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(I was thisclose to calling this post “Blackout” and making cheesy Superbowl jokes. I’m still on the fence at whether or not I regret that decision. But I think I’ll live.)

It’s time for another weekly update on the Dueling DIY staircase challenge

Just a few short weeks ago, the stairs looked like this:

I’ve finally crossed the threshold where this project is really looking like it’s nearing completion.

Emphasis on looking. I still have a few more coats to go. And then add finishing touches, fix some older peeling paint, change the wall paint, and add a carpet runner before all is said and done. I have been a little tired this week and realized that my attempt to forego painters tape was just making things too difficult, so I took the extra time to tape so I could afford to be a little sloppier (and faster). Notice I didn’t take the initiative on the other half of the stairs that I wasn’t painting last night. That can wait for another day.

I also took your advice from last week and painted the rest of the newel post black. I found a stopping point that I thought would look best (and left the bottom part white so it would match the shoe molding around the rest of the stairs). The verdict:  much improved! I only wish the rest of the house weren’t trashed from moving all of the furniture out of the unfinished dining room (but I’ll be showing you more progress on that room later this week I hope). I’m leaving the bottom step unpainted for now so that it’s a little easier getting around the painted ones. Gotta keep the dog in mind, after all – and block her with large shipping boxes or the vacuum cleaner at the top and bottom of the stairs when I can.

But I really must say, without Kit’s prompting and turning this into a competitive thing, I would be staring at a staircase that was still months from completion. The whole idea was just to push ourselves to a finished project. And for me, it’s really, really working! If it weren’t for these weekly promises to another person that I’d have to show my progress, I would have probably spent last night in bed watching Netflix and eating oatmeal cookies.

That’s probably how the diet buddy system works too. No cookie eating because you have to show up the next morning with your friend at the gym. My gym = the stairs. Which makes sense, because my back hurts kind of like I worked out all night. I’m rambling. I’ve been studying and I’m tired. But did you see my freaking awesome stairs?!?

Don’t forget to head over to Kit”s blog to see her latest progress. There are a few others that jumped on board with our challenge, and in the spirit of giving everyone the same extra push I’m benefiting from, here they are! Some of them are dealing with layers upon layers of paint; one is even laying down pennies as a floor treatment. I’m sure they’d love some encouragement too, so please hop on over to see their progress!.

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  1. Wow! Your stairs already look amazing! I also agree with the competitive thing. If I'd not joined in with the DIY Duel my staircase would still be nowhere near finished.

  2. Netflix and oatmeal cookies sound pretty good, but they are not as satisfying as a job well done like your stairs. I do like the bottom of the newel post white instead of black.
    P.S. that room beyond the staircase is awesomely messy! Looks like a tornado hit it! It must be awful to live with until the dining room is finished, right?

    1. Yep, just keeping it real on the ol' blog. My house gets trashed in each and every project. That green tub still has my Christmas tree in it (the garage needs organization before I put it back in there). But I've done DIY for three years now, so I have learned to live with parts of my house looking like a mess.

  3. Sarah,
    Hate to be the nay sayer but I'd continue the newel post down further and do the entire block black. Give it more “oomph”. Right now it looks a little whimpy to me. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't take this as criticism but one person's opinion!! How you do as much as you do is AMAZING!!

    1. I definitely considered it, but for now I'll keep it white because I think it will look weird against the shoe molding on the bottom where the flooring meets the stairs (and painting something black is a lot easier than painting it white again). Noted though!

  4. I love the progress on your stairs! I think the black and white make it look very sharp. As for the newel post, I think it would look good both ways but an ombre effect might look cool too and then it would blend into the shoe molding at the bottom. Oh, the possibilities!
    P.S. I love your blog! I even went back to the beginning so I could read everything!!

  5. I realize that this post(s) on painting your staircase is OLD, but I’m just now happening across it. I’d love to do this very thing to my stairs. Where are the products you used? More importantly, did you use any kind of topcoat??

    Oh, and how has It held up?

    1. Hey Gabrielle! I’m actually currently searching for a better option, as it held for several years and now, it’s gotten some wear & tear. I used simple Rustoleum black paint (the kind that comes pre-mixed) but I think it would have held better if I had used a topcoat. The dogs’ nails are the biggest challenge, but here’s another post from another blogger that might be of some help until I find a solution for mine!

      1. Never mind, I got it! It was embedded and I didn’t realize — DUH!!

        Thanks again!!!