Finishing our Stair Railings (+ More Peeks at Our Almost-Finished Home) – Our DIY House

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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 DIY House - Craftsman Staircase - The DIY Mommy

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.

Our DIY House - Craftsman Staircase - The DIY Mommy

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.Our DIY House - Craftsman Staircase - The DIY Mommy

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).Our DIY House - Craftsman Staircase - The DIY Mommy

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.)Our DIY House - Craftsman Staircase - The DIY Mommy

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.

Our DIY House - Craftsman Staircase - The DIY Mommy

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:

Our DIY House - Craftsman Staircase - The DIY Mommy

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!

Our-DIY-House-Peonies---The-DIY-Mommy Our DIY House - Fireplace - The DIY Mommy Our DIY House - Crystal Doorknob - The DIY Mommy Our DIY House - Teal Door - The DIY Mommy DSC_0449 Our DIY House - Kitchen - The DIY Mommy


  1. Everything is looking just wonderful, Christina! I am SO happy for you! We absolutely know the feeling of never-ending renovations sucking the life out of you (which is why we took a break and haven’t done any for a year). I hope you feel better soon. =)

  2. I love your railing! We have an almost identical railing. My question is: Did you have trouble with the maple getting blotchy when staining it so dark? Our cabinet maker told me maple doesn’t stain well dark so I’ve been hesitant to try it, but yours looks beautiful! Did you run into this issue?

    1. Thanks, Jill! It’s true – if I would have known I was going to stain the newels I would have gone with oak. However, I’m pretty happy with how our maple ones stained. There is some unevenness, but it’s minimal and I think it actually gives the rails a bit of rustic character. I did use a few coats of stain, and you could also try a wood conditioner first to help. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  3. Hi! I am also in the Edmonton area and looking to do a craftsman styler staircase but we are having a hard time finding large square newell posts and spindles. I guess the don’t carry them at bug box stores? Do you have a suggestion? We are also debating DIY’ing them or hiring out.

  4. Hi. I love your staircase! How much would you estimate this costing? We are looking to replace our metal railings and can’t seem to find price estimates for a job like this. Thanks!

  5. Hello, I know this is an old post but wanted to see if you can tell me what size are the newel posts? Stairs look great!

  6. Christina, the railing looks great! Can you measure the base width of the newel posts so that I know what size posts to get? Thanks!

  7. This is a stunning makeover of yours. this is amazing, you stair railing is awesome. It looks simple but nice, also your house is awesome. Thank you for sharing this one.

  8. What stain did you use on the actual stairs having a hard time finding a great color & yours are exactly what I want? Thank you Great job!

    1. Hi Adam!
      The stairs have a laminate flooring on them and she stained some oak trim to match with a mix of Minxwax’s Classic Grey and Ebony.

  9. Nothing is more important than keeping your family safe. Knowing what to look out for and which precautions to take makes your job as family protector a little easier.

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