Finish your stairs with a perfect concrete look
Do you want to give your wooden stairs a concrete look? That's very possible!
Do you have a wooden staircase in your house and do you want to give it a concrete look? Making your stairs look like concrete is the trend of the moment. The gray somewhat cloudy colors fit very well with an industrial interior. Painting the stairs in concrete paint is quite a job, you have to sand off all the old glue layers, fill the cracks and put it back in the primer again, a job that will keep you busy for a week. If you are a bit handy and patient, you can make the stairs look beautiful again. So a nice challenge, as a winter or spring job.
With good preparation, this is fine. If you only want to paint the stairs, read these tips for painting your stairs before you get started, here are handy tips that are worth your while.
But back to how you can give the stairs a concrete look, to simulate a concrete look on your stairs there are 3 different ways possible, each with its own level of difficulty:
- Renovating your stairs with transfer steps
- Applying a stucco mortar
- Creating a concrete look in multiple layers of chalk paint
Option 1 Renovate your stairs with a transfer step
Have you ever seen how this goes? The principle is to apply a new transfer stair step over the existing old damaged stair step. There are many different brands for sale from very cheap to super expensive, and in many different decors, including a concrete look. The great thing about this renovation is that it is done quickly, usually within a day your stairs are like new again and the material is also super strong.
If you don't want to paint and spend days scraping and sanding your stairs and you have a budget of about 2,000 euros for refurbishing your stairs, then this is a very good choice. Find out what the qualities are and the guarantees that are given because they differ enormously. If you are a handy handyman, there are also do-it-yourself packages for sale, you can cover the entire staircase with this material.
What tools do I need for this:
If you want to cover the stairs yourself with stair renovation products, you will need special tools for this.
1) To start with a stair spin with this you can measure a result of each step. You can rotate the rulers to any vanishing point in the stair step. In this way a mold of the stair step is created, as it were. You can also make a mold using strong tape that you stick to the outside edge of the existing step. this also creates a mold of the stair step.
2) You also need a good sawing machine, or even better a ruler saw, you have an aluminum guide of approximately 120cm over which your saw slides, so you pass your saw over the material, while at a saw table the material goes over the saw away. It is also very useful if you have a jigsaw, this for the small corners. Some professionals also have a mini belt sander for these corners.
3) If you have an open staircase and you also want to cover the bottom of the stairs, it is useful if you have glue pliers that you can quickly squeeze. You need at least 8 of these (for 2 steps). This way you can work alternately, because the glue has to dry for about an hour. For gluing stairs renovation, a special PU glue is usually used that expands slightly and can be purchased online.
4) If you also want to clad the sides of the stairs, then in the same decors are also for sale plates of 240 cm long and 30 cm wide, the thickness is 8 or 11 mm. With this you can cover these flat parts. It is very useful if you have a nail tacker with which you can hit small t pins so that the panels remain in place. There are many frames and corner slats and profiles for sale in the same colors. These are MDF profile frames that are covered with a foil. A nail tacker is also very useful here. With these frames you can finish the edges nicely.
If you have these tools, you are already well on your way to a good result.
I would like to give you the following tips:
-Sometimes, usually with older stairs, the step is almost flush with the front of the side (stairs string). This for wood, as the stair maker calls it, is often only half a cm with old stairs. If you are going to place a transfer step for this, the step will pass the stringer. This is super ugly and not as it should be. The stair renovation specialist then saws with the jigsaw an edge of 1.5 cm from the front of the stair step so that the front of the transition step falls within the side of the stairs.
This does look exciting to do, but you won't see any of that later. To keep a good walkable staircase you should do this for all steps, not just the twisted step, where this usually occurs.
-If your stairs creak very badly, this is a perfect moment because also to be repaired. The creaking noises are usually due to play between the steps and the nests (milling) or the shrinkage in the risers. The play is caused by the shrinking of the wood. There are special cracking screws that can absorb this play. The results of this are very good.
At the top of the old stair step, drill a hole up to the riser. In this hole you screw a screw with a diameter of 14 mm. So you are, as it were, putting pressure on the step with the riser. A screw usually does not work and with this you do not put the step under pressure but under tension. the risers are usually made of fire-retardant chipboard or MDF. Screws are not optimal here. My advice is to buy a set of these screws for a few bucks.
It is also important that you clean the cracks on the sides well. There is often dirt and perhaps paint residue between them, which also cause creaking noises. so scratch it out with a hacksaw and vacuum very well.
Option 2 Finish your stairs in a stucco mortar
I saw this video on the internet. You can treat the stairs with a concrete mortar that consists of 2 components and this has a perfect adhesion to wood. A concrete look in 2021 is completely in and can now also be applied with a concrete mortar. A big advantage of this is that you don't have to sand the stairs very nicely, but remember, all glue residues must be removed and no loose pieces, remnants of carpeting should remain.
It is true that you must be handy and have a bit of plastering experience, the video shows a horizontal plane and then it is not that difficult, but for the standing sides such as the riser and the sides of the stairs this will be more difficult however, the result is that it looks very real like a concrete.
