Archives for February 2010

DIY Makeover: Staircase Before & After

DIY Makeover: Staircase Before & After

A reader of The Inspired Room, Jessica, sent me these photos of her staircase. The stairs at her new house were in bad shape, but a coat of black paint brought them back to life and looking classy again!

DIY Makeover: Staircase Before & After

Thanks Jessica!

DIY Staircase Makeover (Before & After)

DIY Staircase Makeover (Before & After)


At my old house, we gave this staircase a much needed DIY makeover. The above is the after photo. It started out in really sad shape. If you remember, our last house was a 1930s English style home that needed a lot of cosmetic attention. You can see more of it here.

I never showed you this makeover because it happened prior to blogging (so many of my most grand before & after projects happened prior to blogging!) and it also took place prior to my digital camera. Bummer.

The before photos were missing for awhile in the move, but I finally located and scanned them so you could see the transformation. It seemed like a good time to show you since Remodeling Guy was intrigued by black steps!

Why not show off my red ones, right?

Brace yourself, this series of before photos are not pretty. I don’t even have a photo of the wheelchair lift or the nasty carpet that were there before we bought the house. The ink barely had dried on our contract and we were ripping things out as fast as we could.

It was so horrid — the wallpaper and carpet STUNK to the high heavens. No words to describe it. Just YUCK.

This was not your ordinary DIY in a weekend type makeover. This was bordering on insanity. No one in their right mind wants to work in this sort of yuckiness.

DIY Staircase Makeover (Before & After)

This particular part of the house had this back staircase, leading down to a family room and laundry space. Don’t ask me why, but I dreamed about walking down RED steps to do my laundry. Red steps with a white railing to be exact. And I was determined that was what I was going to get.

But before we could even think about painting, we had to do lots and lots of wallpaper stripping. And bless my mom’s heart, she put on her mask and dove right in to rid the world of ugliness. Fighting ugliness and stench, one stairway and hall at a time–this house had another stairway that was just as bad.

DIY Staircase Makeover (Before & After)

Fortunately my mom is the queen of house rescuing. If I can ever find pictures of her old houses I’ll show you. Amazing ugly to dream house transformations. Too bad I wasn’t blogging back then!

We did borrow a wallpaper steamer for this project, because this was not an easy task.

There was wallpaper down this hall, and then this hall connected to another hall with more of the lovely gold wallpaper. I have no idea what possessed us to buy a house that required that much work.  It seemed fun at the time, but looking back I absolutely cringe seeing how bad it was. Oh the stories I could tell you! This might explain why we bought a NEW house this time.

DIY Staircase Makeover (Before & After)

Ta da. Below you can see my beloved red staircase and the amazing before and after transformation. I went up and down those stairs for many years. Carrying lots and lots of laundry. {And it was down those stairs in the laundry room that “the rat incident” took place, in case you want a little crazy background story, heh he heh.}

DIY Staircase Makeover (Before & After)

Oh, how I adored and admired those stairs! I have always had an obsession for stairs, dating back to the first two story house my parents bought when we moved to Oregon. Stairs can be so intriguing and most lovely with a little TLC, don’t you think?

I took the after photo right before we moved, thus the lack of art on the wall. All the way up the stairs I had framed pictures of my babies. Every time I went down to do laundry, I looked at their baby pictures and school photos and thought about how fast they were growing up. Yeah, sometimes I even got a little teary walking down those steps. Sigh.

I somehow didn’t seem to take a good picture of the family photo wall before we moved. Not sure what I was thinking there. But you can see a little bit of the hall and stairs from this angle in the family room:

DIY Staircase Makeover (Before & After)

If you worry about wood or painted steps being dusty, they are. But I have a feeling that it isn’t just because they are wood or dark in color. It is because we have dust. :-) Dust happens.

However, I will tell you that wiping them with a cloth cleaned them up easily and it was MUCH EASIER than vacuuming carpet down a stairway.

Wiping down my stairs with a cloth was part of my weekly ritual and I actually looked forward to doing it. It was just part of my housekeeping routine — I loved to step back and admire them all clean and smelling fresh.

Now I have to lug a vacuum down my stairs instead. I’d much rather dust them with a cloth. I am NOT a fan of carpet on my stairs. But I have to keep my carpet for the moment, I’ll tell you why tomorrow. It has to do with Winston (our dog).

PS. Sarah, aka Thrifty Decor Chick, has FINISHED her stair project and did an amazing makeover you can see here.  She is my hero and I totally wish she was my neighbor! I’d have her over right now. For coffee. And to help me with my stairs..

(a reader sent me a before & after photo of her black stairway makeover, want to see? click here)