Ugly staircase
designah
July 22, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I have to replace our grey wall-to-wall carpet after a flood (overflow toilet, yay), so once that's coming out, I'd like to also update this ugly staircase. Perhaps the simplest way is by replacing the dowls? With what, though? Someone suggested painting them... Any other suggestions?

Also have no idea what carpet to replace this one with. The kids love the cushiness of this carpet, but it does date the house. Thanks!
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Arley
I'm redoing my stairs also. I am going to carpet the treads only, and paint the risers. That way we have the cushion for the kids, but it's a bit more updated. Ive seen it done and i love the look. We did all wood steps in another house and I really regretted it. It looks pretty but it's slippery and there is no forgiveness on those hard steps. Not kid friendly!
6 Likes   July 22, 2013 at 10:41PM
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Arley
You can also do a search on carpeted stairs to get ideas.
1 Like   July 22, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Christy Tay
If your walls were a different color a big, bold thing could be is painting the railings a dark color, maybe dark brown - black.
1 Like   July 22, 2013 at 10:51PM
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designah
Thanks for the feedback!

I was thinking of gun-metal grey for the dowls (probably DIY, which will require some research as they're brass). Has anyone removed round metal dowls and replaced them? Oooh, I'd love to.

Christy, you can't see it in the photo but the long wall facing the staircase is red, so another bold colour would be too much. Not sure if you can tell, but the staircase walls are a dark grey now, and the upper floor is a lighter grey.

Re carpet, there are some beautiful textured, geometric patterned carpets that I want to explore, for comfort & to ensure that they won''t be too busy. The carpet runs up the stairs & through the upper hallway and all the rooms.

Thanks again....more advice most welcome.
0 Likes   July 22, 2013 at 11:49PM
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LB Interiors
I would leave the handrails wood and the vertical wood posts. The dowls white. Will update and go well with gray and red. You can paint the brass. Sand real well, prime and spray paint. Protect the surroundings by using 2 large cardbooard panels. Use cord to hook the two panels together, leaving enough space between them to drape over the railing. Will need two people for this. Protect everything below the railings. The hardest and longest part of the project is the sanding.
1 Like   July 23, 2013 at 12:04AM
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designah
Interesting, LB, thanks. While spindles never occurred to me. Glossy or matte? Couldn't I remove all the brass spindles and stand them up to paint them ... let them set for a few days? Thanks again!
1 Like   July 23, 2013 at 12:25AM
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LB Interiors
If they can be removed, absolutely. Wasn't sure if that was possible. Satin or eggshell finish.
0 Likes   July 23, 2013 at 1:12AM
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rinqreation
Why paint a brass when it's a fine material?
You could darken it though.. I found this on the web:
"To darken brass, you must first strip any varnish on it.
Surprising, one of the most commonly available household chemical you can use to darken brass is Palmolive Dishwashing liquid. Look at the label and see if it contains sodium bisulphite and other sulphur derivatives. These are very similar to the chemicals in Liver of Sulphur.
Apply the dishwashing liquid with very little water to the bare brass and keep rubbing till you get the color you want. This will take only a few minutes. When you get the color you want, wash off the dish washing liquid."
Could be worth a try.

I like the staircase, I only think the medium grey and carpet look off. The light grey wall and the oak look nice together. Carpet on stairs is softer and sound reducing.

A light oak floor and a runner would look great, but it just depends on how the steps will look after removing the carpet. Paint the side-walls offwhite (not too creamy!). Gunmetal grey carpet, but wood on the hallway floor.

Note: to find out if the rods can be removed, try to lift them up, if the end comes out, you'll be fine.
Chicago Equestrian Project
New White Oak Character Grade
0 Likes   July 23, 2013 at 1:49AM
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NK Woodworking
Can you share some of the rest of the house or floor plan? Whats outside the house - city, country, etc? Hard to give thoughtful design ideas without a better understanding of the overall space and your visual interests. If your in the Pacific NW look us up we make custom designed stairways.
2 Likes   July 24, 2013 at 6:55PM
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designah
The spindles (I've been calling them dowls) do pop out, so I may experiment a bit with darkening them before doing anything else. Thanks for that tip!
There's a lot of shiny brass hardware in the house but I don't mind mixing up metals.
Here are some older photos of our main floor to provide a broader perspective on our 'look'.
By the way, I've been drawn to some very funky geometric patterns on stairs (carpets) & am toying with the idea...it's kind of an extreme look! Has anyone tried it? Happy or regretful?
Thanks for the feedback, I love it :-)
0 Likes   July 24, 2013 at 9:00PM
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LB Interiors
I think you need some lighter brighter colors in the living room and family room. It may be the lack of light in the photos. Maybe some aqua or teal in the kitchen.
0 Likes   July 24, 2013 at 10:06PM
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designah
Funny you should mention that, because I love bringing in a particular large AQUA vase into either room. Filled with flowers of any shade, the vase always gets commented upon for ITS colour, probably because it's exactly what's needed.
There's actually a lot of colour in both rooms, LB, though that may not come thru in the photos. I'm addicted to colour :) Thanks!
1 Like   July 24, 2013 at 11:01PM
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LB Interiors
I love color too! Can you take clearer photos of the rooms?
0 Likes   July 24, 2013 at 11:08PM
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gogoellen
I can't get over that your dowels are BRASS!! I've never seen that! I bet they are AWESOME!!!
0 Likes   Thanked by designah    July 24, 2013 at 11:12PM
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designah
LB, we're midway thru a reno so the place is in disorder. I appreciate your interest!
Gogoellen, lol, maybe I need to instead paint the wood on the staircase a dark grey, and then the brass spindles / dowels will be more appealing to me!
1 Like   July 24, 2013 at 11:17PM
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LB Interiors
No gray, can't see it working well with all the wood and gray walls too.
0 Likes   July 24, 2013 at 11:32PM
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designah
I love brown and grey, and I'd just have to choose a lighter carpet on the stairs for contrast & brightness.
What colour would you recommend to paint the wood, if I were to keep the brass you-know-what's (perhaps darken them a tad)?
0 Likes   July 25, 2013 at 12:28AM
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0 Likes   Thanked by designah    July 25, 2013 at 12:52AM
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NK Woodworking
Doing a interesting carpet runner could be great. So without recommending a completely different banister. Some things you could do instead of painting the wood is strip it and dye it. The wood looks like oak, which is probably why you feel it is dated (less in style wood these days). The dyes are very neat in that they keep the grain/texture of the wood but allow you to change the feeling with color. If you dyed your newel posts, maybe a dark blue, added some contrasting stripes of oak or ash, and dyed the handrail, I think you would be pretty happy.
0 Likes   Thanked by designah    July 25, 2013 at 10:38AM
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14thstreet
In one of my This Old House magazines, they featured great products for manipulating metal finishes...they turned brass into antique brass, also into a aged/green copper by using different products...wonder if I can find that info for you. I've never seen brass spindles before, very unique.
0 Likes   Thanked by designah    July 25, 2013 at 10:43AM
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PRO
Ultra-tec Cable Railing by The Cable Connection
0 Likes   Thanked by designah    July 25, 2013 at 11:03AM
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