DIY Flooring

DIY Staircase Makeover REVEAL

July 15, 2015

Removing carpet from stairs and replacing it with wood stair treads is totally doable. This DIY staircase makeover was accomplished in a weekend and looks like a professional job! Learn how we did it in this post.

BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS!  This is one of my favorite reveals to date, which is saying something because I love every single reveal that I have shared with you.  But this staircase makeover reveal has to take over my #1 spot.  Before I share all the gorgeous photos with you, be sure to read all about the details about the installation of the NuStair wood stair treads here.

*UPDATE! It has been several years since we gave our stairs a makeover. Click here to check out what it looks like today and see our latest changes.

DIY  Staircase Makeover Reveal

This is my favorite reveal ever for three simple reasons:

1) The staircase makeover was much, much, much easier than we expected and took us only 2 days to complete.  We used the NuStair stair refacing system, which I HIGHLY recommend.  You can learn more about NuStair and the system I used here.

2) I have been itching to rip the nasty, boring, beige carpet off our stairs since we moved in 18 months ago.

3) The aesthetic impact on our home is HIGH.  Our foyer is very large, so the beautiful new staircase makes a huge difference!

Okay, a quick reminder about what the staircase looked like before.  As aforementioned, the stairs were covered in boring, beige carpet.  To make matters worse, we had absolutely nothing hanging anywhere along the wall of the stairs, so the only thing you had to focus on was the sad carpet.

Carpeted stairs before DIY staircase makeoverHere are some “during” shots {you can read all about the DIY demo and installation process here}.

DIY stair renovation diy stair makover diy staircase makeover

Well folks, here is how our stunning staircase looks now!  Here are some views of the staircase from the main floor of our house.

numbered stairs

DOY numbered stairs

stairwell with DIY numbers

As you can see, we decided to add a bit of a decorative touch to the stairs by numbering them.  You can see the full tutorial for that fun and simple DIY here.  We love how the white numbers really pop off the black risers.  It's exactly the look we were going for.

Now, here are some shots of the stairs looking down from the second floor.  I LOVE to look at the view from above.  Such a dramatic difference!  First, here is what the staircase looked like from above before.

boxer on carpeted stairs

And here is how it looks now!  A little better, huh?

diy staircase makeover

diy staircase makeover with numbered stairs

diy numbered stairs

We added a gallery wall, which compliments the new wood stairs perfectly!  I was able to find some awesome fire equipment patents to frame {which Joe really appreciated, given that he is a firefighter–it's nice to honor his profession in such a cool way}!  I also, of course, added some A's, as an extension of our monogram gallery wall opposite the staircase.

letterwall in foyer

And here are a few more random views/shots just so you can fully appreciate the beauty of our staircase makeover!

diy stair makeover with NuStair treads

diy stair makeover with NuStair treads

Now, let's talk about cost.  The price will vary from project to project, obviously, depending on the number of stairs you have, whether you have a landing, and whether or not you have open or closed railings.  It's easy to obtain a quote–just fill in the details of your project here and NuStair will provide you with a free quote.  That said, the retail cost for our NuStair system was just over $2,000 for all the wood treads, risers, wood for the landing, adhesive, shims and the NuScribe.

You know I am super thrifty and some of you may be thinking that $2,000 sounds like a lot, and there is no doubt it is an investment.  But, I promise you that you will pay a lot more to hire this job out and the NuStair system makes this a doable DIY job, which was super important to us.  There are less expensive stair treads out there, but you get what you pay for, and we wanted quality.  The NuStair treads are SOLID wood that are Amish American made in Pennsylvania using select or better American hardwoods–trust me, that's better than anything you can buy at a home improvement store.  Bear in mind also that the nosing is permanently bonded to the tread and the bond is stronger than the wood itself and has NEVER failed.  Best of all, NuStair offers a Lifetime Structural Warranty and a 10 Year Warranty on all wood.

