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I’m done with painting the stair treads!

black treads

Milestones. Gotta love ’em.

black treads

black treads

Let’s travel back to when I first moved in to the house. The stairs looked like this:

Carpeted stairs

And then I painted them white and realized a dirty dog and white steps don’t mix:

Charlie on white stairs

Just a few short weeks ago, Charlie’s butt was perma-parked on glossy white (and perpetually dirty) stairs. I was inspired to paint them black, but knew that this would be (very) far down on the to-do list while the dining room was unfinished. Then it all changed when Kit decided she wanted to re-do her stairs too – and challenged me to a throw down. Dueling DIY was born.

Sarah vs Kit

Thank you for your input, by the way – I’m very pleased with painting the newel post (if it wasn’t also the most awkward thing to paint other than the spindles!).

Frog tape on stairs

Now, the stairs are still dirty. But they look a lot swankier. And on top of that, I’ve found the motivation to finish off a project that would otherwise take me six more months to complete. And on top of that, several more of you have joined in on our little challenge to get even more accomplished. So, I should really be saying thank you for everyone who has been following along. It’s helped more than you know to hold myself accountable each Tuesday. And to think – all it took was a little painter’s tape, two quarts of Rustoleum’s Ultra Cover (which dries incredibly fast, by the way – something essential for a project like this), and cleaning off the stairs on a daily basis (blech). The paint is still new, so I’m watching for any major scufs or scrapes, but the stairs were in pretty rough shape as it was. So I’m very happy with the result!

Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch

black treads with black handrails

Don’t count me out of the challenge just yet, though. The search begins for the stair runner, and there are more walls to paint to really give this makeover some extra pop.

Remember to check out a few other challengers:

By the way – you can get all of the past posts of Dueling DIY here: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

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    1. Holy shit. That looks amazing! But I'm going to Photoshop a few options first to make sure this is how I want to go ($25 for each rug that only covers a few steps each is enough to make sure I really want to commit). Thanks!

  1. I love the black and white stairs, but I say nay nay to runners… but that's because I'm a punk.

  2. Where do you find Rustoleum paint Sarah? They look really good but you do know black shows dirt too and the hair the dog will shed. But hey our pets are family so we put up with it. I bet it would show donkey hair too if Kit let them in the house. . .

    1. In my area, I find Rustoleum at both Lowe's and Home Depot, but I find that Home Depot has a much more extensive selection.

  3. They are looking great! Speaking of painting the spindles…any tips? We have an amazing staircase…with pinkish/tannish trim (including the spindles). What is the best way to go about painting them? Do you use a brush or a roller? Help?

    1. I haven't found an easy way to paint them. There is a mitten you can buy (which is basically like a sponge sleeve you stick your hand into so you can grip and rub the spindle with paint), but it was really large and messy. So I take a narrow angled brush and simple paint lots of thin, even coats. It looks like crap for the first few coats (because there's no easy way to cover it and the brush splits when you paint up and down), but after a while looks really good.

  4. I am wondering how the black paint on the rail is standing up? i painted mine (with a different paint) and it is showing wear, with people sliding their hands down it. How do you prevent wear?

    1. I have had the same problem and haven’t really found a permanent solution yet. It only happens in one spot, so I’m thinking I may need to try an epoxy paint or something next time in that area.