At the risk of sounding whiny, the last few days have been pretty rough around here. A mini surgery (nothing too serious) and some other health issues have left me looking for my DIY and my writing mojo. I’ve lost both, I fear.
I suppose it’s for the best. Anyone who’s experienced a major renovation or building project will probably agree with me that it can suck the life out of you. Sometimes, you just need to take a week or two of rest (whether you’re forced to or not). I think my body might be telling me that’s what I need right now!
We’ve lived in Our DIY House for 3 weeks now, and I’m really enjoying it so far (despite the nagging to-do list of finishing items we still have to complete). One of my favourite features is our lovely staircase. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door and it really is a statement. Another probable reason I love it so much is because we didn’t have a staircase for almost 7 years in our Garage House!
Our stair railings were one of the few things we had contracted out by a professional. We priced out doing it on our own, and the materials are quite expensive. Plus, stair railings are a safety feature that we wanted to make sure were done 100% right.
We are very happy with the work that was done! Aren’t they gorgeous? I chose a very craftsman / foursquare styled newel post along with square spindles. I was set on having the entire thing wooden so that it matched the historic look I wanted.
It took me ages to decide how to finish our railings. Originally, I wanted to paint the spindles and newel posts white and the railings black (to correspond with the black & white them I have going on in the kitchen and the rest of the house).
But, once I saw the gorgeous wood of the railings, I decided to stain the newel posts and the railings a deep ebony brown. I’m sure glad I did! (I used Minwax Ebony oil-based stain on our maple wooden rails.)
The finishing process was very arduous. I still have to finish off the stained parts with a Varathane sealer, but the rest is done. The worst part about painting & staining railings? Taping off all of the many spindles! I had to do tons of touch-ups regardless. What a chore! The result is beautiful, however.
I’ll write soon about how my parents finished the treads on our staircase (they used oak nosings stained to match our laminate). They did such an amazing job!
One of the coolest discoveries ever, is that my railings look eerily similar to my great-grandmother’s in her early 1900’s farmhouse in rural Alberta:
Look at the newel posts, the spindles and the tread detailing. How neat is that! Is the foursquare style in the genes? It feels so neat to know that my great-grandma and I shared a taste for this beautiful, historic style.
I’ll leave you with some sneak peeks of our house in progress. Every day I fall more in love with the space we’ve worked so hard on this past year!