Redoing our stairs!

As of last week we had some pretty yucky looking stairs at our house. We have a split level and when we moved in their was cream colored carpet on both flights. In the process of finishing our downstairs and hauling stuff in the carpet on the lower stairs got totally ruined and so we pulled it off a few years ago a since then have had stairs that looked like this:
Not very beautiful but we intended to make them in the beautiful wooden steps someday. The stairs bothered both Ken and I but we hadn't had the time or money to do what we thought needed to be done.

On the upper stairs we hadn't pulled off the carpet yet but it had gotten horribly stained and was really bugging me! It looked like this:

 When I was reading some blogs I saw some steps that looked very nice and made me realize maybe there was a way that I could make the steps look better all by myself withouth having to use much money. The first blog the really inspired me I just happened upon and I have no idea where it is now but then recently Melissa at The Inspired Room showed how she had redone some of her stairs. I decided that I could do this! Time to get to work!

At first we tried just sanding the treads. (I had decided to use just what is in place, even though there are some cracks and they don't fit perfectly against the wall. This is still temporary as we are planning on getting it done professionally possibly this summer)

    Mara wanted to earn some money so I put her to work. She decided to don a couple of hats for ear protection! Sanding made the wood look pretty beautiful but it wasn't getting the paint off very well. I went searching online and found a method of paint removal that ended up working beautifully!

  To remove the paint I just took rubbing alcohol and poured a little bit on the painted part and spread it out over all of the paint. (It didn't take much of the alcohol) I let it set just a little bit (a minute or so) and then easily scraped it off with a paint scraper. The stuff that didn't scrape off I just wiped off with a rag. It was so simple!

When we got to the upper stairs we had to pull off the carpet. Jonathan helped to pull out all of the staples. Then I removed paint and sanded those steps as well.

 For the next step I took paint that matched the walls and painted the back of each step and then I stained the tread.

Here is the upstairs ones:
And the downstairs:
They are not perfect but I think they are so much better and I love them! It was several hours worth of work but it is worth it!

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