This is what was called a "servant's staircase". It sits at the front of our home, by the foyer, on the other side of the wall of a larger, more detailed staircase. This poor area had been sealed up at one point with a wall on the backside and a door on the front side (yes, making it a staircase that led to no where) so we decided to free it!
It had been carpeted and painted numerous times. We tore down the wall, removed the door, pulled up the carpet, and now have painted it using Behr Floor and Patio Porch paint. (No ads here, my husband just really likes Behr paint, as he used to work at Home Depot in the paint department).
I sanded and cleaned it, then painted two coats of each color (deep brown and white), allowed it to dry overnight and then it was ready to go!