Your stairs are one of the most prominent features in your home, so the way they look is important. An outdated staircase can make a poor first impression, and can even lower your home’s value. Whether you have the budget to rebuild your stairs or just refinish them, this is a part of your home that shouldn’t be ignored. Here are some ideas to consider when tackling your staircase.

Refinishing & Painting

Refinishing your staircase is one of the most cost-efficient techniques to improve your space. It’s amazing how you can transform your staircase by just painting the risers, and refinishing the treads.

The contrasting combination of black and white is a nice go-to if you’re unsure which direction you want to go. And don’t forget to update the railings by painting the balusters and refinishing the handrails.


Another budget-friendly approach is to clad your stairs with new risers and treads. The cladding can go directly on top of the existing stairs to avoid additional expenses of tearing out and rebuilding.

Renovate with New Materials

There is a wide variety of options to choose from and of course every material comes in hundreds of colors, shapes, styles, and sizes. To help narrow your options down, here are a few of the most popular materials out there today.


Choose the type of wood for its looks as well as its practicality. Treads made from hardwood will last longer and need replacing less frequently.  Ideal woods for such treads include cherry, walnut, maple, beech, teak and oak. If you already have hardwood floors in your home, you’ll probably want to choose a wood to coordinate.

Wood railings offer a timeless look which works beautifully in traditionally styled homes. Wood can also be combined with cable railing to add a touch of contemporary style to an otherwise more classic design and maximize lighting.

Iron & Steel

Iron railings are becoming more popular in homes because they’re are available in a variety of styles, from simple to ornate.  Adding iron or steel railings can create a touch of distinction to your stairs that will alter the entire character of your staircase.  


Glass can create a luxurious and glamorous vibe. This material also helps to open up a living area and allows maximum light in.


Drywall railings don’t have be boring! Drywall can be used to achieve a dramatic effect around your staircase, like the ribbon effect seen here that just isn’t possible with other types of material.

Take Light into Consideration

Our last tip might be the most important, take lighting into consideration when designing and updating your staircase. Staircases are often located in the center of homes, and consequently affect how much light is able to flow throughout the rest of your home. By designing your staircase with lighting in mind, you can create an alluring centerpiece with both natural and artificial lighting options.

The material you choose for your stairs and railing is also another factor in how the light is absorbed and reflected. Glass, cable railings, and open risers great options for allowing more light to pass through your staircase area.

Don’t let your staircase become an afterthought during a home renovation. Take a step toward the home of your dreams by contacting Sandy Spring Builders for more information on home renovations.