Farmhouse Style Staircase Makeover

You know why I love this blog so much?? Because I get to share things that I’m excited about and things that I love with you guys. I’m so grateful to have this little corner of the internet especially on days like today because I am over the moon excited to share our farmhouse style staircase makeover!! Eeeeeeek! You might remember about five months ago I was trying to decide if we should paint our staircase. I talked through some options in this post and you all were awesome to share your input and feedback with me (another reason I love this place!). Well I couldn’t decide what to do, so I basically just let that project sit for a while. Do you ever do that? Plus we got busy with other things, so I put the stair painting project on the back burner. But I finally made up my mind and they have officially been painted!! I am soooooo excited to show you how it looks, but let’s first start with a before photo.

I loved this staircase for a long time, but I was really ready to freshen it up and give this area a whole new look. Ok, here’s how it looks now:

Farmhouse style staircase makeover

Farmhouse style staircase makeover

Farmhouse style staircase makeover

Farmhouse style staircase makeover

Farmhouse style staircase makeover

Eeeeek!! What a difference, right? I cannot get over how this entire area was transformed by this project. You guys, I absolutely LOVE it. Every single time I walk up the stairs I can’t help but smile because I just adore how this looks.

Farmhouse style staircase makeover

Farmhouse style staircase makeover

We hired painters to help us with this project and I’m SO glad we did. It was a lot of work between all the taping off around the spindles, sanding, priming, and of course painting. Plus this is one of those projects that you want to get right, so I knew they could do a far better job at it than we could. They used the Kilz Max Primer and the Magnolia Home paint in True White.

Farmhouse style staircase makeover

Thank you to KILZ for providing paint for this project!

I actually went a little more conservative with this project than I had originally planned, but I’m so glad I did. Remember I was thinking about painting the entire staircase white? Yeah, I don’t think that would have been the right choice, so I’m really, really happy that I decided to only do the risers and spindles. I love the natural wood combined with the pops of white, and I think it all pulls together for a very timeless farmhouse/cottage look, which you know I loooove.

Well thanks SO much for stopping in and checking out our staircase makeover. I’d love to hear what you think! And here are a couple of similar posts you might enjoy:

How to Paint a Brick Fireplace

How to Paint an Interior Door Black

How to Decorate with Vintage Decor

Leave a Comment

60 Comments

  1. Micheala wrote:

    It is crazy how a little paint can make a huge difference. The whole space looks so good!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Right? Paint is amazing. Thanks for stopping by Michaela!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  2. May wrote:

    I love this!!! What a great way to add uniqueness to your house.

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I agree May, this little change adds so much character!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  3. Betty in Arlington wrote:

    Paint does make a huge difference. Before the staircase was nice, but it weighed down the space. Now, it’s light and more spacious. When I sold my townhouse for a single-family rambler (stairs hard on the knees), the realtor repainted the stairs; why didn’t I think of that to enjoy the uplifting feeling?

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      It definitely did weigh down the space! But I never realized how much until now. Sounds like you had a smart realtor!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  4. Heidi wrote:

    Beautiful ❤️

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      thanks Heidi!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  5. Liz wrote:

    What an awesome improvement! The paint lightened up the space and your staircase is now a beautiful focal point.

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Liz, I love how it turned out!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  6. Candy Brodie wrote:

    Sarah I love the staircase! I have been wanting to do ours as it is looking terrible. The previous owners had the whole oak staircase stained and it is worn. I have been debating to paint or stain…you have made my choice so easy! Thanks, just love it. I will be doing the work so I have to ask one question. Do you tape off the spindles first and stain the rest, or do you paint the spindles and risers first? I hope you don’t mind me asking.
    I live in Canada and I can’t get the stain and paint here that you used so I will try to compare with Benjamin Moore. Thanks so much
    Have a great day
    Candy

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Vicki wrote:

      I don’t think she stained anything, just painted the spindles and risers. They were all oak before.

      Posted 7.9.18 Reply
      • Sarah wrote:

        yep, that’s right!

        Posted 7.11.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hi Candy! I think you’d start with the stain first then do the paint if you wanted to do both. But I’m not sure the order matters all that much!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  7. Marty Oravetz wrote:

    Gorgeous. It was perfect to only paint the spindles and risers. Your staircase looks amazing.

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks so much Marty!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  8. Dianne G wrote:

    Looks amazing! Thats a tedious job! Glad u hired someone.

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh SO tedious! I was very happy that I wasn’t the one doing it 🙂

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  9. Donna Bergthold wrote:

    Looks amazing! What a difference a little paint can do !

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks so much Donna! I love how it turned out.

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  10. Amanda wrote:

    Stunning! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with mine. Same honey oak and blah. I’m going for it! Thanks again for another fab idea!!!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Go for it Amanda, you will love it!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  11. Tammy Ganci wrote:

    Nothing else to say except “LOVE IT”

    Enjoy a Blessed Monday,
    Love your blog friend
    Tammy

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks so much sweet Tammy! xo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  12. Michelle wrote:

    It looks SO GOOD!!!! Love this space!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you Michelle!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  13. Becky wrote:

    Well you’ve done it again! I love that look, the white with the wood. All painted I think you would have lost something. Thanks Sarah . Always know how much joy and fun you bring to us! xoxox

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you so much Becky! I always appreciate when you drop by. xoxo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  14. Chris wrote:

    Simply fabulous!!!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
  15. Shannon Mulcahy wrote:

    That turned out wonderful! It’s amazing what a little paint can do. It’s a whole new perspective. I LOVE that little cubby under the stairs!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Isn’t that cute?! It’s a tiny little cubbby but it adds character.

