Friday, November 9, 2012

157 Secret Stairs: No Longer a Secret!

Forgive me in advance.  This is one of those super long, photo intensive posts.  And I mean giant.  I decided that I could either drag things out into four more posts or just get one good one out there, so here it is!

Our stairs are so close to completion!  And I am excited that I no longer have to hide their unfinished hideousness!  Wait.  I don't think my excitement came across well enough.  I AM OVER THE MOON IN LOOOOOOVE WITH OUR STAIRS!  I can't stress enough that the stair project is one of my favorite projects that we have done to date on our home.  They are the first thing you see when you enter our house, so having them finished {minus a hand rail}, is such a relief.

As a reminder, here is where we started:


And here is where we left off, new pretty white paneling!


The next step in the process was to finally add some treads and risers!  Eeek!  My favorite part!

But it definitely didn't happen over night!  So much was involved!

Since our original stairs were just construction stairs with carpet over the top, we decided that if we wanted the oooh la la pretty stairs, we would have to put in new risers and treads.  Considering our DIY skill level, that meant picking up stair kits from Home Depot {vs. trying to create our own}.


They came in an unfinished oak, which meant that we would be responsible for finishing them ourselves.

While searching for the kits, we also realized that we purchased our lower level flooring from Home Depot as well, and went over to the flooring department to grab a sample for color comparison purposes.


Once we had the stain and supplies purchased...


We went to a family member's workshop to lay out all of the treads and risers on saw horses.


We put three coats of white glossy paint on the riser panels with a foam roller...


And three coats of Minwax Walnut stain on the treads, applied with foam brushes...


Once the stairs were to a shade that we liked {we had our sample floor piece placed near the stairs until we achieved the desired wood tone}, they received four coats of Minwax Polyurethane {we applied the stain and poly per the directions on the cans}.


The stairs and treads sat for a few days to cure prior to the day of installation!

Speaking of the day of installation!  It was a doozy!  But we did it in just one day!

The treads were too long for the width of the staircase, so they had to be cut down to size.  Our walls were not perfectly even, so each stair tread cut was custom to the wall {which is why we didn't cut them down to size prior to staining and polying}.

To cut the finished treads, we started out by measuring our cut line and marking it with the green tape....


Next, we measured a second time to draw a straight cut line onto the green tape...


And also added a second piece of painters tape to protect our tread from the circular saw that would be cutting off the excess tread.


Not only did the painters tape protect the top of the tread from the saw, it also reduced splintering and cracking of the finish.


When measuring, we accounted for the fact that we would have to do some minor sanding to custom fit each board and to give the edge a nice and smooth finish.


The risers were cut down in the same fashion.

To install the treads and risers, we used a construction grade adhesive, along with a brad nailer.



And once each step was placed, my Mr. used his weight to set it.


Looking pretty sharp!


We followed this process all the way to the tippy top!


Things were looking pretty spiffy at this point!  And after caulking all of the nail holes and giving the risers a final coat of white paint to clean it all up, I was ready to call it good!

But I couldn't.  The upper half of the walls were just not working for me.  They were painted in Behr's Navajo White about 6-7 years ago when we painted our kitchen cabinets.  It was color matched to some tile and although it was a great face lift from the original dated oak cabinets back in the day, I have been feeling like it doesn't reflect our more current and colorful style.  The color reads very yellow beige and I have been slowly working gray undertones throughout our home.  So looking up and down the stairs at the yellowy walls didn't do all of the hard work we had just done any justice.

Knowing that within the next year, the entire kitchen and living room will hopefully be renovated and opened up into one large space, I have been searching for the perfect paint color to use to unify our entire main level.


I was going for something neutral.  Something light.  Something with a hint of gray but not gray.  And I even reached out for help from you all via instagram....


I had a few of the suggestions mixed and painted onto the wall and found that I was still coming up short.  Everything was too light, too dark, too white, too blue... and then one day I spotted it.  Glidden's Smooth Stone won the gold medal!


