Step by Step Staircase Transformation

I finally finished painting the stairs over the weekend. What a tedious task! I thought I'd never finish, but I love how they turned out...

The picture above is a little deceiving, because it's not the exact same pair of steps. In fact, we completely relocated the staircase altogether -- installing the new set perpendicular to where the old set had been. (The picture's portrayal of the grossness of the original stairs is pretty accurate though.)

This might help you visualize the change a little better. The picture below was taken at the same angle (notice the window is the same). In the top picture the stairs descend off to the left in front of the stove, whereas in the bottom picture the stairs descend where the old sink and cabinetry used to be. Personally I like the hallway better than the kitchen...

Here's the process of how the steps came to look so lovely. It only took about 15 months, but we've finally got something here!

That's my dad (above), prepping the wood for stain. And that's my arm, doing its staining thing (below). You have to be a little messy to make sure it gets in the cracks. (Now you know why I didn't show you the "in progress" pictures before. Slightly scary.)

And then, voila! After much taping and painting (and repeating), we have gorgeous black and white steps! Loving the crispness.

Like I said... I'm excited. It's amazing what a little stain and paint and patience can do. It just makes everything feel more finished. That is, if you ignore the fact that half the house is still gutted... But let's not think about that for awhile, k?


  1. This looks totally amazing, Emily Kate. Amazing! As in, I want these exact stairs when we move. Adore.

  2. Emily Kate:

    Your "before & after" pictures create excitment! Wow, very big changes. One thing remains, what plans have you for a hand rail? How about a 2" black pipe, attached to the wall with elbows and pipe flanges? Very industrial looking, VERY sturdy, easy to make, easy to install and cheap. Wha'da-ya-think?


  3. Girl, you guys are nailing this modern rustic look on the head. It is so fresh and unexpected. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks guys! Kim, I hope your future stairs won't take you as long to finish as mine did.

    Mel - LOVE that idea. Definitely going to look into it!

  5. Wow! That is amazing!!!

  6. Um. Wow. I just found you through Kim, so I haven't gotten a chance to look through the rest, but this is enough to make me want to see more. Crazy beautiful!

  7. Oh wow! I bet this was so much work but the results are stunning!


Thanks for reading! I love your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Keep 'em coming!