How To Update Carpeted Stairs With Paint

I have always loved the look of classic painted stairs. I just feel like they have such a clean, crisp look and add so much character to the home. The first thing you see when you walk in a home is usually the stairs on a two story house. I wanted our open concept home to have a custom clean lined look so removing the stair carpet and painting them has been on my list since we moved in. For the most part it was a pretty simple project, just time consuming. Here’s how our project went.


Here is the before shot of our stairs. The carpet was in good condition, I just didn’t care for the color or how it looked in our home with all the updates.





So the first thing we did is tear up the carpet. I really thought the demo would be the worst part, and it was fairly easy. First, we cut into the carpet in the corner of the stair, then peeled away . Once you get a hold of the carpet, it pulls out pretty easily.






Be careful of the tacking strips underneath, they are really sharp. The next thing we did was remove the strips. We kept an old bucket nearby to drop the torn up scraps into and then a big garbage bag for the padding. It makes clean up so much easier as you go along. My husband just used a crowbar between the stair and tacking strip and lifted it with a hammer.




Once the tacking strips were off, we pulled off all the padding. It was glued down so there were a lot of left over pieces still attached. I used a scrapper to get the rest of the padding off. That was probably the worst part of the demo.



After the stairs were cleaned up and debris swept off, we started adding the treads. For the top section of the stairs we had to get 42″ treads because they were wider, but our stair width was 40″ so they had to be cut to fit. We purchased the treads at Home Depot. The stairs on the lower section were 36″ and they had treads in that size so no cutting was required, yay!






Next we added the risers using MDF board that we had to cut to fit. Each riser had a slightly different measurement so each stair riser had to be cut individually to fit properly. Then we used a nail gun to attach them.




Once the risers and treads were on it was time to caulk all the gaps and prep for paint. I used painters tape for the posts and then went through and sanded all the stairs, filled in gaps with caulk and then wiped down thoroughly. 




After the steps were cleaned and prepped, I started with the risers and painted them with 3 coats drying in between each coat. I used Simply White by Benjamin Moore in a satin finish.



To paint the treads I used a Behr brand concrete/garage paint with epoxy in the color Blackout. I painted every other stair and waited for each coat to dry (that way you can walk up your stairs every other step) The paint has a heavy duty rougher finish so the stairs aren’t slippery to walk on. I didn’t put a finish on them because this type of paint doesn’t require it. However, if I see issues with it, I may research a protective covering but so far so good.






I could not be more thrilled with how these turned out and the dramatic difference it makes to the whole room. I’m just wondering what took us so long? Sometimes I stall on a project because it feels a bit intimidating, but with enough research ( and a little confidence) it really isn’t as scary as it seems. Things are always fixable and you can learn a lot from others, thank you Pinterest! 

So, let me know what you think and if you have any questions, please ask. Don’t forget to subscribe so you can get the latest posts delivered to our email so you wont miss anything.


Happy Decorating!


September 24, 2019

  1. Shawn Suarez says:

    Thanks so much for this post– I have been contemplating doing the same thing on our staircase! It looks fantastic!

    • says:

      Hi Shawn,

      Thanks I’m glad you liked the post. I’m so happy with the project and wondering why we waited so long .

      Happy Fall!

  2. Laura Kellogg says:

    I absolutely love the new stairs! So classic and beautiful. Well done, Deb and Spencer!

  3. Lauren says:

    The stairway looks very nice. One question, though. Why did you leave the bottom riser brown?

    • says:

      Hi Lauren,

      Actually we weren’t sure if we wanted to cover the wood piece but we added the additional riser and painted it white just recently and it looks much better. I need to add the photo to this post.
      Thanks for commenting

  4. They look fantastic and will be perfect for decades. I’ve been wanting to do this to our stairs for years but I’m soooo intimidated because ours our curved. You make it look easy. Want to come do ours?! LOL.

    • says:

      Thanks Cindy. We are so glad we decided to do it. Our staircase is pretty straightforward so that helped a lot.

  5. Charis says:

    What color is your railing painted ? And what did you do to your landing ? It all looks amazing ?

    • says:

      Hi Charis,

      I painted the railings with Waverly chalk paint from Walmart in the color INk, then finished off with a clear wax. The landing had a fun shiplap base floor so we just patched a few areas and sanded. I loved the look so just kept it like that.

      Thanks so much for folowing,


      • Char says:

        Thank you for the post. Your stairs are beautiful. What wax product did you use over the top railing?

  6. Ann says:

    Hi Dud you paint or stain the railings. And if so did you do them black thank you. Beautiful look

    • says:

      Hi Ann,
      Thank you. I painted the railings with the Waverly Chalk Paint from Walmart in the color INK. First I cleaned well and lightly sanded them then finished off with a clear wax. They are holding up great.