Although it isn't the perfect mix with the existing green in the living room, it will be the perfect color for our living room/kitchen/dining combo space down the line, so onto the walls it went!  And it works great with the color at the bottom of the stairs, making it feel intentional and seamless!


At the top of the stairs we added a couple of hooks behind the door {since we have no entry closet}, which are intended to be a place for our guests to keep their coats and bags while they visit.


I found them at World Market and they are simply spectacular!



Ready to see how the stairs turned out after all of the staining, polying, painting, installing, caulking, painting and even more painting?


Hello lovely stairs!


We LOVE them.  Oh yeah, I said that.  But we do!  Such a fantastic difference from what we lived with for the last two years!


We still have to add a railing of sorts.  We are still researching options and styles but I will be sure to let you know as soon as we come up with something awesome.  Until then, let's just be in awe of the beautiful transformation of our secret stairs!


Totally worth the wait!

Oh, and I am so taking suggestions on keeping these babies clean.  The top step is already dusty again by the time I get to the bottom!  Although I am exaggerating, it is feeling like a daily task keeping them nice and purdy so if you have any quick and easy stair cleaning tips, I would love ya forever!

157 comments:

  1. I would recommend those booties for your feet that collect dust but I dunno how safe they would be walking down the stairs.....

    Looks fabulous!!! So shiny and purty!

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  2. Steps look great. I just remodel my hall away and painted it the same color.

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  3. Love them! You guys did a wonderful job. Do you just sit and stare at them now? I would. :) Robin

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    Replies
    1. Oh yeah! There is a lot of staring at the stairs happening over here! :D

      xo,
      Jen

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  4. I love them, too! Beautiful work!

    If you find a way to keep that dust away, I'll be keen to know the secret. Our wooden stairs, which everyone sees when they enter our house, are always dusty. The only answer I've found is daily sweeping (or living with the dust).

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  5. For the safety of everyone using those pretty new stairs, you need a hand rail. In most areas that's required by building codes.

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    1. Hi Peggy!

      Absolutely! As I mentioned in the post, we are currently exploring options since we will surely be installing one in the very near future. Safety first! :)

      Thanks!

      xo,
      Jen

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  6. Jen, how in the world do you keep up with dusting all that white? I love how crisp and clean it looks, but unfortunately I would never be able to pull it off with my 4 munchkins. I'd really like to know! Is there a secret tip? haha

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    1. Hi Jaime!
      I actually just use the brush attachment on our vacuum on the baseboards and cabinets once a week and it really helps the dust from building. All of our white woodwork washes up nicely should it get dirty. And it is also quick and easy to touch up if necessary.

      xo,
      Jen

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  7. beautiful stairs
    love the white with the dark stain
    the wall color is perfect and helps it pop

    I think I'd just sit at the bottom and look up...maybe not all the way up, you know, 'cuz of the green but definitely stare worthy

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  8. I love everything. Great work - you guys are really serious DIYers!! I don't think I'd ever trust myself with all that staining. I have no suggestions for keeping the dust away in the first place, but a microfibre mop will get rid of it nice and quickly :-)

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    1. Your stairs are beautiful! Love the wall color even with the green. I second the microfiber mop head. NOT the disposable ones, but the micro cloths that are washable (just don't use fabric softeners) . We've had light grey walls for over 20 years since we had this house built. We've never grown tired of the color and find it peaceful.

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  9. Your stairs look wonderful! I love the color you chose for the wall and you did a great job with the staining!

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  10. I love the stairs. I have a split entry house and the first thing people see is the dingy carpet that acts as a dust bunny catcher since we have laminate every where else. We have a dog, and I've learned that as much as id rather sweep a lightweigt broom, vaccuuming or microfiber is a better way to go. Or even better, put some colorful kids art on the walls going down to distract peope from the dirt on the steps!! Maybe you won't see it as much once the handrail is up since you won't be needing so much to(literally) watch your steps down your steps!

