Friday, May 13, 2011

New Life for a Tired Staircase

My house was built in 1875 and the years have not treated it kindly. It has been subjected to multiple renovations, including being carved up into apartments in the 60s and then turned back into a family home a decade later.

The front stairs were built in 1975. Each step is a different size, it has Victorian railings, improvised wainscotting and rustic pine stair treads. Much like the rest of the house, it doesn't match itself and it needed help. I knew I could never afford a custom stair runner so I started researching painted stairs and fell in love with this photo from a Pottery Barn book on Kids Rooms.


With only three feet between the stairs and a wall, and no windows in the front of the house, it's hard to get a nice shot but this shows the steps taped off.


I wanted my "runner" 25 inches wide, so based on the first step, I had 7 inches on each side. I measured 7 inches from the right edge of every step and placed the second band of tape so that the outside edges were 25 inches apart. To tape the risers, I measured straight down from the outside edge of the tape on the top tread to the outside of the tape on the next tread. I marked it with a pencil and applied the tape along the line. Three coats of yellow floor paint from my local hardware store, colour matched to Behr Pyramid Gold and it was looking better already.


When the yellow was dry, I ran a strip of very narrow tape up against it, basically as a place holder for the stripe. Two coats of primer and two coats of white floor paint - can't remember the exact colour, just a warm white that I thought went well with my yellow. When the white was dry and cured (three days), I put a band of tape on either side of the narrow piece and removed the narrow piece to paint the navy blue stripe.

Now for the numbers...the font for the numbers is Century and I made the numbers 5 inches tall using the "ruler" feature in Word and and increasing the font size until the number was the size I wanted. 

I used contact paper to make stencils for the numbers. Print the numbers on paper, trace the numbers onto squares of contact paper (I used carbon paper from Staples). With a sharp blade, cut the number out of the contact paper. For 4, 6 8, 9, etc., I cut the middles out and then used a piece of masking tape to middles in place until I stuck them on the stairs.

Center each square on the riser, peel the backing off and stick it in place, if it's not perfect you can reposition it. Once all the squares are in place paint the first coat with whatever colour you are painting over. In this case I gave every number a quick coat of white paint - it seals the stencil so the colour coat won't bleed through. Three coats of navy blue craft paint - I needed so little, I didn't want to buy a big can - one coat of clear gloss on top. I taped off the stripes (one piece of wide tape on either side of the narrow, then remove the narrow tape) and used the same approach. Resist the urge to peel off the tape until everything is really dry.



When all the paint is nice and dry, you can start peeling! Isn't this everyone's favourite part? And now it's time for the big reveal!


  


I still can't believe these are in my house! I am so pleased with how they turned out and my kids love them. I had to do a little bit of touching up when the new paint peeled off the old, but overall it came out really well. 

We are lucky because I have two staircases in my house so having this one out of commission for two weeks was no big deal. Even if you are painting the only staircase in your house, a project like this goes in phases so there's very little time when you can't use the stairs at all and each step doesn't take too long. 

Now for that back staircase....

It's my very first "link up" post!!! 




64 comments:

  1. Totally awesome! Makes me wish I had stairs in my house.

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  2. These are adorable! I'm so impressed with your painting skills! Great color choice too; I love mustard!

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  3. Super cute! I have less dramatic, straight-shot stairs leading down to my basement that may be crying out for something like this...thanks for the inspriation!

    Emily

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  4. I REALLY love this!!! Great job!

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  5. Wow!These turned out lovely! I thought I was doing good by repainting my risers white:)! I found you through the Newbie link, come check out my blog when you get a chance! Thanks!
    Beth

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  6. wow oh WOW. these are the BEST steps makeover I have seen in a long time!
    you need to link that on more parties!! Show that off!
    Im your newest follower!!
    Tana

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  7. I would love to show these off on my blog.. would you mind? Thanks!!
    Tana

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  8. This is soooo very cool. So glad you joined my newbie party. I look forward to seeing you more.

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  9. That is such a good way to spice up stairs. It looks great!

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  10. Your steps look GREAT!!! Nice Job!

    Emily

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  11. Those steps are gorgeous! You did a FAB job! :)

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  12. FAB-U-LOUS!!! I am absolutely in love with your stairs! Makes me want to rip up the carpet on our stairs and get painting. But... since we live in Army quarters that probably wouldn't be the best idea! HA!

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  13. This is awesome! One of my first post was on painted stairs but you actually did it and they are so cool looking. Great inspiration :) Newest follower!

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  14. Oh my gosh, I love what you did!!! I ripped all the carpet off of our stairs about 6 months ago and still haven't done anything with them yet. This is awesome! I would love for you to stop by and link up on Thursday!
    www.acreativeprincess.blogspot.com

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  15. This is so neat! I love how it turned out. I am a new follower. Visiting from Sugar Bee's Take a Look Tuesday.
    ~Kimberlee
    {Accuquilt Giveaway} 

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  16. Thank you to everyone for the incredibly wonderful comments! I could not have dreamed of a warmer welcome to the blog world and I appreciate every kind word. I will be visiting everyone's blog to see all your wonderful creations!

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  17. I love what you did! that is so fabulous!!
    Mindy~

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  18. I love this! I have a back stairway that I need to do something with and I've been planning on painting it. This turned out sooo cute! That's a lot of steps! :)

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  19. I love this project, it came out so cute! Thanks so much for linking this up to our Wicked Awesome Wednesday link party! You have such a pretty blog.

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  20. Your stairs look fabulous - well done!

