An inexpensive painted staircase makeover…
Yes, this DIY blog post is about painted stairs. But first, a little background, if you’ll humor me for a sec. Last year, we moved out of our urban comfort zone and moved into, I’d have to say, a bit of a country twilight zone. We bought a home on a little land…a place where the kids could run, frolic, and enjoy the wonders of the great-out-of-doors.
Problem was that the in-of-doors was a tad of an ugly-80’s nightmare.This was kinda ok, because I do love me some 80’s. If I had to have picked a theme song for our pad it was probably that Golden Earring song…you know, “Help, I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone…” Or possibly Guns n Roses’ mega hit “Welcome to the jungle”…
You don’t get more classic 80’s hair metal than that one, right?! To prove this home’s 80s-ness, check out this totally gnarly, gag-me-to-the-max bathroom we had. Seriously.
And if you’re still not convinced of this time warp we were dealing with…check out the shower curtain we inherited when we bought “The Twilight Home”.
If you wanna see how this bathroom turned out after it’s rehabilitation, head over HERE. Because right now, I’m gonna focus on another part of the Twilight Home.
This was our 1980’s smurf-er-ific stairwell that led into the 1980’s basement (side note: that smurfy blue color follows us everywhere…check out THIS room we remodeled!).
In the words of that aforementioned 80’s icon Axl Rose, this place was gonna bring us to our “sha na na na na na knees, knees.”
So, we got to work. Oh, that’s us…in our normal weekend leisure garb. Wish I was kidding.
Our first thought for the stairwell was that we would stain it to match the hardwoods in the rest of the house. The treads on these steps are pine. Pine isn’t the easiest to stain. We gave it the ol’ college try…you can see the result on a couple stairs in the picture above. Not good.
Our buddy Axl Rose probably would have said “All we need is just a little patience”. He’s a very sage and wise fellow. And I wish that we were better with the whole “patience” skill. But we’re not. So we moved on to plan B.
Plan B was paint. Paint and utility grade unfinished oak hardwood flooring for the landing (which costs $1/sq ft..AMAZING, right?!?!).
Above is our work crew. And yes, that’s their weekend garb. Pajamas. Listen, there’s a reason I don’t write a fashion and/or a parenting blog.
Painting this stripe design was a bit time consuming, and we learned a couple tricks along the way. Here’s a link to the full tutorial for our painted stairs.
To save costs and time, we kept the existing handrails and updated them. We spray-painted the hardware, and painted the banisters to match the stair treads. SOOO much cheaper and easier than buying, staining, and installing new ones.
And voila, no more 80’s-ugly! We removed an old builder-grade vanity mirror from that bathroom in the first picture, cut it, and framed it out in some barnboard.
We love barn board here. And that light fixture? Guess how much that boob light makeover cost…ZERO! Haven’t heard the term “boob light”? Well, you’ll see what they are in the image below…
We just spruced it up with some capiz shells and again, the almighty spray paint. Now, I think she’s a “total babe” as they said circa 1988. That’s been one of my favorite, and super-easy DIY projects!
To me, the white handrail with gold hardware feels clean and bright, which are helpful in a darker basement. Click this link to see the makeover of the whole basement space.
Once upon a time, there were walls flanking both sides of this stairwell, floor to ceiling. We knocked one side down to open up the space and make it feel less like entering a dungeon.
We’ve done a lot of stairwells in our time. Funny thing is, this is one of the cheapest we’ve ever done, and despite the low price tag, the finished product is easily one of my favorites.
Hope you like the results! I’m happy to say that we haven’t ditched the decade of valley girls and pinch-rolled jeans completely in this house…it’s just now, we keep our 80’s blastin’ on the ‘ol boom-box rather than staring at it all over our walls.
The 1980’s is definitely a decade that is much better heard, but NOT seen.
If you’re on the hunt for more budget-friendly home decorating projects, and DIY home improvement ideas, make sure to check these out, too!
Pssst…before you go, I sure would love to hang out with you again really soon! Sign up now and get a FREE copy of “Builder-Grade To Beautiful: 10 Totally Transformative Home Decorating Solutions, All Under $100!” Click here to enter your email or on the image below. Your copy will be sent right away!