How to Prep and Paint Basement Stairs is Part I of a two-part makeover series.
The second post, How to Buy and Install a Staircase Runner, is posted with the One Room Challenge Week 2.
Hope you’ll join us.
How To Prep and Paint Basement Stairs
Part I of II in the Basement Stairs Makeover
If your staircase makeover starts with carpet on the stairs, please click over to one of my earlier posts that explains how to handle all that goes with this step. 10 Tips for a Successful Staircase Redo
Once the carpet is removed, meet me back here.
The staircase should be carpetless, nailless, stapleless and squeaky clean.
Each tread should also have been sanded smooth.
In some cases, this is only a light buffing, but with others, it’s a heavy sanding.
My stairs were pretty clean, so I just had to smooth down places where the tack strips and nails were removed.
How to Fill Gaps
Three product choices are available, depending on the size of the gaps.
How to Fill Large Gaps
A foam gap sealant works great.
First, read and follow all of the directions (including protective wear) on the side of the can.
Then, simply stick the application wand as deep into the crevice as possible.
Gently squeeze the applicator trigger. Do not pull and hold the trigger.
Kinda puff pulling the trigger…move the wand an inch or so deep inside the crevice…..wait 30 seconds or so…..then puff again…move the wand another inch or so…wait again. And so on.
The reason extreme patience and a soft touch is needed when spraying the product is because it takes time for the gap filler to expand. And the more minutes it sets, the more it will expand.
I did a deep crevice application. Let it set 30 minutes or so and then did a second application on top.
This is how it looked the next day.
After about 24 hours, a sharp utility knife was used to cut away the excess pouff. Try to cut the gap filler as close to level with the tread as possible. And better to have the gap filler a little lower than the tread than higher.
Don’t worry about the tiny spaces left in the gap filler or in small crevices.
How to Fill Small Gaps
The second step or the first step for small gaps is to fill them with either wood filler or caulk.
Which one to use is your choice. I tried both and found that the spaces I needed to cover were so small, the caulk did just fine.
However, I still did a first application of caulk and let it dry.
Remember caulk cannot be sanded and may shrink as it dries.
So I waited until the next day to determine if any crevices needed a second coat.
Touch ups were applied here and there, but for the most part, the caulk was perfect after one application.
How to Fill Wood Knots, Nail Holes and Nail Heads
Wood Knots and Nail Holes:
See that big black round thing on the stair tread (photo below)? That’s a wood knot. And yes, it has to be filled.
This time, using wood filler is a must.
Add wood filler and smooth the surface with a flat edge tool. Allow the wood filler to completely dry. It will take several hours, maybe overnight.
Then sand the wood filler smooth with the wood. If the wood filler cracked during the dry time, a second light coat should correct it.
Again…allow plenty of time to dry. And then sand it again.
Use this process to cover the small holes left from nail removal, too.
If nail heads are riding too high and about 99% will be, nail them deeper into the wood. This is called counter sinking.
Then cover the divet with wood filler.
Let it completely dry and sand smooth.
I painted the baseboards, risers and part of the treads (Behr Arcadia White) in semi-gloss. When the white was completely dry, the sides were taped down and portions of the treads were painted black (Behr Porch paint). I had the porch paint on hand, but since the runner will take the abuse from traffic, porch paint isn’t an absolute necessity.
But if you don’t add a runner, I do recommend using porch paint. For more information about porch paint, please check the post I linked at the beginning. It explains how to get your paint to stick and stay. Here’s the link again.
Once all of these processes are complete, we have super-clean, lightly sanded and partially painted stairs.
These stairs are ready for a runner.
How to Buy and Install a Stair Runner
Part II of II Basement Stairs Makeover
This post is now live and linked to the Fall One Room Challenge – Week 2. Click here to see.
#prepandpaintbasementstairs #staircasemakeover #staircaserunner
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As always, thanks so much for stopping by…