Do you want to give your staircase a makeover?  Love the combination of white and dark stained timber?  Then read on …. this is the story of how I transformed a pure white dirt attracting staircase into an elegant two tone staircase.

two tone staircase

Image: SC Homes

I just love the combination of dark timber treads with white risers.  They look so smart and elegant.  When I bought my house every floor surface including the stairs was painted white.  Whilst the white made the house look bright and airy, it was a magnet for dirt and scuff marks especially when you add two teenagers and a black schnoodle into the equation.  So here’s what my stairs looked like before.

DIY Two Tone Staircase

You can see all the scuff marks and dirt on every step.  Not ideal for relaxed family living.  So we decided to sand back the tops (treads) of the stairs.

DIY Two Tone Staircase

Houston ….we have a problem.  The thing about sanding back a painted surface is you don’t know what’s underneath.  In our case, the bottom section of stairs were hardwood, the top section of stairs were pine and the landing was MDF (fibreboard).  Thankfully we had used a professional sanding company (Awesome Timber Floors) to sand back our entire upstairs floor area and the staircase.  They replaced the MDF with hardwood timber boards, then stained all of the 3 different timber species so they would match as closely as possible.  This was a much more affordable option than replacing the entire staircase.

DIY Two Tone Staircase

They did a great job matching the colours of the timber but unfortunately during the process, the stain gets on the risers and sides of the staircase, and you have to get out of the house for at least 24-48 hours so you don’t choke on the fumes.  Tip – a great time to do your floors is when you have another house to temporarily live in.

DIY Two Tone Staircase

So the final step was for me to mask up the stairs and paint over the risers and sides of the staircase 4 times.  Yes it took 4 coats to cover over the dark stain.  I used Dulux Aquaenamel Gloss in Vivid White.  I had previously sanded back the risers so I knew a water based enamel would stick.  Then came the job of removing all the masking tape and scraping off all the paint drops I managed to get on the treads and ta dah….

DIY Two Tone Staircase

DIY Two Tone Staircase

My finished stairs in beautiful deep chocolate brown stain with white risers.  Okay – they’re not perfect but a home doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to work for the people who live there, and I’m much happier with these stairs.  The contrast between the treads and the risers makes it easier to see the steps when you are going up and down them.

If you’re thinking of sanding back your floor boards or staircase, I’m happy to answer any questions you have, just leave me a comment.

Staircase Makeover

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