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Bye Bye Ugly Stairs


grover959
grover959
grover959
grover959

Our basement stairs were ugly. Because they lead from the garage to the main floor they are used a lot. There were four main steps to this project.

1. To make the side strings I used the same trim that is used throughout my house and attached it to a strip of ½” MDF using glue and pocket screws. Making this in advance allowed me to make a single string for each side, paint it and attach with 18ga nails.

2. The bottom stairs extended on one side beyond the wall. Rather than extend a full height wall I made a small wall extension that followed the angle of the stairs. This worked out well by keeping the space open while providing a finished look at the bottom.

3. I purchased Pine stairs treads from Home Depot and finished them with General Finishes Antique Walnut gel stain, and General FInishes high performance top coat. I added a non-slip additive to the final top coat to keep them from being slippery.

4. After removing the old steps one at a time, I used a homemade stair measuring guide to determine the length and angle for each step, transferring marks to each step before cutting them. The stair guide saved a lot of time and allowed each step to be perfectly fit. I used a similar guide for each toe kick and cut them to fit.

I used construction adhesive on each step before nailing them with 3” finish nails. The new steps not only look great but are much more stable than the ones they replaced. One suggestion I have for folks doing this themselves is to confirm your stair measurements meet proper codes. A great guide is available here https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/stair-codes-rise-run-and-nosing/

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Bye Bye Ugly Stairs

by grover959
Nov 04, 2020

Our basement stairs were ugly. Because they lead from the garage to the main floor they are used a lot. There were four main steps to this project. 1. To make the side strings I used the same trim that is used throughout my house and attached it to a strip of ½” MDF using glue and pocket screws. Making this in advance allowed me to make a single string for each side, paint it and attach with 18ga nails. 2. The bottom stairs extended on one side beyond the wall. Rather than extend a full height wall I made a small wall extension that followed the angle of the stairs. This worked out well by keeping the space open while providing a finished look at the bottom. 3. I purchased Pine stairs treads from Home Depot and finished them with General Finishes Antique Walnut gel stain, and General FInishes high performance top coat. I added a non-slip additive to the final top coat to keep them from being slippery. 4. After removing the old steps one at a time, I used a homemade stair measuring guide to determine the length and angle for each step, transferring marks to each step before cutting them. The stair guide saved a lot of time and allowed each step to be perfectly fit. I used a similar guide for each toe kick and cut them to fit. I used construction adhesive on each step before nailing them with 3” finish nails. The new steps not only look great but are much more stable than the ones they replaced. One suggestion I have for folks doing this themselves is to confirm your stair measurements meet proper codes. A great guide is available here https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/stair-codes-rise-run-and-nosing/