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  11. I love them so much! I tried to get my husband to redo our stairs in wood, but he was too scared about the kids slipping and falling (probably a good thing, since, I've already fallen down the stairs once with the carpeting!). But what is your suggestion for preventing falls with your kids?

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    1. We just talked with them about the importance of gong slow and being careful. I was worried they would be super slick but they really aren't all that bad. I have heard you can get some sort of grippy tread for the stairs, but I don't know too much about those options.

      xo,
      Jen

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  12. I haven't ever left a comment before but have been cyberstalking your blog for a long time. I absolutely love your stairs and your style! When DH and I finally buy our dream home I am positive I will be taking a que from you and DIY-ing it up.

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  13. Oh my! That is beautiful! I love it! As for the dust, if you rub your baseboards with a fabric softener sheet, it repels the dust. Its worth a try on the stairs, but I don't know if that would make it slippery. Maybe wait for your handrail before trying it out ;) Love the gray you chose too! I just painted our kids bathroom gray and I love how it makes white pop.

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    Replies
    1. Never knew the dryer sheet trick! Thanks so much! That is why I adore you all, you are always sharing great ideas to make things easier! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  14. These turned out AMAZING! So fresh and crisp. I love the dark wood against the white and your paint choice was perfect. No help in the dust department.....Swiffer duster in your back pocket at all times? ;)

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  15. Crank up some tunes, grab a damp microfibre cloth, with a jiggle in your hips and that tune on your lips, shimmy your way backwards down the steps, swiping each one as you go... making it fun helps it get done! :) Add it to your laundry routine (cuz your laundry is in the basement right?), make it a habit.

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  16. I agree with ArtsyMomma! We have espresso furniture in our room, and before I discovered the dryer sheet secret, I had to dust daily. Now I dust once a week and run a dryer sheet over the furniture directly after...No more dust for 5 or 6 days!

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    Replies
    1. What ? What dusty cave have I been in! I am trying this the next time I clean!

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    2. I am SO trying this on my furniture next time I dust (maybe today!). I have a box of dryer sheets I no longer use for laundry since using dryer balls. Perhaps I found another use for them, yeah! I hated the thought of just throwing them away.

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  17. Just gorgeous Jen!! Love it! Cant wait to read all about the upper level big reno too!

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  18. Fantastic!!!! Just amazing!
    You all did an amazing job!
    Lots of love
    Ashli

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  19. Before reading this post I'd never ever have imagined that I would be that impressed with stairs, ever. But I am, you guys really did an amazing job, these stairs really are beautiful! I really like how the colors work together and of course the panels. Great, inspiring job, plain awesomeness!
    (Honestly, I just thought, I'd love our stairs to look like that - if we ever have stairs.)
    Tipping my imaginary hat.

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  20. Pretty! Love the subtle, yet elegant color combo!

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  21. I have been looking forward to this update! You guys did not disappoint, what a professional finish you have achieved. Well done! It must be a pleasure to come home and look down at that lovely staircase. Your future plans for upstairs sound exciting, too.

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  22. My stairs are the first thing you see also. They are still covered in the original carpeting when the house was built. Thank you for the inspiration!!!!!

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  23. OMG! So much better!!! They look fantastic!

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  24. Gorgeous, professional job. The dryer sheets help, and we have a no- sock rule on our wooden stairs otherwise we'd all be flying down them. Beautiful work, and for the record I kind of like the green!

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    1. Yes! Great point! We don't wear socks too often throughout most of the year but more now that it has been chillier, but no socks on the stairs is a helpful tip for those concerns. Or grippy socks/slippers :)

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. Get some socks from the hospital, those are great for not slipping.

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  25. Wow, your stairway looks AMAZING! A lot of work but totally worth it.

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  26. these look amaaaaaaazing!!!! i'm sure you are in love!!

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  27. those. are. stunning.

    Nicely done!!!!

