Next Step


First, an update on my last project. I was finishing up all the final details in the bathroom/utility room painting and was working on this chest.

Now it’s done!

I like how it came out. It adds some needed color and cuteness in there. The colors were chosen to go with the shower curtain.

I’m sure this room could use a lot more decorative attention, but I’m not in the decorative stage. I’m done with that room for now. The next step: The steps!

Yesterday afternoon, I painted the stairwell.

(There’s a shadow and light thing going on here that makes it look as if a bit on the lower right side in the stairwell isn’t painted. It is. It’s just the way the light is playing there.)

I don’t like to paint stairwells. Stairwells are scary. Lots of reaching-reaching-reaching to paint while standing on a step. Lose your balance and you’re done for! I even had to get a chair and set it at the top of the stairs to reach around with the brush to do the detail work around the light over the door. But, I finished! And I lived!

This stairwell could use a few things, like a real light fixture instead of a bare bulb, and also like a second hand rail. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so those things will have to wait a bit, but for now, my next project is to stain the steps. The steps are raw wood. RAW WOOD. I like rustic, but that might be a bit much. I’m keeping the concrete floors as is, and that’s enough industrial rustic. By the way, I’ve had many questions about the floor. I’m not painting it. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!!!! I’m painting enough. I’m going to use indoor-outdoor area rugs–the kind they make today for “outdoor rooms” that are soft on the feet but can be hosed off. Perfect. (You can see some examples of what I’m talking about here. They will really soften and brighten the spaces without painting.) But the steps– In this picture, the bottom step has been stained. It still looks rustic, but rustic like somebody’s paid some attention to it. The difference isn’t dramatic, but I think it’s worth doing. The elbow grease and stain don’t cost too much.

There are a lot of steps.

I’ll see you in a couple weeks……….

UPDATE: You can see the finished stain project here.


  1. Granny Trace says:

    :woof: Great job. I love how the colors turned out on the little dresser and the rustic steps are my fav!!
    Granny Trace

  2. quietstorm says:

    WOW! love how the last step turned out….

  3. jan n tn says:

    The chest of drawers turned out really nice. You’re right about the ‘perfect rustic’ on the steps. Good job!

  4. Barbee says:

    I like it: colors, paint, stain… I even like the handrail. My monitor doesn’t show photos very well, even though I have it set as light as it will go, all photos are quite dark. Anyway, as it looks from here: wonder if the handrail could be stained to match the steps, then you would never need to change handrails. Good sturdy ones are important.

  5. MonkeyPhil says:

    Everything is ooming together so beautifully. The chest looks good. Isn’t it fun to put a little paint on an item and really change it. You hae more energy than I do, cause I hate painting.

  6. songbirdfeeder says:

    Yeah! I was hoping you wouldn’t paint the concrete floor!! When we lived in Virginia I painted our concrete floor–followed the paint guy’s (and can’s) instructions exactly, and it would still peel here and there. Concrete is virtually maintenance free–leave it that way!

    LOVE the chest–the colors match the shower curtain perfectly.

    The stain shouldn’t take much elbow grease. Brush it on and then let it sit for several minutes before wiping off. If you skip steps, doing every other one, then you can still get up and down the stairs while waiting for the stained ones to dry.

  7. judyh says:

    I like the colors–good match. Also like the stain on the step. It looks a little glossy in the photo so hope it won’t be slick. If you ever decide you want some “color” on the floor, there are some beautiful concrete stains.

  8. KarenAnne says:

    How did you paint the stairway walls that are high above the steps?

  9. LynneW says:

    What kind of paint did you use on the chest, please? I think it looks great! I’d like to do something similar on my kitchen cabinets; they’re very dark and make the room look even smaller. But I haven’t found anything that will stick.

    Also – we ran a string of tube lights down our basement stairs, just below ceiling level. The bare bulb at the bottom of the steps always messed with my eyesight; this provides continuous light all the way down and I just love it, and eliminates the problem of a fixture hanging down at the bottom of the stairs. Particularly if you need to carry stuff up and down, or have tall people whose head might bump. Just a thought ~

  10. Liz Pike says:

    Love it all Suzanne! It’s looking great, and I really like the stained step. It’s all coming together very nicely!

  11. Heather Weather says:

    Oh, I admire you for doing that painting. I remember helping some friends repaint their living room once, including the ceiling. That was a bit difficult. Oh, then when we realized that someone had purchased two DIFFERENT shades of white paint…well, it ended up looking like gray streaks on the ceiling. So we had to REPAINT the whole thing…ugggh. Well, it was worth it, because it looked good in the end.

    Those wooden steps are beautiful. I love that stain you’re using. It gives it a nice warm and worn look 🙂 🙂 Have a great weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :woof:

  12. Runningtrails says:

    You did a beautiful job! I know stairs are hard!
    I would never paint those stairs. Stained real wood is so beautiful!

  13. Cheryl LeMay says:

    It all looks great!Very pretty.I love the step with the stain. Are you going to varnish them too? Lots more work-I know but it would protect the wood better from traffic and spills.

  14. NancyL says:

    I absolutely love what you’ve done so far. I really like the 2 colors on the little dresser/cabinet. You terrified me when you talked about reaching on your tippy toes to paint the stairwell – I’m 5’1″, overweight and klutzy. NO WAY would I dare attempt that, even if Clover was holding a ladder for me!

    I wish I could be there in Sept., but I will definitely soak up the photos.

    Nancy in Iowa

  15. Flowerpower says:

    You are doing an excellent job there! I have stairs in my kitchen and painting that space is scary indeed.I will NOT paint it ever again as you could half kill yourself! My stair treads are painted like the floor in the kitchen. One day if I am in the mood I might paint a design on them…but they have been just white for a long time.I have a big rug in my kitchen…not the outside kind but it would probably work better.They will be nice for you underfoot as you are toiling away at canning! I envy you your new kitchen! Go Suzanne! :happyflower:

  16. Darlene in North GA says:

    Good choice on not painting the cement. I lived in a house with a cement floor that was painted. It CONSTANTLY peeled and was IN everything – tub, bed, clothing, etc. It was NOT fun! The temperature inversion between the cool floor and warm feet caused paint “chips” to stick to shoes/feet. Sort of like peeling a sunburn. Just limp pieces peeling up. I was GLAD when they put tile squares down!

Add Your Thoughts