Before, they were stained and painted, and drove me nuts! I'm big on things matching, and this stain didn't go with ANY of the other wood tones in the house- furniture or hardwood floors!
I washed everything down to begin, then used my sanding sealer to rough the surface and prepare it for paint.
After it dried, two coats of Zinnzer primer
Then two coats of Semi gloss white paint (the color straight from the can)
A HUGE improvement!
Now, on to the rest of the stairs and the stairwell walls!