      Here’s a link to the paint
      [show_shopthepost_widget id="3886977"]

      Thanks for following,

  7. Cindi says:

    Did you have to add anything to the landing or was it simply a matter of painting?

    • says:

      Hi Cindi,

      Actually we weren’t sure what we were going to do with it until we saw what was underneath. I was excited to see it was a shiplap look and I loved the character of it. So we just patched up some dings and sanded and painted it.

      Thanks for following~

      • Danny White says:

        Looks great! What was the overall cost to do this? Was it the standard 16-ish steps?

  8. Kelsey says:

    Did you use pine or oak for the stairs?

  9. Jami says:

    How did you tie in the top tread with the floor in the 2nd floor?

    • says:

      Hi Jami,

      We didn’t do the last riser at the top becuase we are planning to remove the carpet and add wood. So for now we left it to keep the carpet in tack.

      Hope that helps!

  10. Jann Krone says:

    Do you think the behr concrete/garage would work on metal stairs. We have a indoor spiral staircase and have removed the carpet but having trouble finding something that will stick and be durable for everyday use. Thank you.

    • says:

      Hi Jann,

      I would say to ask the experts at the paint department because I’m not sure on that particular question.
      Happy New Year!!

  11. Suzanne says:

    Your stairs look sooo much better than they did with the carpet, and soooo much better than mine! An absolutely professional appearing job! Love it!

    • says:

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thank you so much I appreciate the kind comments. It was a great project.


  12. Connie says:

    Are the steps slippery at all. I realize you used epoxy paint ..,, I fear slipping and falling.

    • says:

      Hi Connie,

      The paint has a rougher texture to it, kind of a light sandpaper texture, so they aren’t slippery.


  13. Rebecca says:

    Hi there,

    How is the sound/noise level?

    • says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      I haven’t noticed a difference in the sound level at all.


  14. Pam says:

    How is the paint holding up on your stairs? We are getting ready to start renovating our stairs going down to the basement. Would love to use paint instead of stain.

    • says:

      Hi Pam,

      It’s doing great so far. Very happy with them.

      Thanks and best of luck on your projects.


  15. Moni C. says:

    Loved your blog!! I’ve been contemplating redoing my stairs for over 2 years and after finding & reading your story, I feel more confident about doing! Your stairs look BEAUTIFUL AND PROFESSIONALLY DONE. 😍

    • says:

      Oh yay I’m so glad it was inspiring and helpful.
      best of luck with your project…You’ll be so happy you did it.

      xoxo Deborah

  16. Wonderful suggestion. Keep up the good work. I really like it.

  17. Tasha says:

    Your stairs look great. What do you use to clean them? Is the epoxy easy to clean? Does dirt/hair stick to it? Thanks!

    • says:

      Hi Tasha,

      Thank you! The paint has an epoxy in it already. I just sweep them then use a wet mop to clean. Super easy to care for.

      xoxo Deborah

  18. Thanks for sharing the post. Keep up the good work. I really like the post.

  19. Anne says:

    Nice job on the stairs. I do have a couple of questions:

    Did you fill in all the seams between the treads in the wall?

    Did you have any squeaks in the stairs before he started the project?

    Did you put the new treads right over the old treads are pull the old ones out?

    • says:

      Hi and thanks

      Yes we filled in the seams
      No we did not have any squeaks
      we didn’t really have treads once the carpet was up it was just plywood base then we added the treads(if that makes sense?)

  20. Heidi Stadelmaier says:

    Wouldn’t be easier to paint the risers and the trends prior to placing the on the stairs?
    Any suggestions on what to fill in the cracks on the trends prior to painting? Replacing them would be expensive and im thinking there must be something that could just fill in the nail holes and cracks from wear.

    • says:


      It wasn’t any problem to paint them when they were installed. I’m not sure what the difference would be but we wanted the project complete before we painted them. Since we decided to fully replace the particle board underneath I’m not sure whatother option you could do since we didn’t take that route, sorry. It wsn’t really that expensive for us to replace them.


  21. Alicia says:

    Do you have a update on the top step? I was wondering how to proceed since our top floor is carpet.

    • says:

      Hi Alicia,

      I haven’t finished it yet. We are hoping to replace our carpet this year and I’ll addd that update once we do.


  22. Soraya Damiani says:

    Love how it looks. Thank you for the tutorial. So far one of the best I had read. I feel more confident on taking the risk and update our stairs myself. Thank you👍❤️

  23. Jillian says:

    How many coats of epoxy for the treads and did you prime before epoxy? Also, did you strictly use a table saw or another tool for the cuts on your treads? I’m currently redoing my stairs. The first cross cut on the tread looks to have some splintering (using read oak boards by Stairtek with a circular saw).