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  28. Turned out just beautiful. Love those kits too. I used them at my Dad's house and what a difference. I'm still twisting my husband's arm to tear our the carpet on our main stairs.
    Our basement stairs is painted and I find that a hand vac used every other day keeps the dust to a minimum, but it's not perfect. But Hey I'd rather see the dust than hide it in the carpet.

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    Replies
    1. So true! Knowing how much accumulates makes me feel icky thoughts about how much was being held inside the old carpet we pulled out.

      xo,
      Jen

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  29. Oooh la la! Bravo on a beautiful job - the stairs are to die for. For cleaning them, I'd use microfiber. I also run dryer sheets over my baseboards to keep the dust away, but not sure if that would be okay for stairs...

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  30. Oh Jen, these turned out gorgeous!! As for cleaning.. I too would try the dryer sheet thing. I saw it on Pinterest. Our basement stairs are not finished either. hmmm.... going to have to show my hubby this. ;) We are doing a board and batten treatment to the laundry room. It would look so cool down our stairs. I thought World Market closed here?? Where is there a World Market open?

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    1. A couple in Minnesota opened back up, yay!!!

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    2. Yes, they just opened recently! I popped into the one in Edina, however I hear there is also one in Roseville. :)

      Happy Shopping!
      Jen

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    3. Ours in Crystal Lake, IL, is doing well.

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  31. Oh my goodness - just gorgeous!!! Love the molding, stairs and wall color. WOW!!!! You are so inspiring.

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  32. What a beautiful job? Your stairs are so close to your front door. I'm guessing that is where most of the dust comes in. I would check your HVHC system to see how long the filter stays clean. Might have to clean it more often. Anyway, it's just a thought. I prefer to dust with a damp rag to get rid of the dust.

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  33. I have a microfiber dust mop that bends at the edges (from Bed, Bath and Beyond) that is PERFECT for stairs. You can turn it into the corners at the backs of each stair, push the dust down as you go and then use a dustbuster to vacuum up your pile once you reach the bottom! Takes me one minute for the entire staircase!

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  34. Georeous!!! Everything from the stairs to the paint to the hooks ... LOVE IT ALL!

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  35. Pretty :-) I totally want to do that to my stairs

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  36. Beautiful! Where did you get the basket that holds hats & mittens? I've been looking for that same thing forever!!

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    1. Hi Bethany!

      I found it at Ballard here: http://www.ballarddesigns.com/pe-collection-single-wall-pocket/14893?defattrib=&defattribvalue=&listIndex=1

      I believe they have them at Pottery Barn also, or maybe scope your local HomeGoods.

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. Thank you so much!!! Tonight I will be putting the second coat of Glidden Parchment White on my daughter's dresser ... all thanks to you and your fabulous blog, inspiring me to make my home better. :) :) :)

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  37. Your stairway turned out great! Where did you get the pendant lighting on top of the stairway? I am thinking a pair of those will be perfect over our kitchen island. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you! Here is the source for the pendant light: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100468947/h_d2/ProductDisplay?selectedCatgry=SEARCH+ALL&jspStoreDir=hdus&superSkuId=202573320&catalogId=10053&navFlow=3&keyword=100468947&Ntpc=1&langId=-1&Nu=P_PARENT_ID&storeId=10051&Ntpr=1&ddkey=Search&AID=11013433&PID=5654230&SID=skim27646X859238X61c1680f18c961f9ca4e1160121d59a7&cj=true&cm_mmc=CJ-_-5654230-_-11013433#.UJ9MW5G9KSM

      xo,
      Jen

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  38. Looks fantastic!!! I'm wishing we had stairs in our house to do this to!! :)

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  39. Oh Jen!! They look so perfect!!! Great job! All your hard work sure paid of!
    Claudia

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  40. LOVE how your stairs turned out. They were well worth the wait.

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  41. completely unrelated to the stairs (which are lovely)- where is your purse from?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rachel!

      The purse is from Target a few years back.

      xo,
      Jen

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  42. i was wondering the same thing where is your purse from oh and i love the stairs great job!

