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It’s time for another update on the staircase showdown

Kit’s been quiet this week. I figured it was either that elves had kidnapped her, or she was really working hard to recover from the smackdown I’d laid last week. As for my progress this week? Meh:

black and white staircase progress

Not much looks like it has changed since last week for me. I could say that it’s all thanks to a finance exam that took priority earlier in the week, but believe it or not, I’ve still made progress. It only looks like little change since four coats of black look about the same as two coats from an iPhone at night from this distance (and adding a sprinkling of doggy dirt and such… you know, for funsies).

Next up, obviously, I need to match the four coats I’ve just done on one half of the stairs to the other half that still has only primer. But I love the black handrail! That wall will be touched up soon with the lighter paint color I chose for the hallway as well.

black handrail

But now that I’ve painted the handrail, I have to figure out what to do about the one part I’m still not sure about. Do I paint the entire newel post black or leave just the top? I’ve seen them in all different varieties (see below for two of my favorite examples). I thought painting the top would help me decide if I want to paint the rest (the spindles are staying white of course). Which would you choose? If you aren’t sure because my photos are too close-up, I don’t blame you. Night phone pictures can be lousy at the dramatic before/after shots, so I’ll have to take a few more next week after I’ve painted the other half of the stair treads (UPDATE:  Guess it’s a black newel post after all! I have some work to do after class for sure).

Be sure to head over to Kit’s blog to check out her progress while I give her the side-eye from over here. And don’t forget, we’ve got several others who have been joining in on the fun these last few weeks! Feel free to send us your link if you’re participating too, and we’ll check in again next week. I plan to have a fun surprise up my sleeve very soon (if you aren’t already laughing maniacally in your head, you probably should)…

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  1. Since your post is different than the spindles (like in the first pic, unlike the second) I would paint it black.
    Good luck on your exams and projects from a fellow single DYIer.

  2. Looks great already, love the black and white contrast! I think I would paint the newel post black to :-)


  3. Personally, I like the totally black ends for you. It looks much more like a finished project. A Finish line if you will. But I love the look and only wish I had the guts to do the same!

  4. My two cents on the Newel post would be this: Paint it black. On the left example picture you had, the black handrail flows into the black newel post which connects to a black stair tread. it connects them all. The other pic has white treads so a white newel post makes sense.

  5. Both are great! However, I think it ultimately depends on the overall style/look you are trying to create in your home. The all black newel post is very elegant and clean, while the black and white newel post seems a bit more cashual (the panel wainscoting also adds to this look, but you get my drift). I personally love the drama of the all black newel post – it would be my choice!

  6. I prefer the look of the painted post, but if you're unsure it probably makes sense to wait. You can always decide to go black later, but it will be a much bigger pain in the butt to go back to white ;)

  7. Personally, I think I would paint the newel post. From the two pictures you show, the one not painted just kinda looks like something is missing. They both are beautiful pictures, but the one, just doesn't look complete. But that is just my opinion! ;)

  8. I vote that you paint the whole newel post! I think it outlines the stairs nicely. Great progress!

  9. Personally? I'd paint the post. The one on the left looks like you can slide all the way down (visually or literally, I suppose)while the right one just…ends, leaving you falling right off to the floor.
    I'm thinking we're years from even getting to our stairs. Ugh.

  10. I think you should paint the entire newel post. Both ways look good, but since the end of your hand rail is pretty meaty already, you should definitely continue it down and make the entire thing really pop

  11. I think I would paint the newel post black, as well. I love the look (in your inspiration pic) of the black newel post meeting the black stair tread..very classy looking!

  12. Paint it red! I mean black! This is my first time commenting (I think), though I've been popping in every now and then for some time. I was drawn to the paper in the kitchen as it is the same paper I had in my childhood bedroom :) I starred at that paper for hours….I know every little bunny in that paper (look closely and with crossed eyes, there are bunnies) though that was with my child's eye..I probably couldn't see them anymore.
    The house is coming along real nice BTW! Keep up the great work!

  13. I had to look up “newel post” How sad is that? LOL
    Anyways, form what I figure…. it's the very first post, and yeah, I think it would look better black to match the rest of the banister.

  14. I like it white. I think that makes the whole staircase look more informal and inviting. I think all black looks extremely formal and high end. I really need to see a better picture to make a fully informed decision, though.

  15. I would go with black! I love the drama, and it will show less scuffs when you hit it while moving heavy pieces of furniture up the stairs.

    You have inspired me to work on my horrific staircase. I tried to link up through the comments last week, is there anything else I need to do?

    1. Nope, I just missed it, that's all! I'll edit the post soon and include your link. Sorry about that!

  16. Black, definitely black. Because the newel post is different from the other spindles. GREAT JOB, though :)

  17. I vote for painting the whole newel post, otherwise I feel like the handrail looks like it's floating and not anchored. Looks great!

  18. Loving this update! I'd paint the whole newel post black. I has a nice grounding effect to the whole staircase. Great job!

  19. I agree with the first comment that the newel post is different from the spindles and therefore I vote BLACK;)

  20. You definately need to go black. The post now looks unfinished and if that last post is in fact different from the rest then it should be black. Curious about the bottom section where the posts sit)? I did one years ago that was oak and white–painted it black and white. I recall painting the bottom section black also–this may look good–more grounded. It is looking really good!!!!

  21. Gah. It's so sexy! I'd love to do mine over but it's horrible quality plywood… we would have to buy the treads and risers… but I keep thinking about it!

    Love the black! Now you wont ever have to clean ;)

  22. I agree with the majority as well… your posts are chunkier than the spindles, more similar to the left picture, so black makes a nice statement.

  23. Hey, I want to join you guys. I've got some projects going on around here that I would love to include in the round-up! Can you add me, please?

    Thrift Diving

  24. I would prefer to paint the newel all black. Like the first photo. Good luck to your project!

  25. Looks great already. Totally jealous of your stairs. I vote all black for the post and white for the thinner spindles. :)

  26. I also like all black for your stairs, just find it easier on the eyes and yes, easier to clean (maybe). :)

    Best of luck on your project. :)