Stairs Area Remodeling Progress

This old home has beautiful stairs that need some work. Check out the stairs area remodeling progress to see some of the projects to update the space.

Our house has been in a constant state of remodeling since we purchased it. There have been so many adventures along the way it would be hard to catch up in one blog post.

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So if you want to read about our remodeling journey, start with Lessons from a Fixer Upper or hop over and tour all of our completed home projects here.

At around 5 years into our remodeling projects we started working on the stairs. These stairs were one of the features of our home that I fell in love with. They are the center of the home with their ornate and grand wood work.

Stairs and closet before remodeling
Looking upstairs before remodeling

All of the upstairs rooms open onto a U-shaped hallway that overlook these center stairs. There is something about them that gives our home a grand feel and unifies it.


The stairs needed a lot of work (just like everything in our home).

And though we still have a little more work to do, I wanted to give a recap of some of the things we had to do to make our grand stairway…… grand again.

Raise the Railing

Though it is a little hard to see in these photos, the top railing on the stairs was only 30 inches tall. That height is low enough to create a tipping hazard if an adult were to lose their balance next to the railing, so our priority was to figure out how to raise the railing without losing its character.

Two boys looking down over the stair railing from the second floor

We had to completely remove the railing and rebuild the top of the newels to increase the height. Then we added a second railing at the old 30 inch mark and put the old top railing above it.

Railing removed from around stairs in upper hallway as part of stairs area progress

I love how it turned out and I will hopefully post more details on what we did soon.

Double railing added onto stairs to create height.

Re-do the Floors

Underneath the worn carpet we discovered hardwood flooring. We decided to refinish the hardwoods instead of replacing the carpeting.

Stairs landing with unfinished hardwood floor

Our first step was to sand the old stain and polyurethane off of the hardwood flooring. Then we patched in the gaps in our hardwood floors. Finally, we did a light sanding and added new stain and polyurethane.

We chose to stain the stairs and hand rail a darker color to add contrast to the rail system and the rest of the wood flooring. It was a similar color to the most recent stain on the original stairs.

We only stained the edges since we knew we were going to add a runner down the center of the stairs.

Paint the Wood

Painting the risers of the stairs white with a paint brush.

We were left with the choice of stripping all of the paint off of the woodwork on the stairs railing and paneling or painting a new coat of paint over the top. It was a hard choice, but since everything was already painted and we weren’t sure what condition the wood was in underneath, we decided to keep the wood painted and freshen up the paint with a new layer of white. This allowed us to blend in the updates to the height on our railing system as well.

We used a paint sprayer on the spindles because we could remove them and take them outside. Then we used this hand painting method to create as smooth a coat as possible on the rest of the woodwork.

At the time of writing this post, we have painted most of the railing and all of the risers. We will continue painting over the woodwork in the foyer to complete freshening up the space.

Adding a Runner

We wanted to add a carpet runner to the stairs to prevent people from slipping on them as they went up and down. This was a challenge since there are multiple angles and widths to the stairs.

However, we were able to overcome this challenge and create a beautiful runner on the stairs and I love how it turned out.

White and grey stair runner on bottom stairs.

Stairs Area Remodeling To-Do List

We are so close to finishing up the stairs.

These are the tasks that still remain:

  • Finish painting all of the woodwork
  • Add trim along the stairs
  • Fix up and paint the walls

Taking something that is old and worn out and turning it into something beautiful again is so rewarding and fun, especially when we can transform a home into our dream space.

We look forward to the rest of our remodeling journey and hope to inspire you to take one of your own.

Want to check back on these projects later? Save it to your favorite design board on Pinterest.

Fixer Upper stairs area: projects on our fixer upper

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