will also be a DIY so stay tuned!






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