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How hard is it to "update" stairs?

11 years ago

I have traditional oak stairs, with the scrolls on the side and what looks like fir skirt boards on the sides. I have always hated them - too traditional for our contemporary style home. The builder did use square posts and balusters in an effort to make it look more contemporary but it just doesn't do the trick.

I want to modify the stairs to change the look. Thinking about removing the scrolls on the skirt and maybe painting the risers and skirting. All our woodwork is stained now so adding painted trim is scary to me.

The other thing I would love to do is remove the rounded edges on the outside edge of the stair treads and make them square. The rounded edge is a trim piece, mitered to match the rounded edge on the front of the step.

Had anyone attempted something like this? Will I ruin my stairs if I attempt these modifications?

I should mention that we are having new floors installed in one room and were planning to have the steps refinished anyway.

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