The mortar is mixed with a hardener and possibly a pigment to influence the color. When cured, the layer can be sanded and, if necessary, provided with a thin wax layer.
What tools do you need for this:
1) An electric mixer to mix the dye and the mortar very well, this to get a nice even color. Divide the amount into 2 parts. To get the best result you should build up the mortar in 2 layers. The thicker you make the mortar, the faster the drying time will be, keep this in mind. To get a good idea of how it works, it's smart to make a test board first. You can also see the result after the color has dried. Always mix electrically to prevent air bubbles when mixing, do not pour everything into the bucket at once, but small amounts prevent this.
2) A good vacuum cleaner is necessary to properly vacuum all dust in the corners, if you don't do this, the mortar will come loose over time. Always apply a primer to the wood before applying a mortar to it.
3) A flexible trowel made of aluminum, with this you give the mortar that beautiful cloudy concrete effect. When the mortar has almost dried, wet the trowel with water and smooth the surface.
4) Turn a sponge and a plant sprayer, with this you finish the top layer nicely and you do not make the mortar too wet. If you feel with your finger that the mortar is getting too hard, it is time to let it dry.
5) an electric sander to sand the mortar after drying and give it that nice cloudy character. This sanding gives the best result with sandpaper grit 80 to 10.
I would like to give you the following tips:
Make a bowl of dry mix with the color if you want to touch up any damage later. For protection, apply 2 layers of PU lacquer for easy cleaning and to prevent stains. Do not forget to seal the corners and edges with a flexible color sealant. this prevents water from entering the joints in the corners, causing the mortar to loosen.
Option 3 Finish in a concrete paint/chalk paint
If you are a real do-it-yourself painter and very precise, you can achieve a very nice result with a chalk paint that also looks very good. How do you get that to paint your stairs in a concrete look, there are different ways to do this.
There are acrylic water-based chalk paints that dry quickly and that you can easily apply and build up in different color layers. The chalk paints have a high lime content, which makes the paint very matt and therefore easy to sand. You get the best result if you finish the stairs in 3 layers of chalk. You can then apply 2 layers of wax to deepen the color or opt for 2 layers with a polyurethane clear coat mat.
Here too, you must first thoroughly remove the old carpet, glue and loose carpet residues, so it is also worth doing very good preparatory work and when the staircase has been completely cleaned, provide the stairs with a primer, if this has dried thoroughly, then sand with grit 120.
Do not try to sand through the paint anymore, it is best to sand by doing this manually with the sandpaper around a sanding block. Then clean it well (vacuuming). You can then apply the first layer of lime paint over this.
What tools do I need for this:
For best results, it is important that the substrate is properly prepared.
1) A paint dryer and sharp paint scraper to melt away the old glue and loose paint. You can also work with a burner, but you do need some experience for this because the stairs are usually made of coniferous wood, which burns quickly.
2) a good orbital sander with which you can also get into the corners. A staircase has a lot of corners, so a sander that can do its job here is preferable.
3) Electric drill with stirring rod. The paint must be stirred thoroughly for best results. Lime paint is a bit thicker than normal, so it is important that you stir well before you start painting. Stirring is best done electrically.
4) Waterproof sandpaper for local sanding of the paint. You should do this dry and not wet the sandpaper. You can remove the sharpness of the sandpaper by rubbing 2 pieces together, this makes the sandpaper a bit blunter and you sand more evenly.
5) Removing sanding dust between layers is best done with a tack cloth. You can buy these at the better hardware stores. Super handy and so you know for sure that there is no more dust. Vacuuming is possible, but it is less suitable because the dust becomes static due to friction.
I would like to give you the following tips:
-Work from dark to light in terms of color construction, this gives the most similar result.
-The layers should also be applied a little thinner. For example, if you're applying the last coat and it's thinner, the undercoat will still shine through a bit, giving it depth. So make the paint a little thinner by adding water.
- If you take an old sock in which you put small sharp pieces of iron, for example screws, nuts and nails, you can make small dents in the wood with it, when sanding, the darker color remains visible in the dent, which gives a very nice effect.
-Make a test board where you test the structure of the colors. Keep in mind that the stairs are big so the result will look a bit more intense.
You can see the result in the blog photo below. If you have painted the stairs in a concrete look, it is sensible (against wear of the paint) and also much safer (against slipping) to apply a non-slip tape or strip to the steps.
Types of Anti-Slip and Applications
If you want to give the stairs sufficient anti-slip, or ensure that the mortar is not damaged, our anti-slip tape can help you with this. The anti-slip tape is a durable adhesive tape that is easy to apply by anyone and adheres to almost any surface and also very well on chalk paint. The strip is wide and thick and is not very noticeable with the concrete look staircase.
If you want to know which colors best match the concrete look, request a free color card at anti-slip rubbertape.com
Blog writer: Dennis van de Berg for www.antisliprubbertape.com
adjusted April 22, 2021Back