black risers and wooden treads staircase

Staircase Makeover

February 7, 2018Susan

Oh my, this has been a long time coming.

Previously, we had a thick carpet in a deep shade of salmon running up the staircase, and onto the landing.

I hated it so much. At that time it was way down on our list of things that needed sorting in the house. So we lived with it until I just snapped one day and pulled up all the carpet on the stairs. We then lived with that for a while too!

staircase makeover using black paint

Fast forward four years later we’ve made over our stairs and the whole hallway. It’s now nearly unrecognisable from when we arrived.

monochrome stairs

black and white entryway hallway

sanding an edwardian staircase

I’ve mentioned before that this staircase makeover was one of the worst jobs we’ve ever done ourselves in the house.

The paint stripper, the dust from sanding, oh yes, then more paint stripper and more sanding.

It’s true that my other half did the lions share (actually all) of this job and I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d wanted to give in and get the professionals to finish it off. He didn’t let it defeat him, plus he’s also way cheaper than any tradesmen. We’d been quoted over £1000 to have this job done and when you are saving up for a trip to Disney at some point, well I don’t need to spell it out do I?

We He used;

  • Nitromors- an incredibly strong paint stripper. We’d tried other ones, and eco ones but sadly they just weren’t working for us. Use with extreme caution.
  • A lot of sanding, using a handheld electric sander
  • A chisel for chipping off of really thick (decades old paint, watch for lead paint, and wear a mask!)
  • Wood filler to smooth the surface and fill any holes, of which there were many.

I then pitched in with the easier tasks of varnishing the treads with a few coats of Ronseal Clear Satin and helping paint the risers in Evening Coat by Valspar.

This job took forever, I’m not even joking. It’s because it’s so fiddly!

In this shot (seen below) you can see how our staircase looked for the majority of last year. We’d just had our Harvey Maria flooring fitted which is what led me to choose a charcoal colour on the risers. What you cant see here is all the sticky adhesive that had been used to help hold that awful carpet in place on top of each tread.

victorian modern floor tiles

You are so lucky today, I’ve managed to dig out the photos of how this hallway looked when we first moved in.

Are you ready? This is pre staircase makeover, pre-kitchen, pre-hallway floor, pre-everything really!

staircase makeover the before photos with awful carpet

dated stairs with carpet pre makeoverLooking at these photos makes me realise how far we’ve come, and how much work we’ve done in our home.

I wrote a post about 2017 being the year of renovations for us. It was such a hectic time but it really makes it all worthwhile when every day my family and I get to wake up and live here. This house definitely has its quirks. It can be a real Pandora’s Box when it comes to DIY, but it is our home.

black risers and wooden treads staircase

Have you made over your staircase?

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Comments (45)

  • MissPond

    February 7, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I love what you’ve done! Well worth the effort that’s for sure 🙂

    1. Susie

      February 7, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks lovely!

  • Lucy

    February 7, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Wow it looks fantastic. Love it all – stairs, floor and front door. Well worth the effort I’m sure x

    1. Susie

      February 7, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks so much Lucy!

  • Lazy Daisy Jones

    February 7, 2018 at 8:35 am

    It looks brilliant , so cool and airy too! I love it!
    Yes we made over the whole of our stairs and we even made a new bannister from metal!
    Renovating takes time then when it’s finished everything needs a refresh !!

    1. Susie

      February 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      Haha! Yes, I love your stairs, Ashley. And your bannister!

  • Nicolette Lafonseca-Hargreaves

    February 7, 2018 at 10:40 am

    I love them suse! I have 3 floors to do and I am dreading it stairs are a massive pain in the arse so it is is inspiring to see yours the other side of the makeover spurs me on to get my arse in gear

    1. Susie

      February 7, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks so much Nic, I don’t envy you! Good luck!

  • Sophie

    February 7, 2018 at 10:49 am

    It looks fab! so rustic and fairly easy to do too! Great work I will be pinning this to my home inspo board 🙂

    1. Susie

      February 7, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks Sophie! It’s easy in principle- it’s just the time it takes!

  • Carole King

    February 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Fantastic transformation Susie. I love that Harvey Maria flooring. It’s a real feature. x

    1. Susie

      February 8, 2018 at 10:10 am

      Thanks so much Carole. Can’t believe we’ve done it tbh!

  • Emma

    February 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    This looks amazing and has inspired me to rip up the brown carpet on my stairs. Sad question but do you find the stairs really noisy without carpet?