    • says:

      We just used 2 coats of the paint with epoxy and one coat of primer. We used a table saw for the treads and didn’t have any issues with the cuts. I bought the treads from Home Depot.
      Hope that helps and best of luck

  24. Terri says:

    This is great and exactly what I am trying to achieve with my stairs.
    The Behr paint now has a primer in it, do you think it needs an additional primer or additional grit so it isn’t slippery?
    Also wondering if you repainted your banisters and spindles. I need to do this but am not sure what paint to use.

    • says:

      If it has a primer in it I don’t think you’d need the additional step unless its recommended. I painted the railings with a cahlk paint and used my regular trim paint for the spindles. I like the Waverly chalk paint from Walmart. then I finished with a clear wax.
      Hope that helps.

  25. tia says:

    i have been searching the internet and i’ve finally found someone who has/had the same type of stairs as me……originally carpeted stairs with false stair treads under the spindles. i’ve been wanting to change my stairs from carpet to wood, but my dilemma has been “how do i line up the new wood treads/nose with the false stair treads/nose”?? (I do not want to have to remove the false stair treads or the spindles). i notice in your final pics, some of your stair treads and nose do not perfectly line up with your false treads/nose. has this caused any problems with kids, adults, or pets bumping into the protruding nose with their legs/feet? thank you for your insight!! you have given me hope that i can do this!

  26. Thanks for sharing this amazing article.

  27. Kelly Williams says:

    Love the stairs!! My husband and I are debating stain vs painting the treads… I’m #teampaint. Question… how long before you could use the painted tread? I see you did every other one. But how long did it take to dry enough to use the stairs?

    Looks fabulous!!!!!

    • says:

      Hi. We waited a full 24 hours before walking on them. But check the instructions on the can of the product you decide to use. ALso will depend on the humidity in your home.

      Thanks xoxo

  28. Alexis says:

    What did you use to fill in the gaps between the new treads and the existing side treads?

  29. Amy says:

    This looks great. Did you pull up the wood “treads”
    that were there and then attach the new pine treads to the risers or did you lay the new pine treads directly over the wood that was already there?

    • says:

      Hello Amy

      We pulled up the old ones and added new ones from Home Depot to the existing risers.


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      Beautiful job. It looks like you put the new risers on top original risers that you uncovered from under the carpet. Is that how you did it?

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  49. Sarahcak says:

    Regardless if you believe in God or not, read this message!!!

    Throughout time, we can see how we have been strategically conditioned coming to this point where we are on the verge of a cashless society. Did you know that the Bible foretold of this event almost 2,000 years ago?

    In the book of Revelation 13:16-18, we read,

    “He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles–Revelation 19:20) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

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    “Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

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    Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand (the two places the Bible says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, criminal record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

    Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.” Carl believes this is referring to a hypodermic needle when they poke into the skin to inject the microchip.”

    Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor replied by saying a terrible sore would appear in that location. This is what the book of Revelation says:

    “And the first (angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).

    You can read more about it here–and to also understand the mystery behind the number 666: https://2RUTH.ORG

    The third angel’s warning in Revelation 14:9-11 states,

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.'”

    Great hope is in our midst, and is coming in a mighty way–the greatest revival for Jesus in the history of the world where we will see the most souls come to Him of all tribes, tongues, nations, and peoples (Rev. 7:9-10); for we have this promise in God’s Word in the midst of these dark times:

    “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years (not literal–rather a spiritual label for time spent in eternity); and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while (when the Antichrist and false prophet will rise up and God will test the world).” (Revelation 20:1-3)

    “The coming of the lawless one (the Antichrist) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)”

    Who is Barack Obama, and why is he still in the public scene?

    So what about his name? The meaning of someone’s name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface.

    Jesus states in Luke 10:18, “…I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

    The Hebrew Strongs word (H1299) for “lightning”: “bârâq” (baw-rawk)

    In Isaiah chapter 14, verse 14, we read about Lucifer (Satan) saying in his heart:

    “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”

    In the verses in Isaiah that refer directly to Lucifer, several times it mentions him falling from the heights or the heavens. The Hebrew word for the heights or heavens used here is Hebrew Strongs 1116: “bamah”–Pronounced (bam-maw’)

    In Hebrew, the letter “Waw” or “Vav” is often transliterated as a “U” or “O,” and it is primarily used as a conjunction to join concepts together. So to join in Hebrew poetry the concept of lightning (Baraq) and a high place like heaven or the heights of heaven (Bam-Maw), the letter “U” or “O” would be used. So, Baraq “O” Bam-Maw or Baraq “U” Bam-Maw in Hebrew poetry similar to the style written in Isaiah, would translate literally to “Lightning from the heights.” The word “Satan” in Hebrew is a direct translation, therefore “Satan.”