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  21. these look fantanstic!! now i wish i had stairs. LOL
    great great job!

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  22. I used the same inspiration picture to do number decals on my stairs. I might have to go back and paint a runner now too. Lovely job--they look amazing.

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  23. nice job! no amount of tape in the whole would let me paint a straight line!!! very well done

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  24. Beautiful job, and a great tutorial. I found you at Handy Man, Crafty Woman. Enjoying your blog!

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  25. Wowzers!!! You've got serious skillz! I'm here from Deb's blog and I'm your newest follower. Pop over if you get the chance and enter my giveaway.
    xoxo,
    Kim

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  26. This is one super fun set of stairs!

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  27. When Miss Debbie tells us to pop over and say hi to a new blogger we obey! LOL! Your stairs are just incredible and we are following you now. We host a linky party every week called Inspiration Friday (link goes up Thurs night) and we would love to have you join in the fun sometime.
    Hope you feel warmly welcomed to blogland!
    Vanessa

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  28. These turned out GREAT! I really want to do this to our stairs in our new little house and my hubby wants to carpet them... I am going toshow him yours and hopefully he will agree how awesome they look!
    GREAT JOB!
    Have a pretty day!
    Kristin

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  29. So cute. I love how they turned out and thanks for posting a great tutorial!

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  30. Love love love this! It is amazing- I love how it turned out! Well done!! Would love for you to come share this at Feathered Nest Friday sometime :)

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  31. what a fun idea. we just pulled the carpet off of our stairs to find construction grade wood. we're going to buy wood treads to install. never would i have thought of doing a treatment like this on them. it's awesome! i'm a new follower. stop over to my blog and check things out. follow me back if you like. andiejaye@ crayonfreckles

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  32. Wow, amazing job and I love the yellow. Saw you on the DIYbyDesign link up.

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  33. sent you some link love today (couldn't help myself!)
    http://www.themombot.com/link-love/2011/05/20/friday-link-love

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  34. I love this simple & completely chic update! Currently living in an apartment with carpeted stairs. Can't wait to have a staircase to paint one day! Visiting from the Shabby Chic Cottage =)

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

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  35. oh my heck this is amazing! I pinned this in my pinterest. I am visiting from the the shabby nest linky party. Come and say hi I love visitors and I am doing a really fun giveaway next week so come back and check it out.

    A Mommy's Life....with a touch of Yellow
    tyandwhitneyulrich.blogspot.com

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  36. You did beautiful work! My children would love stairs like that. I'll get right on that as soon as we move to a house with stairs! I am your newest follower. I would love it if you came over to Greetings From the Asylum and follow me too!

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  37. Wow, those look amazing!! Love the numbers & the gold paint on the sides, as well as that little black line that outlines it. Beautiful!! Thanks for linking up this week!

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  38. I featured this today! Stop by and grab a featured button if you like.

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  39. Utterly awesome! I'm pinning it for pinterest. Wow.

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  40. I absolutely love those stairs! They turned out awesome!

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  41. oh, thats perfect!!!!! I bet the kids lOVe it!

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  42. Now that is what I call entering the blog world with a BANG! Wow, what an amazing makeover for your stairs, they look wonderful. And this is only your second post ... you are going to be one to follow, so sign me up! Love the color scheme of your blog, so lovely.

    Welcome to the blog-o-sphere!

    Best,

    Kimberly

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  43. Wow....you did a fantastic job! I absolutely love it..especially the color.

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  44. Hey there- just stopping back by to say thank you for sharing this charming staircase at Feathered Nest Friday! Sharing this on Facebook today- hope you will come share again at the party soon! :)

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  45. Those turned out amazing! LOVE IT. I wish I had stairs to do this to :) I'm your newest follower!

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  46. That is wonderful!.. I have plans for something similar in my new studio.. You did a wonderful job!

    maddie

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  47. Those stairs look amazing! Thanks for linking up to my party. I just featured your project on my blog! :)

    http://www.polishthestars.com/2011/05/monday-link-party-20.html

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  48. Oh my goodness, Your stairs look amazing! You did such a gorgeous job! Visiting from Orange it Lovely!

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  49. Very cute! What a difference that narrow black stripe makes.

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  50. love, love, love your numbered stairs! found you at polishthestars! new follower

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  51. Wow! Love this! Your stairs turned out fantastic! Thanks for sharing and for linking up to my Before Blogging party.

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  52. Great job! I love the numbers and the color! I found you on the Before Blogging party.

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  53. It turned out SO cute!
    I saw your post on Handy Man Crafty Woman. I wanted to stop by and say hi!
    I'd love for you to link it up to my link party too if you'd like. I start them on Mondays, but I keep them open all week and some of them go a couple of weeks. Organizing Mission Monday. I love organizing posts but also DIY ones!!

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  54. This turned out really awesome...looks SO great! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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  55. Wow, your steps are beautiful! I'm so envious! Thanks for linking up, I'll be featuring you this weekend and I hope you come back again and show off more projects!

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  56. Ah! This is AWESOME!!!! So jealous, I want these in my house:) You did such a great job!!

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  57. Love this! My stairs have carpet and now I want to rip that up and do something fun! Thanks for sharing!

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  58. They are absolutely, positively MAGICALLY DELICIOUS!!! Love 'em!
    :-D

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  59. Your beautiful stairs are linked in my 'stairs' project post today, nice job!

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  60. This looks so wonderful. This is a great way to prevent accidents by making it more visible in the stairs and teach children how to count at the same time.

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