Hi Friends! I have started thinking about my stairs. If you remember from this post, my stairs are a big Pinterest Fail. Aka, I read how to wallpaper/paint my stairs from Pinterest and it turned out horribly wrong. Everything was fine (the wallpaper, the paint), until I put on a finish coat of polyeurthane. This clear coat (which was supposed to protect the stairs from getting scuffed up) turned the white paint yellow, curled up the wallpaper, and left bubbles everywhere. It was a major fail! But I have been living with it. Can I stop now for a PSA? If you are planning on painting your stairs, let me try to talk you out of it. Here are the cons:
- My stairs are always a mess. Maybe if I didn’t have a dog (thus dog hair and leaves are always on the stair), this wouldn’t be true. I have to sweet the stairs once a week and it’s a pain.
- Wood floors are loud- they echo everything
- It’s hard to get the wood looking nice if you pull carpet up. Who know’s what’s lurking under there? For me, it was wood stairs caked in paint drips. Not pretty! It’s doable, but it’s not a quick project.
- Painted stairs can scuff easily. Mine do (even with that yellowy hard paint color) and my mother-in-laws do (and she used porch paint).
- Wood floors are easier to slip on and are more dangerous for kids
why I’m redoing my stairs
It’s funny how renovations work. Some things you tolerate for years and then suddenly they become a priority. My baby is now nine months old and is very curious about the stairs. I know he is a long way off of climbing them, but I want to make them more safe now. Here are my two options:
- I can carpet the whole stairs
- I can install a runner
Carpeting would probably be cheaper and less of a hassle (we’d just pay someone to do it), but I want the look of a runner! I have been pinning ideas like crazy, but in a nutshell, I would like the run (the tread or horizontal part) stained a walnut/wood color and the rise (the vertical part) painted white. So here is how to plan for a stair runner.
So I am on the search for a grey runner that is soft (ish) and won’t show dirt.
Next, I need to figure out the dimensions of the runner I will buy. First I measured the rise (7 3/4″- we’ll just call it 8″ to be safe)
Sorry for the ugly photos! This was before sweeping, but you really can see why I can’t live with them any longer, right?!
I did the math- I have 13 stairs. Times that by 18″ of runner needed per stair (the rise plus the run). I then added 8″ for the last riser (all stairs have one more riser than tread) and then added 12″ to be safe. I figure I need 21′ of runner. For the width, the stairs are 33″ wide so I think a 24-26″ wide runner will be great (so there will be 3.5″-4.5″ of stair showing on either side of the runner). Here is a more in-depth description of how to measure for a stair runner.
I then started looking online for some runner sources, but I have come to the conclusion that I need to see the carpet in real life to make a good decision. I did love this blog post with some beautiful grey runner suggestions. So next week, I will go runner shopping and bringing home some samples to see how they look on my stairs.
Most people will be removing carpet to do a stair runner. If you need to replace the wood, here is a really good blog post with a tutorial on that. Since I need to take off the polyurethane, I will need to use a stripper. Here is a good article with different strippers- if you are taking off carpet and find old paint spills like I did, a stripper might be good for you too. Since I have a baby at home, I will go with a water-based stripper with less chemicals (they recommend “Safest Stripper”). Here is an affiliate link to Amazon for a 1 quart safe stripper for $10 by Citristrip. So I have ordered that (you’ve got to love online shopping especially with little ones at home and it’s snowing outside!) and will start stripping the stairs next weekend. I am excited to give you an update in the weeks to follow with a tutorial on how to install a stair runner. Here’s hoping I have tolerable stairs soon!