Remove Carpet from Stairs / Damaged by Cats

I was called on to renovate carpeted stairs. The owner had multiple cats.

They had spent years clawing and lifting the carpet in various spots throughout. The owner wanted a budget friendly fix or solution.

First off, here’s an example photo of damage found all up and down the stairs…
The cheap option was to lift the carpet and use the wood underneath. The thing was, I didn’t know the conditions of the wood below.  Since the carpet was so damaged, it had to go anyway. So I put a mask and gloves on and went to town on the carpet.
The removal of carpet from stairs is a nightmare. I’m not going to lie. It’s doable though, you just have to tear, cut and pull! There are endless amounts of staples to pull out. So, it’s a bit intense but little by little you’ll get to bare wood.
Let me mention that even though I was wearing a mask, the carpet was full of cat dander. I ended up with terrible allergies for the duration.
Here’s what I found after removal of the carpet…


We decided to go the ‘rustic’ route!
I went and stained one of the stair treads to see if the owner liked the color. I did a little sanding to it before applying stain. The idea was, let’s use what we have and what we have is rough wood. So rustic was the cheap way to go. Take a look at the stained tread…
By just adding stain you can dramatically improve the look of this rough wood. If you think in terms of rustic, retro, earthy, you’ll be alright. It’s a wonderful look and has a lot of depth and personality.
So I had a lot of work ahead of me. I stained each tread one at a time. Take a look…
The landing sections of the stairs were too rough to apply the same treatment. I used underlayment from the home center and cut the thin sheets to fit the areas needing repair. I also made custom molding for the edges. Take a look…
 So I stained and sealed everything with floor poly you can find at the home center. Then I painted the stair risers white. I would suggest using a gloss enamel paint for this. I didn’t do that in this case. In retrospect, the gloss enamel helps keep scuffs from foot traffic to a minimum. So keep that in mind!
This is the final results of my hard work! It’s a big job to take on. That said, it’s completely doable for a DIY person. Check out the results below.
I hope you got something of value out of my work. I’d like to invite you to check out and subscribe to my YouTube Channel  ESCAGEDO WOODWORKING
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