Here is how they look now:
And the side by side before and after:
Once I stained the stair treads, I taped the edges of the stained treads using Frog Tape and primed the risers and runners (side boards). Then, I painted runners using the generic Sherwin Williams white in semi-gloss. I did two coats of the white.
Next, I went back and painted the risers the dark brown color. I decided on Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. It is a deep gray/brown color. The contrast is really striking with the white.
Here is a pic of the stairs as I was painting the risers. It was late at night, but you can see I started at the top and worked my way down:
For the final step, I applied three coats of semi-gloss poly (sanding between coats) to the stained portion of the steps. I used a water based poly so that it didn't yellow the white paint on the runners if it happened to bleed over a little bit.
I really can't say this project was easier than I thought, but I'm really happy with the results. Remember, these weren't even stain grade stairs and they're not near as slippery as you would think. In fact, they're not slippery at all. Did I make your think twice about painting/staining your stairs?
Easier Than I Thought!
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