When we moved into our house, there were lots of areas that needed some loving. Our rear stairwell to the basement was one of those spots. I say rear stairs because we also have a set of stairs leading into our basement in the middle of our house. Sometime between 1951 and when we moved in, an addition was built and the used-to-be-exterior stairs leading into the basement were enclosed.
Problem was, they still looked like exterior basement stairs…I mean, I have nothing against cinder block and poured cement, but I didn’t love it for the inside of our house.
Putting drywall up around the existing stairway seemed silly, so we decided to “stucco” the walls with a cement mix. That is, we did this after we cleaned up the block wall and repaired any leaky spots. As you can see from the first pics, we battled mold for the first couple of years in the house.
After putting up the cement mix on the wall, we put up another water shield and vapor block, then painted over all. We vacillated on how to cover up the poured stairs–carpet, wood? Having already put carpet tile down in the basement, we knew we would have to choose a different carpet for the stairs and didn’t love the idea of two carpets in such close proximity. So we hired out to get hardwood put on the stairs.
Apparently putting hardwood over an uneven surface with non-squared edges and wonky walls is difficult…But after much work and lots of love, our stairs were completed and we love them! The toekicks were so far from level that it would be impossible to attach wood, so instead we painted them to match the walls. We still have to attach handrails and do a little detail painting, but I love how they turned out!