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Homemade Doggie Steps: Part 3

You've made homemade doggie steps and now it's time to finish them. 

(If you arrived on this page first, go to Part 1 and Part 2 to learn how to build the steps out of wood.)



Adding the Carpet

Carpeting the steps is quite easy and only takes about an hour. It doesn't have to cost you much either. If you can find some pieces of used carpet that still look decent, the only thing you'll have to pay for are staples or carpet tacks.

If the carpet needs it, scrub it with detergent and water using a stiff brush and let dry. Or use your favorite method of cleaning carpet. You'll end up with some homemade doggie steps to be proud of!


MATERIALS & TOOLS 

  • Large single piece of carpet to cover each of the two sides, the treads, and the back OR
  • Separate pieces to cover the areas mentioned above
  • A dark colored marker or pen
  • A carpet knife, strong scissors or razor blade
  • #10 carpet tacks or 5/16 inch staples
  • A cigarette lighter, stove lighter or matches
  • A wet cloth
Cutting the carpet
  • As you go, check to make sure each piece fits  against the matching area of your steps.

CUTTING THE PIECES OF CARPET FROM ONE PIECE

  • If using used carpet, make sure there are no worn or discolored areas. Measure the areas needed; then use a marker to draw each area to be cut out on the carpet's underside
  • Cut along the lines with a carpet knife, scissors or razor blade. Keep fingers out of the path of sharp edges!

TACKING ON THE CARPET

  • Do the sides first. Tack or staple them at about 6 inch (150 mm) intervals along the edges, closer if needed.
  • Tack on the back piece.
  • Align the runner with the base of the bottom step. Run it up the steps, leaving an equal amount of carpeting to overlap the sides.
  • Start tacking from the bottom step.
Stairs with basic carpeting
Fringed carpet really made the stairs look fancy!
Carpeting the first step
  • Tack or staple across the base and top of each step.
  • Use scissors to cut the extra carpet at the base and top of each step corner (per photo).
  • If you can't use scissors, turn the steps upside down so you can slice the carpet with a blade from underneath.
  • Fold the side flaps in first, then glue and tack them.
  • Fold the top flaps over the side flaps, again gluing and tacking.
  • Note: Cutting off a small angle of the top flap will make it look better when you tack it down.


Adding Other Finishing Materials

You can also use other non-skid materials other than carpeting for the treads, such as rubber matting and non-skid material or sand added to paint.

If the wood on your homemade doggie steps looks presentable and you want a fine finish, sand and either stainpaint, oil or varnish the woodwork. 

(We were using mismatched scrap plywood, pressboard and lumber that we'd scrounged, so carpet was the easiest way to cover it up.)


DIRECTIONS FOR FINISHING

  • Use coarse and medium, then fine sandpaper to smooth out the finish. This can be done with a tool or by hand.
  • Wipe the sawdust off with a slightly dampened cloth; then apply your coating.
  • If you wish to add further coats of stain, paint, teak oil, spar varnish or polyurethane, sand the surface with fine sandpaper after the first coat is fully dry, and then add your next layer. 

 



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