Once the basement renovation was underway, we had no intention of keeping the original basement stairs as they were. They were creaky, narrow, and dirty. Ultimately we wanted to pull them out and start fresh. But as the project progressed we decided to take our chance at leaving them in place and rehabbing them the best we could.
I’m kicking myself a bit because we didn’t seem to take any progress photos of the staircase work. But essentially, as you can see, we chopped out the vertical 2×4 at the end of the railing and replaced it with a simple square newel post.
Square balusters were placed and painted white, and a railing was added along the top, stained to match the newel post.
To fix the creaking issue, we had replaced the 2×4 supports below the stairs when the basement was initially framed out.
One change that started out as temporary, but wound up staying was the risers. We filled them in with plywood just to meet code, and then later decided they needed to stay to complete the look. We filled in any gaps with caulk before giving the treads and risers a coat of paint. We used the same paint on the treads as we did on our laundry room floor which gives the whole basement some cohesion.
It was a pretty straightforward and easy overhaul. While the results may not have been as glamorous as they could have been if we started from scratch, the project wound up being way less labor intensive, not to mention cheaper!