    When Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 10:18 that He beheld Satan fall like lightning from heaven, if this were to be spoken by a Jewish Rabbi today influenced by the poetry in the book of Isaiah, he would say these words in Hebrew–the words of Jesus in Luke 10:18 as, and I saw Satan as Baraq O Bam-Maw.

    The names of both of Obama’s daughters are Malia and Natasha. If we were to write those names backward (the devil does things in reverse) it would be “ailam ahsatan”. If we remove the letters that spell “Alah” (Allah being the false god of Islam), we get “I am Satan”. Mere coincidence? I do not believe so!

    Obama’s campaign logo when he ran in 2008 was a sun over the horizon in the west, with the landscape as the flag of the United States. In the Isalmic religion, they have their own messiah that they are waiting for called the 12th Imam, or the Mahdi (the Antichrist of the Bible), and one prophecy concerning this man’s appearance is the sun rising in the west.

    “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.'” (Revelation 14:6-7)

    Why have the words of Jesus in His Gospel accounts regarding His death, burial, and resurrection, been translated into over 3,000 languages, and nothing comes close (the Quran about 110 languages)? Because the same Spirit of God (YHVH) who created all people likewise transcends all people; therefore the power of His Word is not limited by people; while all other religions are man-made, therefore they tend to primarily stay within their own culture. The same God who speaks to all people through His creation of the heavens and earth that draws all people around the world likewise has sent His Word to the ends of the earth so that we may come to personally know Him to be saved in spirit and in truth through His Son Jesus Christ.

    Jesus stands alone among the other religions that say to rightly weigh the scales of good and evil and to make sure you have done more good than bad in this life. Is this how we conduct ourselves justly in a court of law? Bearing the image of God, is this how we project this image into reality?

    Our good works cannot save us. If we step before a judge, being guilty of a crime, the judge will not judge us by the good we have done, but rather by the crimes we have committed. If we as fallen humanity, created in God’s image, pose this type of justice, how much more a perfect, righteous, and Holy God?

    God has brought down His moral laws through the 10 commandments given to Moses at Mt. Siani. These laws were not given so we may be justified, but rather that we may see the need for a savior. They are the mirror of God’s character of what He has written in our hearts, with our conscious bearing witness that we know that it is wrong to steal, lie, dishonor our parents, murder, and so forth.

    We can try and follow the moral laws of the 10 commandments, but we will never catch up to them to be justified before a Holy God. That same word of the law given to Moses became flesh about 2,000 years ago in the body of Jesus Christ. He came to be our justification by fulfilling the law, living a sinless perfect life that only God could fulfill.

    The gap between us and the law can never be reconciled by our own merit, but the arm of Jesus is stretched out by the grace and mercy of God. And if we are to grab on, through faith in Him, He will pull us up being the one to justify us. As in the court of law, if someone steps in and pays our fine, even though we are guilty, the judge can do what is legal and just and let us go free. That is what Jesus did almost 2,000 years ago on the cross. It was a legal transaction being fulfilled in the spiritual realm by the shedding of His blood with His last word’s on the cross crying out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

    For God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23). This is why in Isaiah chapter 53, where it speaks of the coming Messiah and His soul being a sacrifice for our sins, why it says it pleased God to crush His only begotten Son.

    This is because the wrath that we deserve was justified by being poured out upon His Son. If that wrath was poured out on us, we would all perish to hell forever. God created a way of escape by pouring it out on His Son whose soul could not be left in Hades but was raised and seated at the right hand of God in power.

    So now when we put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14), where God no longer sees the person who deserves His wrath, but rather the glorious image of His perfect Son dwelling in us, justifying us as if we received the wrath we deserve, making a way of escape from the curse of death; now being conformed into the image of the heavenly man walking in a new nature, and no longer in the image of the fallen man Adam.

    Now what we must do is repent and put our trust and faith in the savior, confessing and forsaking our sins, and to receive His Holy Spirit that we may be born again (for Jesus says we must be born again to see and enter the Kingdom of God in John chapter 3). This is not just head knowledge of believing in Jesus, but rather receiving His words, taking them to heart, so that we may truly be transformed into the image of God. Where we no longer live to practice sin, but rather turn from our sins and practice righteousness through faith in Him in obedience to His Word by reading the Bible.

    Our works cannot save us, but they can condemn us; it is not that we earn our way into everlasting life, but that we obey our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Jesus says,

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

    “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:9)

    “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’

    Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’

    And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'” (Revelation 21:1-8)

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