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  43. We have steep stairs which currently have carpet. Thinking about taking out the carpet but concerned about them being too slippery. wonder about having carpet set in the middle- kind of recessed into the tread. Has anyone done this and are you happy with the results?

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  44. Beautiful stairs! You guys did such a great job on those, you must be in heaven now! I absolutely love the color on the wall too. As for keeping them dust free, I'm curious to see what others say too. I tried dryer sheets, but I found they made the flooring slippery and they leave behind a waxy residue that is a pain in the butt to mop over. But it could also have been the ones I was using.
    Can't wait to see what other projects you have up your sleeve!

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  45. Your stairs are absolutely stunning! We have awful stairs to a finished basement... so many reasons why they are awful... but the idea of figuring out a solution is overwhelming. This gives me an idea for someday! Thanks for sharing.

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  46. Wow, two years? I'm surprised you waited that long and did all other kinds of wonderful projects and left the stairs down to the boards!

    I love the look. No idea they had a finish you can buy at Home Depot. It makes it look easy. Great idea!

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    1. We have had them on the list, it was just a bigger project to tackle and it came down to timing and weather. Plus, we had to get all the floors, trim and doors in the lower level in before we wanted to finish the stairs. We actually had the treads for almost the whole two years, but we just had to wait until the time was right :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  47. Depending on the age of your children, you may want to put two hand rails on each side. Otherwise, you will have little handprints all over those beautiful walls.

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  48. They look graet! For dusting, maybe wear socks and slide back and forth on them as you go up/down the stairs? Or maybe give that job to your kids?

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  49. That is such an incredible transformation!!! Well done!!!

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  50. I love your great ideas Jen! :)

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  51. Love the stairs! And can I ask what kind of purse that is on the hook?

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    Replies
    1. It's a cheapy purse I found at Target a few years back. Love it!

      xo,
      Jen

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  52. Beautiful work! What a lot of work, but you showed us how it is possible, going step by step, HA!

    Inspiring!

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  53. OMG...LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I don't know if it's the pic, but the finished stairway looks wider. I am so in love with the paneling. How about a tutorial on that ;)

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    Replies
    1. Oh, we agree! After it was all done they appeared to be much wider! Love that!

      xo,
      Jen

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  54. Those turned out SO beautifully!!!! You are making me want to redo my nasty carpet stairs! lol Great job to you and your handy hubby!!!

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  55. Beautiful end result! Have your littles put on "stair socks" and slide their feet left to right all the way up- They get exercise you get clean stairs :)

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  56. Do you happen to remember the name of the green you used in the living room?

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    1. Sure do! It is Behr's Grape Leaves and I adore the happy feeling it gives our family room! ;)

      xo,
      Jen

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  57. You and your husband did an admirable job on the stairs. I especially like the trim on either side of the stairs. Am interested in seeing what you finally choose for railings. Good job on the photos and step-by-step explanation of this entire project.

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  58. Absolutely stunning!!! It's fun to see the whole transformation from start to finish, TFS!

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  59. Beautiful. As for cleaning, have you ever tried plain old hot water, vinegar and DAWN dish soap? We have wood floors on our whole main level and I have tried SO many products. Just a few months ago a friend introduced me to this new recipe and I LOVE it. Plus its super easy and cheap! Fill up a bucket with about a gallon of HOT water, add 2 cups white vinegar and about 3 Tblsp dish soap. Dawn works best--just make sure its not the hand renewal kind or you get this funny residue. You can use a mop or just a soft cloth to wipe. The vinegar has that smell to it but it goes away fast. Sometimes I like to add a few drops of essential oil as well. The natural oils add shine to the wood and they smell nice too. You can also toss a tea bag into the bucket as well and the tea will naturally treat the wood. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. I will have to give that a try! Thanks so much for the tip!

      xo,
      Jen

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  60. Gorg! Love!

    Maybe a microfiber cloth...I have one that slides over your hand like a mitten, it was originally intended for car detailing, that's what the marketed it for.

