Walker Custom Homes & Remodeling

9 Ideas for Stairs Makeover

Worn and outdated stairs can often use a little (or a lot) freshening up. Whether you want to make your home a better place to live or if you are trying to sell it, your stair and railing provide a great opportunity. What are the best, simple, and most cost-efficient methods of stair makeover? Of course, this question depends on what your existing railing consists of, what it looks like, what damages it has, and how strong and secure it is. Or is aesthetics, like if for some reason the existing stair is just plain ugly, doesn’t match new renovations, or maybe it’s fine but not the focus point you know it could be. Whatever your reasons, we have 8 ideas, to update your stairs.

The first question you should always ask when considering redoing your stairs and railings is whether or not the system is safe and secure.

Before planing the final design, start by acknowledging which stair parts are still usable and if you want to reuse them at all. So, here is what you can do.


Color is the first place to look when making a revolutionary change. Repainting your staircase with a bold new color can shift the feel of the entire room. For a more subtle change, re-staining the wood in a darker or lighter shade can have an impact as well. Homeowners often choose to re-stain their staircases to match newly installed hardwood flooring.


The spindles that reach between the stair tread and the rail pose a huge opportunity when renovating your staircase. If any of the spindles are cracked or broken from decades of use, replacing them is one of the first priorities of a staircase remodel.  You might consider swapping out the wood balusters for wrought iron balusters. Iron balusters are used to create more decorative patterns.

Newel Posts

You may have a good overall system but you just need to spice it up a little. Newel posts are the large posts at the top and bottom of the staircase that anchor the handrail rail to the stairs themselves. These prominent posts showcase your home’s character — so it’s natural that one of the most popular staircases remodel ideas starts with upgrading these. Try a new shape or carving style to infuse a strong ornamental pattern into the project. 

Add Stair Treads

Upgrading from full carpeted steps to solid wood stair treads or false tread end caps is one of the biggest transformations from outdated stairs. Replacing old, worn, or no longer matching stair treads with a gorgeous new option brings another intricate touch to your project. Homeowners often choose to replace the stair treads after replacing their flooring to ensure they both match the room’s décor.


The handrail that runs along your staircase is a focal point of the stairway as a whole — and it’s one of the parts that show age the most. Countless hands run up and down the railing over the course of the staircase’s lifetime, which can cause it to look worn and old. While repainting is certainly an option, building a new handrail with an intricate pattern adds a whole new character to your historic staircase. If you have a wrought iron balustrade you may want to heat it a little with a larger, warmer, beautifully grained wood handrail. This is another inexpensive way to add some color, tie your stair design in with other wood features of your home such as doors, hardwood floors and trim and generally enhance the cold look and feel of your iron banister.

Add Paneling

Sometimes the stair and banister are fine but the enclosing wall is just too plain. Paneling is an addition that can have dramatic effects to add detail to space and adds so much elegance to the home. Square paneling adds some interest to the wall without being overwhelming.

Starting Over

The final option for making over your stair is to rip it out and start over. A custom staircase design can be described as a beautiful piece of furniture made to enhance the design of a home or commercial space. However, as a permanent feature, custom stair design is a complex process with many factors to consider. Understanding the process is key to ensuring the perfect fit while saving both time and money. First, we consider what fits within the space, and what does the building design allow? Building codes often dictate the aspects of the custom stairs design including tread depth, riser height, the distance between landings, space between balusters, and handrail size and height, among others.

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