DIY Black and White Staircase

Furniture and Cabinetry Redouxs, Tutorials

  1. Bliss says:

    Yes, they do look beautiful. And you have convinced me I will never ever paint my rails or stairs. Thank you.

  2. Your staircase is beautiful! Your patience inspires me! The picture of child #4 is fantastic; I do hope you have framed it. Wonderful job!

  3. Mary says:

    Amazing! You deserve a party for completing this project!!!


  4. I love this post. I love that you told the whole story–about how you tried it one way and it didn’t work so you did something else, and how long it took. That’s how almost all home projects end up–when is it ever perfect and problem-free? But it’s also the best way to learn. I’m proud of you for sticking it out and finishing it! I looks amazing! I may do this at some point in my house (although your post didn’t exactly make me excited haha). But the finished result is worth it. Great job!

  5. So happy to read your staircase is finished. The pictures are superb! I congratulate you in sticking with the job to completion. Look me up on facebook as Carol Lindberg and then over on the left side click on Retirement and the latest news will come up about us. Life is good. Keep up the good work.

  6. Meg Swenson says:

    That looks amazing! I use the same sherwin williams trim paint and love love love it! You deserve a metal for your patience with this project! I’m still working on my staircase and I want to cry lol. Great Job!

  7. Gigi Harlan says:

    Your stairway is gorgeous! I know a lot of hard work was involved and I admire how you kept going even in the face of many problems. The next thing you tackle will seem like a breeze compared to these stairs, lol. Enjoy the rest before you jump into something long and exhausting. Great job!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

  8. Christine says:

    Gorgeous!!!!! love the contrast

  9. Shawn says:

    I have decided on a black and white staircase. I am now afraid, but have co-ordinated the floor on the top and bottom landings to match. I am now heavily invested in the idea. I am frightened. I have two furry cats that enjoy helping me in a project.

    And don’t feel badly about the staircase. My mainfloor bathroom is currently the worlds longest project, having stretched to about 4 years….

  10. Josi says:

    I’m so happy I have a one story, this would inspire me to start ripping out carpet it’s so beautiful! I shared on my page too as I want everyone to be inspired and not intimidated.

  11. Your stairs look great, Karen! Before we moved, I was wanting to do this to our stairs color and everything. We had pulled up our carpeting several years before and found a pine subflooring. It was liveable and my husband stained them to go with the oak banister. Then I found blogs and painted stairs! Now I don’t have stairs, but if I am ever in a house with stairs again, I think I’d like to have painted stairs.

  12. cassie says:

    STUNNING!!!!!! you rocked it out!!! and i always love the glimpses of your home- it’s fabulous!

  13. Kristie says:

    Amazing! A lot of work, but oh SO worth it. I love a good contrast so mixing the black and white was such a great idea. Good work!

  14. Jeanne says:

    I am really glad you posted this today as I look at my stairs UNFINISHED!! I started this project about months ago and never finished, my goal is to do black and white but I still have not purchased the wrought iron spindles I was planning to replace my wood with, but I really like the idea of the black painted wood ones!! I laugh out loud because I did a blog post when I started this project showing my kids working on the stairs also!!! ha ha…. I have since installed hardwood on all the upper level of the house but not quite gotten to the finished stair project!!! So thanks… I gotta get to work on that!! Here is a quick link to the little post we did on painting our subfloors to get us through until the hardwood was installed… if you would like:
    Have a great day!

  15. Sue V. says:

    I think that is the most ambitious project I’ve seen chronicled online. The staircase turned out beautifully! You should be so proud!

  16. Angela says:

    They look amazing! I just had to laugh at the dog hair comments- I started to paint my hallway and stairs at the same time a few months ago…and it is still not finished as I just left it alone. This makes me feel better that eventually I will get it done!

  17. For all the trouble, at least they turned out fabulous!! I can imagine how long it would take if you have to stay off the staircase. I still don’t think it would be done at my house! Have a great week! XO

  18. Rose Heath says:

    VERY nice! Wonderful job and a ton of hard work!! Thanks for showing us!

  19. Karen, WOW talk about a labor of love! Your stairs look absolutely amazing and were definitely worth it, even if it took longer than expected, haha. I can definitely relate to that…. and to dog hair in my paint 🙂 Thanks for sharing at The Makers!

