1 In Home Reno & Decor

Stair Progress {And Five DIY Tips!}

If I never have to paint another wooden spindle again, I will live on happiness forever and ever and ever and ever….

You get the point.

Totally wishful thinking.

Sorry, but I am just keeping it real here, and telling you guys is cheaper then therapy.

 DIY is not always easy. THIS is one of those projects where I wish we had deeeeeeeep pockets to call in the pros (and I would bake cookies for them and call my self “Project Manager”.)

You see, I finally decided to tackle our bossy golden banisters that are throughout our entire house. Most people have ONE stairway, but since we have a multi level home we have FOUR levels with stairs. Count that, one, two, three, and FOUR. Usually the stairs serve as my daily cardio and I am thankful for having so many, but now they serve as a constant reminder of how much MORE work I have left to do.


So far I have put in 12 hours of sanding and priming and I have only half completed one third of the banisters that we have in our home. The ones I have begun still need another coat of primer and approximately two coats of paint. This one is a doozy friends!

But, because I am seeing this whole ordeal as a way of giving back to other DIY-ers, I just wanted to check in with you all to share some of the things I HAVE learned while starting this humongous project. Also, I’m secretly hoping others out there are painstakingly involved in this same process. What’s that saying? “Misery loves company.”?? 😉

So far, I have learned a few things I want to share with my like minded DIY friends. Don’t worry, in five years when this project is fully completed I will ofcource make a whole tutorial on what method I found the easiest and what steps can help you if you tackle this project. 😉

 For now though, I want to share what I have learned while desperately trying to keep my Psychogenic shock at bay.

SO without further ado, remember these five easy steps on how to begin YOUR stair makeover:
  1. Sanding is a must if your railings are extra shiny and have that thick builder shellacked finish on them. Perfect for sliding down, not so fun for sanding.Keep with it though, seeing that new wood underneath all that stain feels soooo good.
  2. Feel free to use amazing liquid paint stripper. I used some and it worked so well. Messy, but well. If you have old carpet like I do, put some down to collect the goop. If not, newspaper will do just fine. Though on the down side, I’m still wincing from the pain I felt when some paint stripper accidentally splashed on to my arm. Awful.
  3. Always use protective wear when using a paint stripper. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Also, wear long sleeves and maybe a few sweaters on top, and maybe a parka. It is better to be too safe than sorry….your arms will thank you.
  4. MONEY SAVING TIP: Check out your local waste department. My city has a recycling program where businesses and individuals take their unused paints and stains and the public is able to take what they need for FREE. I saved over $100 by checking there first and finding just what I needed. Being green also gains you points with me the environment and hippies all around.
  5. Lastly, if your spindles have tiny crevices, use an inexpensive foam brush to get your primer into the tiny places and around the sides of your rounded banisters. SUCH a time saver and you will have less paint splatters to chip off of everything else later.

    See? Easy with these five little tips to get you moving. Five things that will help get you started on the right foot and in the right direction.

    I am now going to go exhaust my children at the park, put on my painting clothes, bribe the kids with  yummy snacks during quiet time and get back to my paintbrush.

    Who knows, maybe when this is all done I wont remember the hours it took cause I will be so in love with the final result.

    I’m pretty smitten already!

     I cant wait to sit back and take in all this white and bright and most certainly to retire my paint brush for a while. Oh, who am I kidding, every DIY-er knows they cant stay away from their beloved paintbrush for too long. 

    Happy DIY-ing  friends!!

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  • Doreen@househoneys
    August 25, 2013 at 3:52 am

    I feel your pain!

    This is one of those tedious projects once started, you kinda think 'another fine mess I've gotten myself into'?!

    It will all be worth it Bethany. 🙂