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  61. Wow well done. Looking amazing!! You must LOVE it!!! M xx

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  62. Wow they look amazing!! You are so inspiring, Jen. You make me feel like maybe I can try tackling some home improvement projects too! Thanks for your wonderful blog!
    -Dallas
    http://daybydayorganization.wordpress.com

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  63. looks beautiful!
    p.s. use a dryer sheet, like Bounty, and the dust won't stick.

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  64. sigh...................That's all I've got, SIGH............

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  65. gradulations on finally completing this project. I hope you celebrated afterwards!

    istaistaista.blogspot.com

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  66. Wow, stairs look great! I was gonna recommend Flylady's dustmop, or microfiber mop (flylady.net) but that dryer sheet tip is great! I betcha one would fit on a swiffer mop.

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  67. Your stairs turned out so beautiful!!! I painted nearly my whole house in Smooth Stone last year, and I LOVED the color and thought it was the perfect gray, without any weird undertones. Unfortunately (for me) we had to sell the house and relocate before my redecorating was done, but here is my progress for anyone who wants to see the color in a different environment: http://hothotheatons.blogspot.com/2012/08/big-changes-home-photos.html

    Wish I had some advice on cleaning the stairs, but I liked the microfiber hand mitt idea.

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  68. Your stairs turned out absolutely stunning!!! Awesome job!

    Vera :)

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  69. I like the green and smooth stone together!

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  70. amazing and beautiful transformation! I'm loving the new wall color too! Perfect color. Where is your front door rug from? Cute!

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  71. This is amazing! I had no idea you could get stair treads like this! I think we here in Utah may be done with garage projects but I will totally pin for next spring! It is so beautiful! Thanks for your inspiration!

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  72. Gorgeous!! Lovely!! Beautiful!! Great work!
    xx

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  73. I love the walnut and white,lovely
    J
    http://lifelovesand.blogspot.ie/

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  74. Wow this is actually incredible!!
    One question: is the door at the top of the stairs the entrance to your house?
    Thanks! AMAZING blog <3

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  75. Jen these stairs are gorgeous! The wall colour you choose is amazing as well. It'll be an awesome colour for when you open the space.

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  76. THIS LOOKS AMAZING!!!!!! You did SUCH a great job! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

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  77. what brand is your purse i saw you said it was from target does it have a tag inside i really like it?

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  78. Ah stop making me want a house of my own to do things like this to!!! I LOVE the stairs so much!! I even think the grey and green look quite nice. :-)

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  79. Wow, you guys are amazing!! Those stairs are absolutely gorgeous!! Love the contrast with the light and dark, and that white paneling looks like a million bucks! Stunning!!

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  80. We just had hardwood put in our upstairs and the steps as well. I can't believe how dusty they get so quickly! I always used a swiffer vac in my kitchen and foyer/hallway to get the crumbs and dust up and I just bought a second one to keep upstairs. I love it and swear by that thing. And the best part is my kids think it is fun to use when I pull it out, so they end up doing some of the clean up as well ;) I also use the swiffer duster with the extendable handle for my furniture dusting, and one day I decided to use it on my way down the steps. It was great, I just kept wiping the dust to the step below, and by the time I was at the bottom, I used the swiffer vac to get all of the bigger particles up.

    Love your steps, they look absolutely great! :) lisa

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  81. Those look stunning! It also didn't seem that difficult (although nothing seems as tricky when it's written down later), What a great transformation.

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  82. So much better! Is it sad to have stair envy...mmm? I think it's easier to realise that dust is just a part of life...not good,not bad, just a way to track your travels!

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  83. wow! you really did a great job, looks gorgeous! I love the view from the top, too. I'd be sitting at the top of the steps just admiring it all! haha.

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  84. Okay, I have serious stair envy right now. The dark stained treads with white risers is such a pretty, classic look. And the paneling? Perfection! I'd grin like a fool every day at those stairs, which I'm sure you do. :)

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  85. Was it difficult for the guys to apply the taping mud? We are interested in batten board treatment in our house, but all that cutting is causing some trepidation with my husband...skipping a step and mudding instead
    would seem easier. Love love love all you do!