  20. Wow! The stairs are gorgeous and so worth all the time you spent!! Love the contrast. Great job!! Would love if you linked up to our Motivational Monday party on Burlap and Babies.


  21. KARIN says:

    Oh KAREN!…karen Karen Karen…..they are GORGEOUS….but I will admit to a cold sweat forming on my brow and seemingly having flashbacks of that sinking ship feeling we all get when things are not going as we planned…I am so glad (even if it took a while) that you got the desired look…I myself was picturing myself from some bugs bunny cartoon with a TnT box ready to blow up the stair case…LOL I am so beyond happy for how beautiful it turned out for you….Now go take a break..:)
    Hugs my friend..
    Amazing Amazing JOB!

  22. CD Loken says:

    Oh my goodness, Karen! I love your staircase-and I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read your post! You sound just like me, after recently painting our kitchen cabinets. I think I’ll wait a bit before tackling our staircase!!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  23. I don’t even know what to say! The transformation here blows my mind. It looks so amazing. Great job even if you did hit a few bumps in the road. Thanks for linking up with us at The Makers!

  24. Karen, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! Your staircase is gorgeous and from the small sneak peeks in the pictures so is the rest of your home. Great job! You deserve a big ole glass of wine after this one!

  25. You amaze me! Thank you for sharing. You will be one of the features tomorrow at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again tomorrow at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  26. Debbie says:

    They look beautiful . I wanted to take the carpet off our stairs but hubby said no and now glad he did
    If it took me that long to do the project …..and it would plus longer
    There would be a velvet rope at the bottom to keep everyone off and then they
    Would have to have booties to walk on it. You are amazing for your patience.

  27. Kathy says:

    Great post – big, big job! It looks fantastic – fabulous tips. I’m working on painting my dining room – the walls are plaster – there’s no even line any where – I agree with you – let go of perfection – but, I’m trying to get as close as possible 😉
    I’m Pinning!

  28. What a difference that makes! You did great. Now I so want to rip up the carpet on my stairs!

  29. Looks like a tonne of work! But it looks so gorgeous now! I’d say definitely worth the work – although I’m not the one who had to do it. 🙂

  30. They look beautiful! Wow, what a nightmare you went through! I have this project on my list and I am so afraid to rip up the carpet and see what lurks under neath!

  31. Your stairs look amazing!

  32. Your staircase is stunning. Truly gorgeous. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for convincing me that ripping out the carpet and painting our stairwell isn’t something I want to tackle on my own. I was seriously considering it up until now.

  33. Leigh Anne says:

    They look fantastic! Glad you made it through. I want black and white stairs SO BAD, to lead right up to my black and white hallway but I am SO not ready to take the project on. Whew! I’m tired just reading what you went through. So worth it though, right?

  34. anonymous says:

    I’m SO ready to get rid of our stair carpeting too! It was sorta ‘mashed down’ when we moved in and now a little more than 2+ years later, it really doesn’t look nice….and we have 3 dogs 😉

    I see painted steps on the horizon as well as painted floors (all will have the carpeting removed…yay!) I think my steps will be gray treads and white risers though to coordinate with the wall and trim colors.

    And thankfully I only have 6 steps to do.

    LOVE your steps! Wonderful job!

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  36. Beth says:

    Karen this looks FANTASTIC!!!! You did a fantastic job!


  37. june olsen says:

    What a transformation! Your new stairs look great! Love the black and white!

  38. Worth all the effort – hopefully your “forced into manual labor” kids think so too! And it’s dog approved which is always a plus!

    • GTC says:

      It’s dog proof to a point. Something no one with black treads tells you. Dog Hair shows up very well. Maybe I should have rescued a black haired dog instead…

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  40. Dorris says:

    So happy I found your site! I’ve only come across one other person who ripped up carpet and found OSB or something other than real wood!! Good for you for sticking with it!

    • GTC says:

      Thanks so much Dorris!! It is a lot of work, but worth it! I had to search high and low for any examples too, there aren’t many out there!

