A month ago, Tal ripped out the carpet on our stairs and removed hundreds of staples:
Then, I wiped down the stairs. Tal puttied the nail holes and imperfections, as well as sanded the stairs with 220 grit sandpaper (using his palm sander). I vacuumed and wiped down the stairs again.
Yesterday I spent about 3 hours painting two coats of semi-gloss white paint on the risers and side trim:
I used Behr's Ultra Pure White. It's an untinted, bright white that is straight off the shelf at Home Depot. We have used it on the trim throughout our house:
Then, the girls and I (along with Grandma Judy and my cousin Hanja) left for a weekend at Wrightsville Beach, so Tal could paint the treads black (and not worry about anyone going up and down the stairs for a few days). While we were gone, Tal taped off the stairs and gave the treads two coats of black semi-gloss paint (Behr Black to match our banisters):
Today Tal applied two coats of water-based poly to the stair treads. (We selected a satin finish, so the poly will be less likely to trap dust and cause slippage.) To prevent anyone from slipping on our stairs, Tal added this non-slip additive to the last coat of poly. Tal mixed 4 tablespoons of Clear Grip into the 32-oz can of poly and applied it with a foam brush: