So we left off with our stairs like this:
But what I haven’t told you yet, is that by the time I got sick of looking at them, they actually looked like this:
Since the floor guys had to cut back the existing treads to add the hardwood treads, we were left with decent sized gaps on both sides of the stairs, going all the way up. On top of that, there were layers of dirt, grime, and paint built up along the sides where the previous owner had painted.
One reason that I procrastinated so long on this was because I knew this would be a big project, and we weren’t sure how we were going to fill in those holes and make the stairs look normal again.
So if you have stairs that have ugly risers and holes on the sides, you should follow these steps to make them not-so-ugly stairs.
Step 1: Fill in those gaps!
I ended up using some scrap wood that I had laying around, cut it to size, and glued it in the holes using construction adhesive. Then I went over it with wood putty:
Step 2: sand
Whether you are staining or painting, you have to sand everything down really well. In my case, I was painting over everything with a white paint, but if you were staining, I am told certain wood putty is also stainable. I would test it first though. Also, since I was painting over everything, I didn’t bother to sand completely to the original wood. I only sanded to get a smooth surface.
Apparently I tacked up molding and caulked everything before I sanded. I don’t think the order matters.
Step 3: Add trim (if you want)
I wanted a little more design in the stair risers, so I opted to add a trim along the bottom of each stair. I chose a coved trim from Home Depot for only 2.99 for a 96 inch peice found here:
I measured each stair and cut each peice with a miter saw, but you could cut these with pretty much any saw you have they are very small. I then tacked them up.
Stay tuned for part three of this series where I put the finishing touches (paint and caulk) on the stairs!