What do you think?  Are you now convinced that you can tackle your own staircase makeover on your own by using the NuStair system?  Seriously, you can do it!  If you aren't convinced, go back and read my post on the installation process again!

One last thing….  I can't resist including some side-by-side comparisons :)

Plans for a DIY staircase renovation with NuStair! DIY staircase makeover
carpeted stairs before DIY makeover DIY wood stairs

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received free product from NuStair to complete my project. The opinions are completely my own based on my AMAZING experience with the NuStair system!  

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  1. […] stairs which were built with junk lumber.) If it’s bad, I’ll just paint them black. (source)Gray tile in entryway. At the foot of the stairs, we have white tile by the front door. Once again, […]

  2. Jennifer says:

    Where would I find the tutorial for the stair numbering.

  3. Michelle says:

    What does the very top stair look like? How was the wood stairs transitioned to the flooring in the second level?

    • Tasha says:

      I used the stair landing tread and it meets up directly with the laminate in the hall. It matches because I custom mixed the stain for the stair treads.

  4. Tabatha says:

    What wood species and color did you use for your reno?? We are looking to use NuStair also for this DIY job!

  5. Tammy says:

    Love the stairs. What color is the paint on your walls? They compliment each other great and I have been looking for something similar.

  6. Tammy P says:

    WHat color are your walls? They look GREAT with those stairs

  7. Ashley says:

    Such a beautiful job, I’m looking to tackle my stairs in a couple weeks! I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous blue on the walls, what shade is it? Thanks!

  8. Allison says:

    Hi Tasha: these are amazing! Our house seems to be the same set up as yours: nice big bright foyer with horrible carpeted stairs. I am dying to rip it out and go with wood, but we have three dogs! How does your guy handle the bare stairs? Does he slip/scramble on them a lot? Mine are prone to come bounding down when someone comes over, it’s dinner time, etc, so I’m just wondering what your experience has been with your pup! Great job. :)

  9. Sheila says:

    Fabulous job on this!!
    What is the aqua color on the wall?

  10. OMG these are beautiful and the numbers and just a little surprise. Beautifully done!

  11. Leigh Ann says:

    How did you transition at the top? Is it carpet or wood up there too. I would love to do this but don’t know how to transition at top. I would like to leave the carpet upstairs with the bedrooms.

  12. laurel m. says:

    Before you stress about how much money it cost, remember that to carpet them would cost at least $15 per step before you count the carpet and pad. That is what I am considering. It wouldn’t be a lot more to just make them wood and it’s so much more beautiful and easy to keep clean. Maybe. I still have carpet, you tell me.

  13. Darlene says:

    I’m am so thrilled that you were featured on Better After! We have stairs that were carpeted and we removed the carpet because I was so tired of taking care of grey shag. Underneath was builder grade stairs with particle board treads. We’re going to replace/resurface the treads so in the meantime I painted the pine risers white ’cause I like the look. Bad idea . . . hubby somehow manages to leave black scuff marks on the risers from his shoes. I never thought of painting them black . . .brilliant idea! As soon as a few more projects are completed, the floor and stairs are ready for a make over.

    • Tasha says:

      Thanks Darlene! Good luck on your stairs makeover. I think black may be the answer to your scuff mark issue!

  14. Rachel says:

    How did you handle the top landing? Is it still carpet?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Rachel! No, we replaced the carpet with laminate flooring upstairs, so we have a wood landing strip at the top that meets up with the laminate. I hope to blog about it soon!

  15. Mary Beth says:

    Hi I was wondering what the stain color and black color are on the stairs… Its stunning and want to have the same look

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thanks so much Mary Beth! The stain on the stairs is Mahogany gel stain by General Finishes and the black risers are Kettle Black by Valspar.

  16. Tina says:

    The stairs look great! We are going to do this to ours as well. I love the paint color on the walls. Do you mind to tell me what it is? Thank you!

  17. Krista says:

    Super amazing Tasha- I love how these turned out!!

