Attic: Tearing Out Carpet

We’ve started a new project around the house. When we bought the place a year ago, our very first task was to rip up all the carpets and paint all the walls to try and get rid of the cigarette smell. It worked pretty well, but we only did it to the main floor. Since we didn’t really have a use for the upper floor of the house, we didn’t bother to do anything to it.

However, the attic has been getting some use as a guest room, and it still smells like cigarettes and has dirty filthy walls. We want to spruce it up a bit to make it nicer for guests, but we don’t want to put too much effort into it since we know we want to gut the whole floor within 5 years or so.

Our plan is just to pull up the carpets and paint the walls. The walls are in rough shape, and still won’t look that great when we’re done, but they’ll be better. The walls in the upstairs of our house are plywood, and every 4’x8′ sheet is clearly visible through cracks in the paint. We won’t fix this by just throwing up some paint, but it will be an improvement anyway.

So we’ve pulled up the carpet and spent a few hours pulling staples out of the stairs. Here are some before and afters:

Carpeted stairs from below.

Carpeted stairs from below.

After carpet removed from below.

After carpet removed from below.

The original stair treads are in rough shape, but they sure have potential.

Carpeted stairs from above.

Carpeted stairs from above.

After carpet removed from above.

After carpet removed from above.

Glad to get rid of this nasty carpet.

Carpet at top of stairs.

Carpet at top of stairs.

Top of stairs after carpet removed.

Top of stairs after carpet removed.

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Hallway with carpet.

Hallway with carpet.

Hallway without carpet.

Hallway without carpet.

We aren’t sure what to do with the stair treads. They’ll either need to be sanded and re-stained, or painted. For now, we’ll probably just leave them. That’s something we’ll worry about when we finally get around to gutting all the walls.

Stair treads without carpet.

Stair treads without carpet.

Stair landing without carpet.

Stair landing without carpet.

Up next: throw some paint on the walls. We’re still trying to decide if we’re gonna go old-fashioned with paintbrushes and rollers, or if this is the job where we invest in a  paint sprayer. I’m leaning towards paint sprayer. What do you think?

9 comments to Attic: Tearing Out Carpet

  • Get a paint sprayer so you can lend it to me when I paint my new attic space.

  • Also I have a very similar stair setup. My current plans call for removing the door at the bottom of the stairs so I have actual headroom and can get furniture up.

    Is that door in the hall an old swinging door?

    • Yes, that’s the old swinging door that used to separate the kitchen from the dining room. We took it out when we had the hardwoods downstairs refinished, and haven’t gotten around to ever hanging it again. May may not ever reinstall it, since we wouldn’t ever use it anyway, and especially not if we blow out the wall separating the kitchen and dining room. Do you have any photos of your renovation online anywhere?

  • Joey

    We used a roller for our entire home, which was done with the leadership of my brother-in-law, who’s a professional painter and also uses a roller.

  • voila

    A guy who is interested in fashion blog, home refurb, and is dedicated to his kid is a good guy in my book. Your wife is a lucky woman!

  • Neal Pearson

    A paint sprayer will take almost as much time as a paint roller because setup and cleanup takes a lot longer and because you have to do a better job with taping and masking areas that you don’t want painted. You will need to be very careful with the floor and stained woodwork. Paint sprayers are more easily used outside or in new construction/remodeling before a floor and fixtures have been installed.

    • Joey

      Neal makes some great points. Actually, my brother-in-law showed me how to do the edging without taping, which was the biggest pain of painting in the first place for me. Of course, that’s edging with a brush on the edges and rollers for the rest, but it definitely would eliminate spraying as an option if you want to avoid taping.

  • Good things to think about here. Thanks for all the tips, everyone.

  • Athena

    Also I have a very similar stair setup. My current plans call for removing the door at the bottom of the stairs so I have actual headroom and can get furniture up.

    Is that door in the hall an old swinging door?