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    Replies
    1. We used a box of 20 minute taping mud to skim the wall flat between the upper and lower boards, since our walls have a texture to them. Doing that, eliminated the need to cut and install smooth panels using an brad nailer and glue. It only took a couple of minutes to smooth on the mud, we did three total coats, sanding in-between each coat. We felt it was easier, but my husband has experience using the mud so that may have helped?

      xo,
      Jen

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  86. Dark floors or stair treads will always show dust. I had lovely dark hardwood floors in my last house and everything showed up. There are a couple of tricks to cutting down on dust but the toe prints are inescapable. I was so disappointed that my floors only looked lovely immediately after cleaning and before being tread upon. Toe prints are even more noticeable after polishing the floor (I used a hardwood polish for cleaning) and my lovely golden dog's hair showed up considerably. After that experience, I will never have dark flooring again ~sniff~
    I'd never tried the dryer sheet trick but if you have forced air heat, changing the filter regularly and using inexpensive vent filters in the floor register helps.

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  87. wow oh wow!!! those look amazing! and dang, what a lot of work...your mister is a gem! We'd be staring at 2 steps still at my house! ;) Love your wall color too...def going to check it out. I've been searching for something similar. xoxo

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  88. Jen, your stairs look so fantastic and I love the new paint color. Everything looks so fresh, but the wood warms it up.

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  89. really nice looking space. btw was reading one of your older posts - we took a road trip & survived .... saw about world market.
    FYI. it is baaack in Minneapolis! Edina,MN (not Woodbury) to be exact, in the same location it used to have a store 4-5 yrs ago. just started this fall, i think.

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  90. I am speechless. Holy hot bananas. Seriously you guys rock. I am drooling over those and suddenly want to rip the carpet off of ours but I many no longer have a husband if I do!

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  91. Beautiful! We pulled carpet off of 2 flights in our house and had wood put in. We have 3 boys and they didn't like it, but now they don't run up and down the stairs. My boys are always scuffing the white risers with their big feet (black soled shoes maybe?). The Mr. Clean Magic Erase helps with these marks.

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  92. definitely worth the wait jen because those stairs are just beautiful :) love how it turned out, looks sleek and clean...

    huggies***
    rea

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  93. AMAZING. They're beautiful. Absolutely classy. I can't get over how different they are.

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  94. Wow! You guys did an amazing job... you must be so proud of yourselves . :)

    I also really like the hooks on top, such a nice touch!

    Great work. (can't wait to see what railing you go with...)

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  95. Gorgeous!! They look so good, congrats on the new beauties :)

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  96. LOVE these stairs!!! How much were the kits you bought at Home Depot?

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  97. The stairs are amazing!!! Where did you get the rug at the bottom of the stairs? It's lovely.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I purchased the rug on Joss and Main during one of their flash sales.

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  98. Jen your stairs and walls are GORGEOUS!!!! Love how it turned out. I want to do my stairs a darker wood like this as well. Really Gorgeous!!! And the paint color you picked out for the walls is beautiful. I've been looking for a "grayish" color myself. I'll have to check this one out and see if it works in my space. :)

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  99. I hear a dry sheet after you vacuum keeps dust away longer. :)

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  100. Hi! So I am dying to know how you got that awesome finish with the poly. Everytime I use poly I end up with a ton of bubbles and a hard clear finish. Yours looks beautiful, bubble-free, and you can even still see the texture of the woodgrain throughout. Do you already have some sort of step by step on your site that I can refer to. I love building my own pieces of furniture or making over older ones but this finishing step gives me anxiety!

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  101. The stairs are beautiful! Where is your great bag from?

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  102. What a big job- I am so impressed and y'all must be so proud and satisfied! I would never know they weren't "professionally" installed. The stain turned out perfectly!

