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Finding motivation can be hard. No question. Especially when you’ve been working on a project for far longer than what’s reasonable. And when you have a dog thwarting your every move at keeping the stairs clean and ready for the next coat of paint.

Kit has been working on her donkey barn this weekend (and what she’s accomplished in just a few short days is incredible), so I wasn’t expecting her to pay much attention to our challenge this week. But the challenge has done wonders for me making progress on these stairs!

Dueling DIY

My remedy for scrounging up additional motivation to finish the stairs has been the following:

  • Listen to a very long playlist to keep me strutting around the room.
  • Paint the walls nearby to make me think I’m getting a lot accomplished (that back wall is the most recent update on that, and I’m loving the new, brighter color).
  • Reward myself with beer.

Fortunately, that extra push turned into is this:

Yeah buddy. Here’s the view directly from the front door (since the stairs are pretty much the first thing you see):

I’m keeping this post short and sweet this week. Mostly just because I have an exam (tonight) and think that these pics are going to do a fine job of saying plenty for me. I still have a few more things to do:

  • add one more coat of black paint to every other step & rip off the last of the painters tape
  • paint the bottom of the newel post (I’d been waiting to make this call once the stairs were painted, so I could get a better feel of whether there was something missing. Yeah, there definitely is)
  • finish painting the walls
  • add a runner up the stairs
  • prime and re-hang the banister that was knocked off the wall when I first moved in (you can see one of the large holes in the wall from it being ripped out)
When I’m finally finished, I’ll give you the cost breakdown, the details on the paint I’ve used, anything else you might be wondering (leave me a comment if you have a question you’d like me to answer in next week’s post). Don’t forget, there are several others participating in this challenge with us, so make sure you hop over to them and see what they’ve been up to as well!
Oh, and one more thing. I didn’t hear from the winner of the Ryobi Nation giveaway – so I’ve picked a new winner. Congrats, and head over to that post to see who it is!

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  1. Awww you're not keeping the bottom of the newel post white? Looking at it from the front door, I guess it would look better in black.

  2. Looks fantastic, my friend. And hey, I did get to put a very little bit of time in on my stairs yesterday… but now you've got me thinking that maybe I also need a runner.

  3. Hope you ace your exam! Re newel post – HORRAY!! Seeing it in these photos I'm so glad you decided to paint the base black. Really feel it will ground the staircase.

    1. No, I think maybe I didn't describe it well. The handrail that goes up the stairs on the right (basically a continuation of the handrail you see, up the right side of the stairs to the upper level) fell off. It's merely a bar that attaches directly to the studs in the wall.

      The left side (the flat white side) is original to the house. I've been told that if you're just painting like I am, you don't have to update anything to code. If you're replacing things (for example, if I were replacing those spindles), you have to make sure they are up to current standards (which I think mine aren't if I were to replace them; I'd have to have the spacing a few inches closer together). But it's a good question!

  4. The stairs look great! It has been on my list to add a runner to our stairs for a while now — this may just be the inspiration I needed :)

  5. Great work and I am so glad to hear you were questioning the last post that is black! I was thinking it didn't look right….you know what your doing! Keep up the great work bustin' tail at home and in school!

  6. Hope your exam went well! The stairs are looking great. Now that the bottom stair is black it makes sense to make the bottom of the post black as well.

    Oh the joys of owning an older home. We had a home inspector come by this past Monday to basically give us a list of everything we need to fix before we list the house in a few months. Man, it's LONG! Thankfully, some of those items fall in the “well, its not current code but you don't HAVE to fix it as long as you don't change anything related to it”, so a lot of our projects will be “just paint” as well.

    Still, as your stairs clearly indicate, paint really can do so much for an older house.