    1. Susie

      February 8, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Emma- that is not a sad question, I was worried about that too. TBH we wear slippers or socks around the house most of the time so not as noisy as it could be. You defo get used to it after a while x

  • Kirsty

    February 9, 2018 at 8:20 am

    We did!!!! We had green carpet and it was hell! We have high ceilings too which meant more stairs and we ripped up carpet, stripped off varnish and now they are bare wood for the time being! It’s tough!!!!!!

    1. Susie

      February 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      Ah yes of course!! You feel like you need a medal afterwards, right?!

  • Candy Pop

    February 9, 2018 at 9:36 am

    What a transformation! It looks fabulous and I love your wooden pigeon holes.

    1. Susie

      February 10, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      Aw thanks so much Natasha! They are so handy xx

  • Tamsyn Morgans

    February 9, 2018 at 9:52 am

    It looks really gorgeous Sue, really worth the hard work! Love your hallway!

    1. Susie

      February 10, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks so much Tamsyn!

  • Stacey Sheppard

    February 10, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Wow, it looks fantastic! I bet it makes you smile every time you come in the front door. That Valspar colour was a great choice! I love the flooring too, such a statement!

    1. Susie

      February 10, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks so much Stacey the door is a Valspar colour too!

  • Juan Sandiego

    February 10, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    That carpet was not easy on the eye. The current look is so much fresher. Unfortunately, I don’t have DIY so in the future I may have to Get Someone In.

    1. Susie

      February 11, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Ha- yes Get Someone In is defo better for the mental state!

  • Pati

    February 10, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Your staircase looks fantastic !!! When can i move in

    1. Susie

      February 11, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Hehehe! Come over for a cuppa!

  • Mary | hellopeagreen

    February 11, 2018 at 10:24 am

    What a transformation. That carpet in the before! Wow. It’s lovely to look at and practical, double winner in my book

    1. Susie

      February 11, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Haha! I know it was full of dust too! Thanks so much

  • verymeinteriors

    February 11, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I love your new hallway. And especially the dark colours on the risers. It looks great with that new flooring. We also removed the carpets from our stairs and I know how good it feels I hated every bit of it before. Now our stairs are due a second makeover actually

    1. Susie

      February 11, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks so much Anna. What are you planning on doing to them?

      1. verymeinteriors

        February 11, 2018 at 8:01 pm

        Well, we had to have some screws screwed from the face of the stairs to stop them from being so noisy. It helped only a little bit but now I’m left with massive screw heads and holes in the stairs. It will need to be filled in and re painted. So obviously I’m thinking changing colours

  • Donna

    February 12, 2018 at 10:40 am

    These things are always worth the effort and you’ll appreciate this every day you walk in them. Great job!

    1. Susie

      February 12, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks so much Donna!

  • Anna

    February 12, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    what a transformation! It takes time and dedication to compleate it to the level you did. I admire that you cept it for some time. When we moved to our first house removing all carpets was our priority. We hated the colour and scent of the nicotine. We keept floor board for some time and finaly last year desided to finish the makover. It was so worth it.

    1. Susie

      February 13, 2018 at 10:28 am

      These things take time don’t they!

  • rosannaalicia

    February 13, 2018 at 9:19 am

    What a transformation!! Love the dark blue with the tiles! I bet it’s so much easier to keep clean as well – always a nice silver lining x

    1. Susie

      February 13, 2018 at 10:27 am


  • arianna

    February 14, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I really love how you’ve transformed it! Looks amazing! Those tiles are fab! A x

    1. Susie

      February 14, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks so much lovely!

  • ljbp

    February 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    The space has come so far! Well done, it really looks wonderful.

    1. Susie

      February 15, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      Ah thanks so much! Have a great weekend!

  • Jenny Kakoudakis

    February 15, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    the hallways has been transformed for sure. I also updated the flooring and re-carpeted the stairs just before moving in but 4 years later I am thinking I would like a different carpet on the stairs and on the upstairs landing. The person who fitted both the carpet and the wooden floors was not that good, and rushed through the job. I am not a perfectionist but I can tell! My next major update will be the staircase runner!

    1. Susie

      February 15, 2018 at 1:52 pm

      I know what you mean, sometimes you wish you could do it all yourself so then it’d be up to your standards!

  • Kara

    February 16, 2018 at 6:08 am

    Well done to hubby. What a task and now look. Love your colour choice. Looks so amazing with the tiles. Such a welcome to your beautiful home x

    1. Susie

      February 16, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      Thanks so much Kara, you can come for a coffee anytime!

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