Monday, May 25, 2020

Affordable Front Steps Makeover

Hi All & Happy Memorial Day! 
I hope you've all been able to spend some time with your family on this long weekend, and to remember those we have lost who fought so hard for our freedom. I'm always so touched to see our communities come together to remember our fallen heroes. 
Today, I wanted to share with you my latest home project! It seems like every time I finish one project, another one pops into my head. Today is also the 2 year anniversary of when we bought our home- time flies!

Our home was built in 1950 which means it's 70 years old- Wow! With that being said, some things are in better shape than others. Overall our home has really stood the test of time. The front steps were still in good condition though they definitely weren't cute- they are standard hollow concrete steps, which have been painted many colors over the years and at one point use to have railings which has now left me with 2 inch holes in the concrete.
I had at first thought I would just paint them, but that seemed kinda boring so I started to think about how I could make it a bit "fancier". I landed on the idea of painting the sides and backs of the steps with exterior paint in a basic gray shade and then adhering decking to the steps.
Below I will share the step by step process of how to do this.

Step 1 //
Remove all items from steps and prepare for paint. I gave the steps a good scrubbing (with a dry brush) and sweep. I also checked for any loose materials that might be chipping away. You will want to remove these prior to starting. 
Step 2 //
 Paint the sides and back of your steps. I used a mini roller for this part. The best thing about painting the steps is you really have nothing to tape off! Unless your steps butt right against your house- in which case, use tape! DO NOT paint the surfaces where you will be adhering the wood- this will affect how well the boards adhere.
Step 3 //
Measure and cut your boards. We really lucked out, in that we only needed to rip down one board (make the width smaller). We used a chop saw to cut the lengths and a table saw to cut down the width. You NEED to use pressure treated decking boards. The way the wood is treated, prevents it from rotting outside. 
Step 4 //
Stain your boards. Make sure you use an exterior stain- it will hold up better to the elements . You need to stain BOTH sides of your board- this will help to prevent the boards from warping. Let your boards dry over night so that the stain has fully penetrated the wood.
Step 5 //
Liberally apply the liquid nail to the back of your boards (one at a time). Carefully place the boards starting at the front of your steps. Leave about a paint stirrer sized gap between each board. Once all boards are glued and placed you will want to put weight onto the boards to help them adhere. We placed patio blocks on top of the boards and left them for 24 hours. Do not skip this step! 
The reason we went with an adhesive vs. screwing the boards down into the concrete is because we didn't want to risk cracking the concrete. Most concrete steps are hollow and ours are very old- the safest (and easiest!) option was to use an adhesive. 

All Done! 

This was one of the easiest home projects we have taken on and I feel like it made such a difference! Let me know if you have any questions or if you try the project yourself.


  1. Looks awesome! I love your front door color!

  2. Beautiful! Can you tell me what color stain you used?

  3. HOw has it held up. Is there concern about water?

  4. FYI.. First this is very nice looking...well done. The only thing other folks need to make sure of is that the height of the step should not exceed 7" by code. The top step is fine in these photos but not sure about the bottom step since it is now higher from the walkway.

  5. What did you leave gaps between the boards?

    1. Assume to allow for seasonal fluctuations in the wood

  6. what is the color of your stain?

  7. Paint stirrer size gaps? The thin width, the flat width? I didn’t understand.