Stairwell Makeover: ORC Week 5

Thanks for joining me again this week! If you missed any of the previous weeks in the One Room Challenge Linkup you can see them here. week 1  \\  week 2  \\  week 3  \\  week 4


It may not look like I did too much this week, but I assure you that I have been working my tail off. I’ve gotten the risers primed which I did with 2 coats because it wasn’t covering the unsightly Halloween risers evenly. I’ve also started to prime the balusters, which is proving to be quite time consuming, but let’s be honest, I didn’t really expect them to be quick or easy. 


I did strip the brown paint on the banister and newel post caps! I can’t recommend Citristrip enough. It doesn’t send fumes throughout your house like past strippers I’ve used and it works just as well. I’m really happy with how the handrails and caps turned out.




1. Just pour a bit into a metal container and apply with a paint brush: I used a clean tin can and a disposable brush. Apply a thick coat, but not so thick that it’s dripping.

2. Let it sit for 30 minutes and scrape it off: I used a putty knife even though the directions suggested a plastic scraper, I was just very careful not to nick the wood. Any access can be wiped or scrubbed off with an abrasive pad, like a scouring dish pad. This worked well in the curved areas of my handrail where my straight putty knife couldn’t really get into.

3. Once clear of all the old paint and the surface is dry sand your wood: I sanded it down with 120 grit and again with 220 grit to get a super smooth surface.

4. Clean all the dust off with a sweeper and a tack cloth and you are ready for staining!


In addition to stripping the banister and caps I also stained and varnished them. You can see the finished  product in the pic above. So I’m nearly finished.

Now I bet you are wondering what’s left! I’m hoping to get as much finished as I can next week but I will be cutting it close for sure.

  • Finish painting risers and spindles
  • Procure toe strip, paint and install
  • Procure draperies, trim + Hardware
  • Attach trim to draperies and install
  • Paint hall trim and doors

I just have to keep reminding myself what I’m working towards.

Sounds like a lot right? But with any luck my balustrade will be just as pretty as the picture above. Join me next Thursday for the reveal! In the meantime, check out Linda’s ORC and all the Wednesday participants here. You can also see the 50+ linking participants and what they are up to here.

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