Replacing Carpet On Stairs With Red Oak Hardwood In Dark Walnut Stain

Every time the stairs needed a vacuum, I felt the need for Hardwood stairs. I started researching ideas about how I could do it all myself. Soon realized it could be done in a week with the right tools. My stairs needed some additional work after I checked whats under the carpet.

The tough thing was trying to match the stain to what was already on the flooring. I tried a few samples before deciding on a final stain. The stain I choose was Dark Walnut from Minwax.

Preparation: Removing carpet and Cleanup

Just got hold of an edge of the carpet and started pulling it off. The time-consuming part was to remove the tack stripe and lots of nails on the steps. Used these simple tools to get rid of tack strips and nails. Below picture shows after cleanup.

The below video details on how to remove Tack stripe and nails.

Preparation: Removing Bull Nose From Existing Threads

Bull Nose measurement to remove from existing Stair Threads.

I used a Circular saw to cut the bullnose as close as possible to the wall and made a cross cut in the middle. Then I used a chisel to cut the part close to the walls.

Raw Materials

Red Oak Stair Threads

Red Oak

Red Oak was my choice of hardwood for stair threads, you can get pre-finished ones from local stores. For risers, you can get cut pieces from local stores, but I got a huge maple board 1/2 inch think.

Preparing Threads and Risers

Measured all threads for each individual stairs as the size might vary a little bit, I did the same with risers. Before cutting I sanded all the wood with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit sandpaper. I used the circular saw to cut all the risers and threads.

“Definitely, use a wood conditioner before you apply the stain. There is a lot of difference to the finished product. Don’t skip this step.”

Red Oak Thread And Wood Conditioner
Red Oak stair thread before wood conditioner

The wood conditioner used was from Varathane. I choose Dark Walnut Stain and my finish was Minwax semi-gloss Polyurethane. Please follow manufacturer directions on how to apply and pay importance to time. I used a rag to apply stain and conditioner and a natural bristle brush for poly.

Risers are painted with 1 coat of KILZ primer and 2 coats of Chantilly Lace paint.

Once threads and risers were ready, I started on the bottom stair first since my riser will sit on stair thread. Attaching a video clip on how I went about it.

Construction adhesive helped me to stick threads and risers. I finish off with a brad nailer.

To fill the nails holes, chalk came in handy. With some finishing touches of paint, I am done.

Let me know your comments and any experiences.

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