Tag Archives: Board & Batten

Stair Reno: Part Three

19 Jul

DIY in mid-July is not recommended.  Remember last week when I said doing things in high 80’s/low 90’s was bad, apparently I started complaining too early.

Today it’s going to feel like 110 degrees. I don’t live in Texas. This isn’t dry heat.  I gag every time I go outside. It’s disgusting. I’m pretty sure if my dog could lay on top of the air conditioner she would.



Anyway, this post is picture heavy and not about humidity, so I’m going to shut my mouth and get back to the stair renovation.

We left it with the treads stained.  I wanted to get the molding up before I painted so I could paint it all at once. So, last Friday the husband and I went to Home Depot in torrential rain, bought 12 ft. long molding that wouldn’t completely fit in the car, hung it out the passenger side window and drove home in the pouring rain. Not our finest, or driest, moment.

We removed the grate and taped up the stained treads.

We should buy stock in Frog Tape.

We used primed 3.5″ MDF  from Lowe’s for the board and batten. It was cheap and what we needed to create the look we liked.

We started with a piece of 12ft for the baseboard.  I take no credit in the cuts, that was all the husband, he’s 100% a numbers guy. He can figure out the exact angles when I would rather just wing it.   I’m good at thinking up the ideas, he’s good at figuring out what it takes to actually do them!

We put the baseboard on with limited issues and then went to figure out where we wanted the top piece.  We originally were going to put it the same height as the stair rail, but stepping back we realized the stair rail would be blocking the board and batten.  So we raised it about 4 inches.  When looking directly at it, the top piece of molding hovers right above the stair rail.   For numbers dorks, it’s 24.5″ from the steps.

We measured 21″  on an angle from the stairs all the way up (making sure the measuring tape was flush so we got an accurate measurement) and then used that line to keep our board level.

Then we figured out how we liked the middle pieces to be spaced.  I think it ended up being 16.75″ apart.  The husband went to work on the angles and would pass me the cut pieces through the still open hole on the base step. That thing came in handy!

I also drew a little picture on the back of one of the boards so if any future owners decide to take it off, there will be a little surprise for them.

We added a  little piece of molding we randomly stumbled upon at Lowe’s (I don’t know the exact name of it – sorry!) to finish off the top.  Then I spackled all the holes.

The next morning we added a piece of wood to cover up the stair hole and started painting.

After one coat of primer:

I caulked everything when the primer was dry.

After 1st coat of semi-gloss white:

After second coat of white paint:

After the second coat of white paint I declared the wall done.  I took off the tape.  The stairs weren’t.  There was still some patchy spots so I had to finish the next day.

But then I got a cold. Boo!

I put on my big girl pants, sucked it up, and put another coat on the stairs on Wednesday.

I gave it a bit of time and then removed all the tape and paper.  Some of the white paint did bleed through the tape, so I’ll have to touch up a few spots on the stairs, but overall I think they look great.

Photos galore!

White paint makes everything look so much better.

I still need to caulk a few places and touch up some paint.  Then I’m moving on to runner installation.

Before /After


My Everest

9 May

These stairs. These carpeted awful stairs.

They kind of make me barfy just looking at them. I’ve slipped and fell down them.  The cat uses them as a scratching post.  They’ve been puked on, peed on, and lord knows what else thanks to our lovely animals.  The carpet is OLD! It was old when we moved in a few years ago.

It’s stained from the previous owners.

We’ve scrubbed, rented steam cleaners, and the stains and smells won’t come out – so the only choice in my eyes is that the carpet is coming out!


The landing is the same. Carpeted and stained.

The husband and I have ripped up corners to see what we have to work with.  It’s finished hardwood! Beautiful hardwood flooring has been hiding under that disgusting beige-y carpet for years! Now that I know that, I’m showing as much restraint as I can to not just rip it all off.  I need a plan. Plus, I need a bit of confidence that I can refinish the landing and stairs myself.

Summer Stair Beautification 2013 will be in two parts.

Part 1 – Board and Batten

I love the idea of board and batten up a stairway.  It looks so crisp and bright.  So I’ll pull out the nail gun and miter saw and (hopefully) get it to look a little something like the photos below.

Some chair rail, MDF, molding, and a lot of white paint should get me this look easily.

Step 2: Remove Carpet, Refinish Wood, Add Runner.

This step is going to take a bit longer.  The carpet removal with be quick and make me extremely excited.  The sanding, staining, and polyurethane will take a lot more time. I’m thinking over the course of a few nights I can stain my way into bed so to speak.  Work backwards up the stairs and then leave it to dry overnight.  We’ll just have to live with that smell. UGH, that stain & poly smell is the worst.

After that, all I have to do is install a runner. The hunt has been on for months to find one I like.  I’m thinking something gray-ish with a bold pattern.  Neutral but fun.

Here’s a bit of inspiration.

So pretty. I’m thinking a bit grayer (and lighter) but it’s gorgeous as is too! Our floors are not as espresso as the photos above, but they are still dark so I think it will look great with a true gray runner.

I can’t wait to get started. Hopefully soon!

BYE BYE ugly carpeted stairs….

You won’t be missed…

This view will be so much nicer in just a few short months…..