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  103. I am so glad you posted this project since we are considering a similar project for our own stairs (we have a couple of quirks to work around-more on that later. Later being if I ever get the project done). I have a couple of technical questions about the stairs which I am hoping can help us out. One-how did you decide on the heights you wanted-ie. how high did you set the stair skirt and how high did you set the top of the paneling treatment? Why did you choose those heights (building code, liked how it looked, other)? We are just trying to figure out all the math at this point and are wondering how you came to your conclusions. Thanks for your help.

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  104. Wow love the stairs!!! We are doing our basement now so this would be such a great idea for my basement stairs. :) Good job!!!
    http://blog.petitjoujou.ca/
    Claudia

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  105. Hi Jen -
    Beautiful job! Thinking of doing the same thing... any idea what your total cost was for just the stairs, not including the paneling?
    Thanks!
    Becca

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    Replies
    1. Hi Becca!

      It really depends on the number of stairs and the products you select. You can snag a cost on the treads in the link in the post, plus you will need to factor the cost of stain, poly, construction glue and brushes. We used tools we already had on hand which also saved us money. Our total cost was around $600.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  106. wow - looks amazing! we have oak floors with a light stain similar to your upstairs. Do you think its "ok" to do this in an angry way where you walk in to light floors but have dark wood on the stairs with white risers?

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    Replies
    1. We went with the darker stairs since we have darker floors in the lower level and love them and hope to do the same in the upper level someday. We have the lighter floors now upstairs, and they still work great with the stairs. I was really surprised, but I do like the contrast. We do have a lot of white and espresso furniture in our upper level, so I think it all ties together.

      xo!
      Jen

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  107. Thanks for creativity and effort put into this! but you did such a great job I think I'll just use yours! Thanks! Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  108. I have been inspired by this post for a while and we are about to start on our own staircase. I would love to hear your opinion on how the stain and poly you used are holding up. I see lots of bad reviews on that brand especially from pros but see lots of Diy bloggers use it, I just cant find where they update in durability some time later. Please let us know! Thank you!!!

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  109. Just want to give credit where credit is due..we recently finished off our cellar stairs leading to finished basement. The contractor wanted to know how I wanted to finish/detail the walls going down the stairs. I remembered your blog post and now have an exact replica! I love it and have had many compliments. Thanks so much for a great post.

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  110. As I was reading what you were looking for in the wall color, I was thinking, she needs Stone! We painted some of our spaces that color and it's the perfect not gray/gray! Then I kept reading and saw that you used it :) Everything looks great!!

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  111. Hi Jen,
    I know you have 2 (?) big dogs... do you have any issues with nail scratches on the treads? We just did a similar project and I'm just sick over how beat up they are!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie!

      Sorry to hear that. :( We have noticed some scratching so we try to be good about keeping their nails clipped. I try to convince myself it is just added character, however, both hubby and I are a little frustrated with some of the markings as well. Not sure of the solution, our dogs live on both levels...

      Delete
  112. Hi, I love how your stairs turned out! So I have been inspired to do the same to mine. How long did you wait between staining? I saw that you gave it three coats, so I was just wondering did you sand each coat and how long did you wait. I appreciate your help. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Angela!

      We were staining off site so we would go back once per day to add another coat. Good luck on the stairs! We still love ours as much as we did on installation day!

      xoxo!

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  113. Awesome...! Love the Stain and Wall colors..I am doing my stairs too..Just wanted to know if you sanded the treads and risers before painting/staining...?
    Appreciate your response!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nipuna!

      You will definitely want to read the directions on the can of stain you select. Most often times it is NOT recommended to sand in-between staining coats, however, some stains do allow for it. It really depends on the type you opt for. However, with paint, we always try to lightly sand in-between coats to get a nice, smooth finish.

      xoxo!

      Delete
  114. Love this project. This is something a homeowner can do themselves for sure. If you take your time and go step by step just like you did, you results will be worth it. Your stairs look amazing!

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