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Refurbish Stairs on a Budget

1. Replace the balustrade

Swapping dated balusters, or spindles, for more contemporary ones can make a big difference to the look of your stairs. There are many styles to choose from, ranging from sleek stop-chamfered wooden spindles to modern metal balusters in a variety of designs. You can complete the transformation with fresh newel caps and a new handrail. If you want to make a statement, consider using glass panels instead of spindles for a touch of contemporary glamour.

2. Chuck out the carpet

The current interior design trend for using natural wood has encouraged many people to take up their stair carpet to expose the timber treads beneath. Wood is a warm, timeless material that looks good with contemporary and traditional décor alike, and will not easily fall out of fashion.

3. Stain the stairs

You can give your staircase a new lease of life by using wood stain to bring out the full beauty of the timber. This will nourish and protect the stairs as well as improving their appearance. Many different colours are available. It’s a good idea to finish with at least one top coat of polyurethane varnish, to seal in the wood stain and protect the surface.

4. Paint the stairs

Painting your staircase is a great way to add individuality and really make your home stand out. You may decide to paint only the steps, or just the balustrade – or take the plunge and decorate the whole lot for a complete transformation.

You will need to sand down the stairs beforehand, apply a stain-blocking primer then finish off with at least two coats of gloss or semi-gloss paint to achieve a professional-looking result.

5. Lay new stair carpet

Fresh carpet can brighten up a tired staircase – in fact, if your stairs are made of concrete, plywood or MDF it is usually the only option.

If you are fortunate enough to own a timber staircase in good condition there is no need to carpet the steps completely, unless you prefer the look. Instead, you could install a runner – a narrow strip of carpet – down the middle of the stairs and paint or varnish the exposed sections of tread on each side.