  41. Lucy Gladstone says:

    Hi there!!
    Your DIY staircase is simply AMAZING! My husband embarked on a similar project and have hit a stall. My hubby wants to know if you primed both risers and treads? We are having to reconsider as we don’t have it in us to sand and stain. Considering painting now before a runner is installed. Thank you!

    • GTC says:

      Hi Lucy! Sorry for the long awaited reply. Yes, I primed both the treads and the risers. I used Zinsser Shellac. It is like an oil based primer, but water based clean up. I primed 2 coats. CeCe Caldwell’s paints doesn’t usually require any kind of primer for adhesion, but because we were walking on these treads regularly, I wanted a little extra insurance. Just a note, CeCe Caldwell’s is not rated for flooring, but I have had fantastic success.

  42. Meredith says:

    So grateful I found your realistic make-over! I peaked under my carpet and found similar problems, i.e., gaps between wall and tread, stair end caps and tread aren’t level, and though there are solid pine treads, they are in bad shape from overspray, too thick, and no bullnose edge. Your post is allowing me to plan and tackle my project with “eyes wide open” so I don’t get in over my head. Thankfully I am still motivated. Just need to save a bit more money. Appreciate you hard work and sharing! Well done!

  43. Teri B. says:

    Karen, I am curious as to why you needed a primer first. I am intending to rip out the carpeting on my stairs going to the lower level and I know there is no hardwood underneath. My project will be similar to yours. I haven’t found a primer that doesn’t make me sick, so I am wondering if you think I could skip that step and just paint with CCC?

    Also, how is the Endurance holding up?

    • GTC says:

      Hi Teri, I put the primer down to add an extra layer of adhesion since I knew this area would receive the most daily abuse. I don’t know of a Primer that doesn’t smell! With CeCe Paints, you really don’t need a primer, it sticks well to any surface. The Endurance is holding up well, but it is not rated for flooring. If I had to do the project again, I would have used a marine type sealer that was super heavy duty. I chose the Endurance because I wanted a natural product, and knew there would be wear and tear. I like the subtle wearing that has occurred. My stairs don’t look overly beat up, they look “lovingly worn”. If I wanted to keep them pristine, then I would go with a sealer designed for flooring and wear a respirator while working with it. Hope that helps!

      • Teri B. says:

        Thank you for your helpful comments. If I used anything stronger than Endurance, I would have to move out until it finished outgassing. Since it is a narrow stairwell where smells linger, I will have to opt for “lovingly worn”. At least I know what to expect, so thanks again.

  44. Voucher Blog says:

    Black Is Beautiful Side Tear

    […] telling everyone to slide down the bannister and avoid the stairs all together. […]

  45. Strand Blog says:

    Primed Risers Make It Easy

    […] the stairs all together.  Here is a quick video of our daily up and downs, wit […]

  46. Natural Blog says:

    Primed Risers Make It Easy

    […] are a bunch of tall folks.  Taking two steps at a time, leaping over two large […]

  47. Donna says:

    Are the stairs slippery?

    • GTC says:

      Hi Donna, the stairs are not at all slippery. Maybe they were the first week? But having a family of 5 and a dog walk up and down them all day, they are just right.

  48. Christin Hards says:

    Love the post about the stairs. A friend of yours gave me you card some time ago. Mrs. Bledsoe. I painted my dining room table with chalk paint and the wax finish is not really working out as expected. Too soft? Overtime I write on a piece of paper on the dining room table I can see the imprint of my writing. Its one coat and has cured for several months now. Sigh. Thinking of poly now. Trying to find out whether certain waxes result in a harder finish than what I used. Haven’t had success yet in finding this out.

    Anyway, your stairs gave me hope that maybe eventually I will find the solution needed.

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    DIY Black and White Staircase

  50. Navy says:

    Stairs look amazing. Great work !!! Do you happen to have a picture of the stairs from the top view ? I am also looking into a similar remodel. Wondering how the top view with all black looks? Any idea how much it might cost if i were to hire a contractor to rip out the carpet and do the black and white stairs? Thank you for the post!!

    • GTC says:

      Hi there, thank you so much for the sweet comment! I don’t have a picture from the top view and since we did the work ourselves, I don’t know what it would cost to have the carpet ripped out. It actually wasn’t that hard, just dirty!

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