After living with the carpet on these stairs for almost a year, I was desperate to rip it off. Especially because our black dog loved to lay on that top step while waiting for her family to come home. That step became impossible to clean! Yuck!
One day I just decided to rip the carpet off and deal with whatever was underneath. To my pleasant surprise and probably because the house is over 60 years old, there was solid wood there and not plywood like I was expecting.
I am ashamed to say the steps stayed like this for a couple of months while I decided how to proceed and also had the time to work on them. Both of my kids live upstairs so this week when they left for camp I knew it would be the week to get them finished. I initially wanted to paint the fronts white and stain the tops dark, but there was a lot of splotches of white paint on the steps that would make staining difficult. Therr was also a couple of bad places that had to be filled with wood putty. So I decided to try painting them black instead. I had to pull out lots of carpet staples and pull up the tackboard that was nailed down, it was quite a task for sure. There were 2 layers of staples, the original ones were probably from the 50’s. Once that was done I sanded the steps down really well with my Mouse sander. I love that thing, it is great for lots of projects big or small. The next step was to patch a few spots with wood putty and sheet rock mud. Once that was dried and the steps were sanded again and cleaned, it was time to paint. I left the rough spots on the steps themselves, they just add character to the steps.
After painting, I decided that distressing them would be the better way to go. They are in such rough shape already the distressing brings more of that farmhouse look to the steps.