  18. Laura says:

    Love the finished look. My husband is also a firefighter and I love the prints you framed. Can you tell me where you got them? Thanks!

  19. Anna says:

    Did you use paint for the numbers or decals? Also, what paint and finish did you use on the risers?

  20. Olivia says:


    Maybe I missed it but what paint color did you use on the stairs? It looks like a charcoal color?



  21. Gina says:

    Can you post a pic or send me a pic of what the very top of the stairs looks like after you finished and removed carpet? Did you take the carpet out from the 2nd floor? Add an edge to join and seam the carpet on the top floor?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Gina! I haven’t had a chance to write this post yet, but we added a wood landing strip at the top and then installed laminate floors in our hallway after ripping the carpet out. I hope that helps!

  22. Melissa says:

    We redid the bulk of our house in laminate flooring and planned to do it on the stairs. However when we removed the carpet we found hardwood underneath and just refinished that. It looks like you had hardwood under your carpet also. Just wondering why you didn’t work with that instead? The new stairs are beautiful but just curious because working with what was there would have been so much cheaper.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Melissa! We had builder grade, poor quality pine wood under the carpet which was not the look we were going for. If it had been a hardwood like oak, we definitely would have refinished it :)

  23. Tami says:

    Can you tell me where you got the handrail for your stairs? Love it!

  24. […] WOW, WOW, WOW! This DIY staircase makeover was accomplished in a weekend and looks like a professional job! Need to tackle your own staircase makeover? Come check out full details from Designer Trapped in a Lawyers Body! is creative inspiration for us. Get more photo about home decor related with by looking at photos gallery at the bottom of this page. We are want to say thanks if you like to share this post to another people via your facebook, pinterest, google plus or twitter account. Right Click to save picture or tap and hold for seven second if you are using iphone or ipad. Full size is 683X1024 (Link to full-size image) pixels. Source: […]

  25. Lisa says:

    Hi again! OK… now that I have seen the cost comparison for ordering the Select Surfaces Stair Bull-Nose, which butts up against a single board of Select Surfaces 14mm thick planking from Sam’s (exact Select Surfaces flooring that you purchased (don’t you LOVE it?!)).

    I can share with you and your readers that it is actually about 1/4 the cost to use the Select Surfaces Stair “nosing”, which is specially designed to wrap around the front of the tread and click into a cut to measure plank of the flooring. Unlike when lying the principal flooring, it is glued and brad nailed to the stair treads, per manufacturer instructions.

    It was shipped from Canada to Indianapolis, IN, and the shipping cost more than the product did – (which made my heart sick). The outcome looks identical to your gorgeous stairwell… but it’s not made in the USA, nor is it hardwood… but it is an exact match to the rest of the flooring, as it is the same planking used on the floor, but with the special-order bullnose from the manufacturer to complete the finished look.

    I cannot stop raving over this flooring, and I’ve had it down for almost four years! People ALWAYS mistake it for hardwood. You are so right when you say that laminate flooring has come so far in the past few years.


  26. Heather says:

    We have ugly beige carpet on our stairs and have considered tearing it out since we believe there is hardwood underneath…but I am so worried about the slipping and falling issues. My kids are always going way too fast up and down the stairs and I can only imagine how terrible the falls will be when we combine socks, speed, and hardwood stairs. Any feedback on slipperiness yet?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Heather! Slipping has not be a problem for our girls, but most of their socks have non-slip grip on them (not really deliberate on our part–Old Navy just seems to put it on the bottom of all their toddler socks). My husband and haven’t had any trouble either. I hope that helps!

  27. […] keep seeing all these pins on Pinterest about stair makeovers (here, here and here). “$60 stair makeover!” “Makeover your stairs in a weekend!” […]

  28. Dana says:

    I love this! Question – I have carpeting in my upstairs hallway. How did you finish the top step? I apologize if I missed it.

  29. Leigh Anne says:

    Seriously?! I LOVE these stairs, so gorgeous! The whole space is perfect!!

