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How to Reface Stair Risers

Cover the mess those carpet strips left behind in 5 simple steps.

If you've ripped the carpet off your stair risers and now get an eyeful of old paint and glue residue whenever you walk up the stairs, there's an easy fix: Attach a layer of painted Masonite to the risers. Here's how to do it:

Materials and Tools:

two sheets 1/8-inch Masonite
one gallon white enamel trim paint
air compressor with hoses
brad gun
painting supplies
pencil
power miter box
table saw
tape measure

Steps:

1. Measure each riser and record the measurements. Note: It's necessary to measure each one because the sizes may vary slightly.

2. Using the table saw and power miter saw, cut the 1/8-inch Masonite to the measurements you recorded.

3. To save time, paint the back, front and edges of the Masonite before installation. Note: It's wise to paint both sides because paint causes the moisture content of wood to rise as you paint and fall as it dries. If the front of a board dries more than the back, it will warp.

4. Slide the new riser panel into place and attach it with a few brads using the nail gun. Don't glue the panels in place, in case you want to remove the panels later - glue would ruin the risers further.

5. Fill the brad holes and touch up the paint.

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