Stairs Redo, Part I: He Said The “L” Word!

Last year I gave our foyer a mini-makeover.

Do you remember where this room started?

Not exactly offensive, but in need of some loving, right?
When some nice fellas came to replace our upstairs flooring, I got into the spirit of ripping out the old, stained carpet and tore out the stair runner on a whim.  We were so happy to have finished hardwood underneath, albeit worn and discolored.  After removing 1,477,803 staples, I painted the risers and spindles white, which made a huge difference, but put the treads on the backburner while I finished painting every other room in the house.

10 months and a thousand inspiration photos on Pinterest later, the time has come to finish this project.

First up:  the railings.  You know I have a thing for dark railings and since we’ve had light colored railings in our last two houses we were ready for a change.  Also:  we live in a very basic, boring colonial that is lacking any kind of architectural detail.  After painting all the walls and trim, the next phase of our renovation plan is to add character and bring some interest into this blank slate of a house. This is the fun part!

After reading about Rhoda’s railing redo at Southern Hospitality, I thought I’d try Minwax Polyshades, which is stain and polyurethane all rolled into one and allows you to change the color of wood without stripping it first.

I tested on the upper railing that isn’t visible from the foyer.   This is the first color we went with:  Bombay Mahogany.

After the first pass went on, neither Mark nor I were in love with the color.  Even before the second coat we were wavering on our color choice.

Between brown leather couches and a lot of wood-toned furniture, we decided we have enough brown going on around here.  We had seen a very rich, dark brown/black on a banister in a hotel that we loved and decided to try that, so like Rhoda, I mixed two Minwax Polyshades colors to achieve the tone I wanted:  Bombay Mahogany with this Classic Black below.  The Polyshades come in pints (as well as quarts) so we were able to play around with our stain cocktail without spending a fortune.

After the second coat of the dark brownish black stain,  that’s when he said it.
My husband who is not known to get too excited about home projects actually stood in this foyer and uttered the words
“I Love It!”

So what’s a girl to do?
Take full advantage of this moment and make a bold suggestion.

This is where this project really got dramatic and exciting!

Now do me a favor and keep your fingers crossed that we’re still feeling the love when this baby is done!  Only one more coat to go and I’ll share with you the afters!
Check out some more beautiful stairs on my Pinterest inspiration board.

I was not paid by Minwax for this post…..just wanted to share with you a product that worked for me!

My heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones and their homes at the hands of the Earthquake in Turkey.  
Sometimes blogging about DIY projects seems a little silly when I think about all that is happening in this crazy world of ours.  On the other hand, as my mother would say:  
it’s not going to help for you to sit around twiddling your thumbs.  
So I will keep working to make our house a home for my family and maybe one day I will have the opportunity to use these skills to help people like the earthquake victims rebuild their lives.
In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with those in Turkey as I am reminded to be ever-thankful for the roof over our heads.

Hope you are having a great week…thanks for your visit!

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