How to Reface Stair Risers

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

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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.

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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.

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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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