January 21, 2016

After removing the finial on the stairs, my momentum was unstoppable and I pressed on to paint those spindles and brighten the area. This falls in the category of things I do not have time for while trying to finish the cookbook, BUT I DO THEM ANYWAY. I love home projects. I cannot stop. Note: You know I tried to repair the unstained top of the newel, but it has a weird gloss on it that will not take stain. I am going to have to either get a power sander or do the other idea I have up my sleeve (that deserves its own post).

The question for this job that I was playing by ear was how many parts to paint white. I started with the spindles proper because that was an easy decision. (Two coats primer, two coats Behr Ultra Pure White).


There are three remaining parts I was unsure on. First, that diagonal board. Often on stairs, the spindles go directly into the tread, but these have a slat running above them. I decided pretty quickly to paint that too. More is more, as they say.

Second and third are the post of the newel and the top piece of the newel. When I looked at my pinterest boards to note what stairs I like have, all of their newel bases were white, and to my surprise, most of them have that top portion white too. Alright, so the newel base is a yes, but the top piece is remaining for now while I think.


The reason I am going for the “more is more” mindset with painting parts of the stairs (the rosette is going white too when I strip the wallpaper) is because anything left wood will have to be stripped and re-stained to match the different tone of our new floors. Meaning, more work than painting. With that in mind, I might make the top piece white to save some trouble. Paint would be simpler than having to do anything to fix it, but does that part need to be wood to look right?

In the corner of this photo you can see our new entryway table. It is a hand me down we got while sorting through David’s parent’s attic. The spot requires something quite small, and this hangs over into the hall slightly. It is actually a desk, but is working as a temporary piece.

My New Cookbook


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  • Chris W.

    I would also paint the vertical slat that is on the wall at the top of the railing – and then see if there’s a balanced look. I love the white with the dark!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Chris! Yes, I think I will do that part too.

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