Adding Life to Your Staircase

Published July 20, 2012

There’s no question that renovating your home is an uplifting experience. The problem is after the renovation is completed our eye is often drawn to the weak spots of the room. Sometimes this weak spot is the staircase. It’s almost like your staircase is stuck in a time warp and needs a serious update. But how do you update your stairs without breaking the bank?

There are many ways of going about this without having to tear out the existing rails, risers and treads. It’s important to keep in mind however, that safety is an crucial consideration when reworking your staircase. Be sure to consult with your local municipality’s building department for code bylaws before making any major structural changes.

Paint is the easiest and least expensive option to get the most bang for your buck. Painting the outer stair wall and paneling will add a boost of color and light to the space. Choose a colour that will complement the trim colour in your home and a paint that will wear well. Stay away from paints that easily chip and peal over time. Your local paint store will have some great alternatives. Try painting the handrail a contrasting colour such as glossy black or a shade that will complement the treads. Whichever route you choose, you will be amazed at the results.

Another option is to replace your spindles. Try substituting wrought iron spindles for the traditional wood variety. Add a few extra spindles for a noticeable effect. (A rule of thumb is two spindles per stair).

Freshen up your stair treads by having them refinished and stained in a new colour. This will add a dramatic look to your staircase. Complement the new stain with a bold runner.

Today’s trend is clean and minimal but consumers are now mixing old with new. The modern look is popular but it can be difficult parting with heirloom antique furniture. If the classic staircase look isn’t working with your new contemporary style, try painting your staircase in a bold colour while keeping the walls neutral. This will make the staircase a focal point in the room while adding a modern look.

Changing the style of your spindles is another option. Replace wood spindles with glass panels or polished steel. Either method would add a very fashionable style to the home.

All of these options are affordable and easy to do. Remember to tear out pictures in magazine for ideas. This is a great starting point.