  30. Absolutely stunning!! I’ll definitely be checking out the NuStair system for our basement stairs. By the way, I love the numbers painted on the front of each step – I’m weird and count in my head every time I go up & down the stairs. LOL! (Too much Sesame Street as a kid or something…) Beautiful job girl! Love it!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thanks so much, Kirsten! I actually was super lazy and used vinyl for the numbers on the stairs–so much easier than painting. That tutorial will be coming soon :) PS- I am glad I am not the only one who counts stairs!

  31. Mind.blown Tasha! I love the contrast of the dark wood with the white trim and beautiful blue. Way to go guys!!!

  32. Kim G says:

    So beautiful!!! Y’all did a fabulous job. Your stair base looks amazing (the part after you pulled up the carpet). My stairs were so horrible with huge knot holes, uneven treads and texture overspray that wouldn’t scrape up or sand down. I’m still wishing I would have known about this before I did our stairs. I love the hardwood treads. But my stairwell is really dark, so I can get away with how we did our stairs. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your next project. ;-)

  33. laura says:

    do dog toenails scratch the finish? Really beautiful stairs!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Laura! Thank you! Our 90-pound Boxer’s nails are not scratching the treads, but they have made some marks on the landing, despite the polyurethane. I think the stair treads must just be harder wood than the wood on the landing. Unfortunately, it’s just the reality of wood :( That is why we have been putting laminate in the rest of the house–I just did not care for the laminate options for stairs. I hope that helps!

  34. Diane Emerson says:

    Love it! How is the dog handling the wood vs carpet? Do you know if puppy nails will scratch up stairs? And if so what would you do to protect?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Diane! Our 90-pound Boxer’s nails are not scratching the treads, but they have made some marks on the landing, despite the polyurethane. I think the stair treads must just be harder wood than the wood on the landing. Unfortunately, it’s just the reality of wood :( That is why we have been putting laminate in the rest of the house–I just did not care for the laminate options for stairs. I hope that helps!

  35. […] friends!  Oh my goodness, have we been busy lately?!  As you know, we recently finished our DIY staircase makeover, which we are SO IN LOVE WITH!  But you may not remember that we have also been working on our […]

  36. Pam says:

    I would love to know the name and make of the color you used in your stairwell. I absolutely love it!

  37. Tasha this is so so beautiful! I bet you can’t take your eyes off it every time you go past! Congrats on your hard work :D

  38. Laurie says:

    I am dying to know how you did the numbers. Love the stairs!

  39. I’m swooning – the stairs are GORGEOUS! The fire blueprints are dear to my heart as my hubs is a chief here. Then the boxer (we have one too) I LOVE it all!!!!

  40. Oh Wow, this looks amazing, it would be my favourite too if this were my home. Love the numbers on the stairs and the beautiful wood. Absolutely stunning!

  41. JillGooge says:

    I love all the diffents fonts of the “a”. I have been wanting to do this with “g”. Any idea on where to get the different ones?

  42. Wow, wow, wow! Your stairs look amazing, Tasha! I love how you guys went with black risers and the numbers are the perfect touch. It looks so much better. Man, you’re making me wish I had stairs, haha! Great job!

  43. Zaff says:

    Love your work, been following you on Facebook and love love love the before and after blogs…..brilliant. Keep it up.

  44. Lisa says:

    This turned out just beautiful. I am a little disappointed that you didn’t post a picture of what the stairs looked like after you removed the carpet.

  45. Those are some fine stairs. I love the grain on the wood – it really stands out. The black is also a welcome surprise. Is that black chalkboard paint? A really great makeover! And now that you have added the art it makes all the difference. But most of all it is the wood that has caught my eye, makes a world of difference. Also your wall color stands out more and looks fresher with the darkness of the stairs. Bravo!!!

    • Lucinda says:

      I agree that the stair makeover really lets your wall color shine. What paint did you use for the walls?

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