Stairs and Hall

My stairways have changed from the worse part of my home to my favorite. We live in a three story house, which means, according to our five year old, we have one of the biggest houses in our city. (Not true, although I wish the amount of stories in a house counted more than the actual square footage.) I’ve already discussed the diabolical stairs we had going down. The ones going up aren’t much better.


After we lowered the stairs, we took a while to figure out exactly how to refinish them. First, we tore off the carpet, a task that involved pulling out far too many staples. We fixed a huge number of nails that weren’t in right and just made the stairs squeaky.


The stairs were functional but ugly. I was trying to find the right solution to refinish them. I saw kits, I thought about re-carpeting. Ultimately, a small mistake helped us find a solution. The  drop from the top landing to the stair was too deep by one inch. We simply bought new stair treads that were stained and glued on the existing treads. It raises the treads by an inch, so it normally isn’t the best solution, but worked perfectly for us. The back of the stairs is bead board.

I used a large rope for the railing as well as thinner rope on the balustrade. I also wrapped rope around a support pillar with a bunch of brad nails and hot glue.


One of the most interesting comments I received is that the stairs felt less steep than before. That is not true. They are just as steep as ever, but I guess the improved apperance means you don’t notice.

Shopping List:

  • Pine Stair Treads (11): $120, Home Depot
  • Stain: $5, Home Depot
  • Poly finish: $15, Home Depot
  • Beadboard: $20, Home Depot
  • Caulk/liquid nails: $20, Home Depot
  • Laminate: Leftover
  • Mirror/frame: Free, On hand
  • Rope, large : $40 (included whipping), Knot and Rope Supply
  • Bracket, large (2): $40, Knot and Rope Supply
  • Rope, small: $30, various stores
  • Brackets, small: $5, various stores

Total Cost: $295


These stairs did not undergo any major renovation. When we moved in they were covered in this economy blue grey runner. Serviceable, I guess. Then someone spilled bubbles all over it. I know people saw that bubbles are just soap and it’s not a big deal to clean it up….but when you spill a lot, it’s really horrible. I ended up removed the section it was spilled on so I could wash off all that thick bubble solution. It was put back up, but not very well.


Then later, a kid decided to have a peanut butter feast all over the stairs. Peanut butter also does not rank high on my list of think I don’t mind getting spilled. I had it with that economy runner and tore it off. That’s when I discovered that when it was installed, the decision was made to paint only on the sides of the runner. Instead of white painted stairs, that would have been just fine, we had these horrible stairs.

Of course, they stayed in that awful state for many months. We were more focused on the downstairs and doing things like installing doors. Eventually, we did get around to applying a couple of coats of white paint.

My sister came to visit and I decided this was the perfect opportunity to go for it. I wanted rainbow stairs. I decided I wasn’t going to buy paint. We had enough paint lying around, from the previous homeowners and our own projects. The laundry room turned into a paint mixing station. I started off with some good colors: red, dark blue, bright green, black and white. I created oranges and yellows with acrylic because the yellow paint I had dried out. The day was spent joyfully creating a rainbow I’m loving them. It’s quite a transformation from an eyesore to something I’ll sit and stare at.

Shopping List:

  • White exterior paint: $20
  • Rainbow paints: Leftovers

Total: $20



Shopping List:

  • Bookshelf: Free, trade
  • Rug:  $60, Flor
  • Frames: $10, Thrift store
  • Birds vinyl: $5, Amazon
  • Number Wall: Free, Hand drawn

Total: $75

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