Staircases have long been an architectural centerpiece of the home. In older homes, they represent a tribute to the craftsmanship that’s often missing from new constructions. The problem with older homes is after a while the elegance fades and all that remains is the functional role. Luckily, it’s possible to restore the grandeur that lies beneath the clothes and overcoats draped over the banister and the knickknacks stacked along the steps without breaking the bank.
The vertical space between steps is perhaps the most overlooked real estate on a staircase and with a bit of creativity, you can easily transform a dull area into a focal point of the home. With a paint brush, some painter’s tape, and a quart or two of your choice of paint colors, add a pattern or contrasting accent to the riser that draws one’s attention.
Repair Cracks and Scratches
Wood is one of the strongest natural materials in the world, but it is susceptible to the wear and tear of time and footsteps. If your staircase has chipped wood, deep scratches, or stains, the fix is easy enough with sandpaper, wood filler, stain, and some varnish. Using a filler that matches your current stain for a more even appearance, fill in the cracks, and cover the scratches and let it dry. For sanding, start with coarse 80 grit paper and gradually make your way to a finer grit. Apply the stain and varnish and your staircase will be as good as new.
Replace the Treads
Instead of rebuilding the entire staircase, you can replace the treads. Kits for hardwood treads are available at most home improvement stores in a wide variety of stains and can be custom ordered to match the measurements of your staircase.
For this makeover, it’s not necessary to remove the old treads. Instead, you’ll need a handheld circular saw to trim the old treads so they’re flush with the riser, then place the new hardwood treads over the existing ones, gluing them in place. This easy fix significantly reduces the amount of hours and money you would’ve spent on completely removing and replacing the old treads. It’s also a great way to increase the value of your home if you’re looking to sell, which will go a long way in helping to secure a new home loan for your next home.
Install a Runner
This option is best for homeowners with young kids, since a wood staircase can be a dangerous playground. A runner provides ample friction and a sturdier step. A few things to remember is you need to measure the full staircase, including the riser and nose edge of the tread, to ensure the carpeting and padding is enough. Also, a commercial-grade carpet is an economical option for a staircase with heavy foot traffic.
It’s easy to restore any staircase to its former glory. All you need is a bit of creativity, a few tools and, of course, some elbow grease. With these ingredients, any do-it-yourself homeowner is up to the task.
Saving an old staircase from a complete remodel is easy with these steps.