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  16. Angela Servello wrote:

    Fabulous!!! Perfect way to go. Still warm and fuzzy but also clean and crisp. Love it. 👏👏, have a beautiful day, Angela

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      That’s exactly it Angela! I love how it turned out.

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  17. YAY!!! I was anxiously waiting to see the reveal!!! I love it so so much! It makes it so much brighter and “farmhouse/cottage”! SO beautiful! It’s going to be so much fun for you to decorate it, especially for the holidays!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Right!? It’s such a classic, timeless look now. I just love how it turned out!! Thanks for dropping by Dena. xo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  18. Jeannie McBride wrote:

    YESSSS!!! Love it. My mom did something similar when I was a kid. The staircase & woodwork were all really dark. She painted the woodwork, risers & spindles white and the railing, treads, & newel post stained light. It made SUCH a difference in that old house.

    The former owner of this house took out the wood railing & installed iron a while ago. Not the pretty, new stuff. It needs repainted badly but I dread the thought of painting those itty-bitty spindles.

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh that’s awesome Jeannie, it sounds like your mom did a great job on her stairs. It’s so much work, but totally worth it!!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  19. kimberly wrote:

    it looks fantastic! the choice to not paint the banisters really worked out beautifully.

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Kimberly! I love it so much. xo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  20. Brenda Johnson wrote:

    It’s perfect, that is exactly what I would have done. I love how paint can make such a big difference and make you feel so good.

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Great minds think alike Brenda!! xoxo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  21. It is perfect! Just so beautiful, Sarah!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      thank you Tammie!! xo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  22. Janet Mckay wrote:

    Love it! How did you like the magnolia paint compared to the other caulk paint? I’ve been wanting to try it! You are so talented! I’m sure we will see you on HGTV some day! Hugs 🤠

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh Janet, you are way too sweet! Sending hugs right back to you. And to answer your question–this wasn’t chalk paint, it was actually the Magnolia Home Paint. But as for their chalk paint, I do love it. It’s just a bit pricey! If you want something more affordable I’d go with the Rust-Oleum chalky paint.

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  23. Dina wrote:

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!💃🏠

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
  24. Sharon wrote:

    Beautiful!! I LOVE it!!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you Sharon! xo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  25. Lisa Abdo wrote:

    This looks perfect and what a difference!

    Posted 7.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Such a big difference, right?! Thanks for stoping by Lisa. xo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  26. Kathy wrote:

    Love it!!

    Posted 7.10.18 Reply
  27. Helen wrote:

    It looks fabulous Sarah, really joins the whole look up…love it!x

    Posted 7.10.18 Reply
  28. Jeannie wrote:

    Love it!! I so enjoy your blog and your amazing talent. I do have a question. I have an oak dining set from early 1900’s that is in good condition. I do love oak furniture but love the way that your furniture in the dining area is painted white. I do have oak pieces in the living area, which is one large room to DR and Kitchen. Do you think that I should paint the dining set distressed white? What will happen when that is not an “in” style? I appreciate your input, I love your style! You always make me smile!

    Posted 7.10.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hi Jeannie! I think you should totally paint it. And I wouldn’t say that white paint is “in style”, it’s really a classic look. More of a trendy look, in my honest opinion, would be something like furniture you’ve painted pink or blue. But white furniture is classic and you will probably never regret it. Plus it allows you to freshen up your furniture without spending a ton of money. I say go for it!

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  29. Teresa O'Connor wrote:

    Looks awesome and so fresh too .. Great job!!

    Posted 7.10.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      thanks so much Teresa! xo

      Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  30. Chels Rief wrote:

    It looks so good! It really breaks up the blonde wood coloring and adds a brightness to the space. And I think hiring someone was the right idea. It seems like it would be so much work!

    Posted 7.11.18 Reply
  31. Amy wrote:

    Beautiful! The love grows best sign above the stairs, did you make it I love it!

    Posted 7.27.18 Reply
  32. Debbie wrote:

    I’m getting ready to replace the carpet in my home with wood flooring. I love your wood flooring and stair treads. What type of flooring do you have, and what color is it in?

    Posted 10.24.18 Reply

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  • You guys told me you love before & after shots, so here’s another one for you. Swipe right to see how I styled our breakfast nook when we first moved in three years ago. This was actually after I painted the walls, they were dark brown before, and I was pretty happy with how it looked. 😬Obviously we have since updated a few things in this space—I added faux shiplap (it was my first big project & I was so proud I did it all by myself!) and then I added a new light fixture, a different table, shelves, etc. .
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The thing that strikes me the most with these two photos is the difference in my style. At the time I was struggling to figure out what I liked & how I could make that work with a tight budget. It didn’t happen over night, but slowly things have evolved in this space & it looks totally different today. And if you think about it, that’s kind of the cool thing about life. Nothing we do is ever perfect when we just start out. There are bumps in the road, struggles, growing pains, etc. But as time goes on we (hopefully) evolve to be better than when we began. And even though it’s nice to get to the pretty after photo, especially if you’re impatient like me, it’s also kind of nice to appreciate the journey. Yes, that’s cheesy as heck. But it’s TRUE. I love looking back at these photos of when we first started out because it reminds me of the journey & how hard we’ve worked on our home. It’s still a work in progress,  but I’m grateful for it all!
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