charlie on the front entryway stairs

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Yeaaaaah… (TLC, anyone? No? Ok, me, myself, and I will have our own little dance party over in the corner.)

I’m creeping along with my staircase project. Since the entryway, living room, and staircase walls (and upstairs hallway) are all getting painted the same color, I’m skipping around a bit from wall to wall. Basically, whichever one that is the driest gets my attention for a couple hours, and then I take a break. Then I come back to paint a little more. When you have a total of 15 separate wall surfaces (plus doorways and windows to cut in), you tend to work on whatever keeps you going. It seems to take forever. I’ll have an update with more shots of the other walls in tomorrow’s post, but it’s Tuesday – which means it’s all about the stairs and the Dueling DIY challenge.


Over the last few days, it’s become even more obvious how much the lighter color is needed on this staircase. See? The height of those walls are a real whine-inducer, but they look a million times better when you can actually see them.

Progress of white paint

I haven’t gotten used to the new light bouncing off the walls. I was in a rush to capture a few daylight photos after work, and forgot to re-adjust the settings on the camera. But I’m okay with it (and note to self: overexposed photos make my house look cleaner). As a matter of fact, they totally glow like that in person. Aren’t you impressed?

Charlie coming down the stairs

But, bright side (hehe): Charlie, my fur model, decided to worm her way into the shot. Of course, she’s more interested in the activity going on between the open blinds (which are directly opposite the staircase) than looking at her photographer.

Pretty girl

Eventually, after several goofy clicks, whistles, and hand motions, she noticed me and posed for her beauty shot.

Charlie modeling the stairs

And I am grateful, because it’s photos like these that make me realize that even though it takes a little time, I really am making progress. (“Inch by inch, play by play, until we’re finished.“)

Fresh banister

When Kit and I began this challenge a couple of months ago, the goal was to add a little competition to the mix to keep us going (especially since we both have a tendency to scatter from project to project). While I’ve taken a little bit of a detour with the living room walls, I’m happy that this weekly reminder keeps me centered and coming back for more. So, a big thank-you to the other DIYers who have joined us on this challenge. They really have some amazing ideas for their makeover projects as well, so be sure to check them out:

Want to know more about Dueling DIY? You can check out the full history here.

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  1. Wow! Your house looks SO much brighter!! And girl, I know all about keeping the blinds closed. Sometimes I have to deal with the barking just to get natural sunlight…

  2. I love how Charlie poses with her feet on different steps! Super cute! Keep the Charlie pictures coming and no one will notice if all progress stops completely, lol :)

  3. Charlie is adorable!! Have you noticed that her nails scratch the new stairs at all? I am debating on uncovering my stairs, as well as putting in some hardwood floors, but have 2 large dogs. I am worried that they would scratch the floor or slip, as they sometimes like to run throughout the whole house.

    1. Slipping is an issue, so I’m planning on putting a runner up the middle so she can have a better hold on the steps. She has a worse time on the laminate floors. As for scratches, yes, there are some – but I was sure to paint several coats and use a solid paint that I know would stick (Rustoleum). Plus, these stairs don’t look it from a few feet away, but they are already damaged from ripping out the carpet that used to be there. Paint was a better alternative than stain since paint hides the imperfections a little better.

  4. Sarah,
    The paint and stairway look SUPER!! Congrats on all your hard work and accomplishments!

  5. It takes forever doesn’t it? Our stairway/entryway are very similar to yours – from our first day of demo (knocking down the wall) to the final finished product was four months. You are moving along much faster than we did. And I haven’t painted the stairwell yet (*cough*two years later*cough*) …

    It was worth it though :) We too had to put some treads on the stairs for the pups – we actually got some dark brown treads from someplace (like Solutions maybe?) and they blend in with the stairs really well. And make the stairs much easier to walk up and down for pups and humans alike :) Your stairs look great! Love the contrast and I know how tough it is to try to live in a two story house while doing a stair project ;)

  6. I’m a bit late to the game here but I’m just after reading through the stairs remodel. The finished stairs looks really nice, great job! The two tone really brightens up the place and the darker paint on the threads will help hide those paw prints :)

  7. I hopped over from Hometalk. Your house is beautiful…. with the title and all.

    I am in LOVE with Charilie.

    And I am impressed with your progress, keep up the great work.

  8. I love your black and white stairs/steps – that’s exactly the look I’m going for on mine. How did you paint the steps – i mean, did you just have to stay downstairs for a week or what?

    1. No, I covered that in a different post than this one! The trick is to paint every OTHER post and let it dry… then paint the others that didn’t get painted (and so on with each coat until done). That way you can still use the stairs!

  9. I would love to see the flooring you have with the stairs, i really want to do the black treds with white kick boards but im doing dark brown floors and i cant seem to find anyone with this combo ?? any ideas if this would work together?