Before & After: Rental’s Dirty Carpeted Stairs Get a Welcome Change

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Camille Simmons)

This week Camille is sharing her real life rental challenge and how she transformed her dingy carpeted entryway stairs (with her landlord’s permission!) into something more welcoming, yet still temporary. If you want to start by hearing all the plans, check out the before photos here.

Updating an old home is filled with challenges. When my husband and I moved into our new apartment, we tackled our ugly carpeted entryway staircase, a process that stretched over several DIY sessions on the weekends.

(Image credit: Camille Simmons)

We first asked our landlords to take out the carpet and paint, but they didn’t want to spend the money. So we decided to clean up the stairs, but keep the space fairly neutral so we don’t have to paint over the whole entryway when we moved out. The wallpaper comes off very easily and the stair tops can be painted easily when the time comes.

We are really happy with the final result and it fits so well with the rest of our home! The space just feels cleaner, happier and the color adds so much more personality. The entryway staircase is light years away from the original drab beige look.

We chose paint colors and wallpaper to compliment the blue and blush pink palette of our home. The risers were painted white and the steps a soft blush to match the wallpaper used for the final makeover step.

Plus, the welcoming pineapples make a fitting statement for our entryway! I have always adored pineapples and they are a lovely symbol for hospitality and welcoming guests into a home.

Overall the process went well, but we definitely underestimated how tiring all the work would be (even though we kept the process simple by not repainting the trim — especially since it matches the rest of the apartment molding). The hardest part of the project was the preparation. Ripping out all that old carpet, padding, tacks, nails and cleaning up the original staircase. It seemed like they hadn’t seen light in twenty years. We also went slow to avoid any damage while removing nails, sanding steps, and ripping up carpet tacks.

Here is the complete list of materials we used, minus standard tools like a hammer or screw driver:

Materials & Resources