DIY Staircase Runner

DIY Staircase Runner

Amy Devers gives you an easy and affordable way to install carpet on a staircase.

5 col

Looking to dress up a staircase? Install a runner you can make on your own.

120-grit sanding block
Damp rag
Paint and primer in one
Tape measure
Rug pad (the sticky or gripper kind)
Double-sided carpet tape
Carpet runner (rug)
1 1⁄2-inch brad nails
Brad nail gun



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  1. Use the 120-grit sanding block to sand down the portion of the stairs that you’re going to paint or stain
  2. Wipe the steps down with a damp rag to remove all the excess dust and dirt
  3. Paint or stain the stairs as desired. Let dry
  4. Measure the depth of one step on the staircase. (In this case, each step was 11 inches deep)
  5. Use the tape measure to find the width of your carpet runner. Subtract two inches. Use scissors to cut the rug pad down to this narrower width so the rug pad fits neatly underneath the runner
  6. Take the depth of each step and cut out one individual rug pad to fit every step on the staircase
  7. Attach the rug pads to the steps with double-sided carpet tape. Begin on the top step and unroll a strip of carpet tape to fit the width of your pad. Press the carpet tape to one edge of the rug pad. Unroll a second strip of carpet tape and press it to the opposite edge of the rug pad
  8. Apply the rug pad to the top step with the carpet tape facedown. Line up one edge of the rug pad with the edge of the top step, and press down. (Make sure the rug pad is centered between the wall and the banister.) Smooth the rug pad out with your hand
  9. Repeat steps seven and eight to attach rug pads to the remaining steps
  10. Lay the carpet runner down, starting on the top step. Unroll the carpet runner down the stairs and line the end up with the first rug pad. (Make sure the runner is centered between the wall and the banister.) Secure the runner to the top step driving brad nails into both corners. Finish the top step by driving nails every two inches along the end and sides of the runner
  11. Move to the second step, folding the rug over the edge and keeping it snug against the vertical rise of the second step. (Make sure the runner is centered between the wall and the banister.) Drive brad nails into the second step as well as the vertical rise to secure each corner. Secure the runner to the step by driving brad nails every two inches along the sides of the runner. Repeat this process to secure the runner to each remaining step and vertical rise

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