Stairway Renovation and Joan River's Face

By: Myryah Irby , Contributing Writer
In: Old House Blogger Contest

The next finalist in our Old House Blogger contest is Sara from Wisconsin. Her motto is “DIY or Die Trying.” Although her stairway renovation looks great to us, she claims that like Joan River’s face, it’s never really ‘done.’

Russet Street Reno’s post: A Step in the Right Direction details the before, along the way, and after of this difficult home renovation project that included tearing off wallpaper and painting the 15 foot ceilings and walls along the stairwell. Here’s one of her before shots:

Russet Street Reno's old stairwell

Russet Street Reno's stairwell before

and an after:

Dig that Varathane Espresso stain!

Dig that Varathane Espresso stain!

Warning: if you’re planning to visit Russet Street Reno’s post while at work and are easily distracted by bulging, tatooed biceps (c/o Sara’s partner, Shawn) be sure to scroll quickly past photo #5.

To read other entries, visit our post announcing the finalists. Use the ratings above to cast your vote for this entry by rating it, and feel free to leave a comment. Like this entry a lot? Share it by clicking below.


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  1. 11 Responses  to “Stairway Renovation and Joan River's Face”

  2. Aug 29, 2011
    She's a genius, i love the make over and ive been thinking to work on my stairs too. the work is perfect, i love it!
  3. Aug 29, 2011
    A nice staircase can make a house. Love the examples especially the expresso stain. Rob, Spanish Slate Information.
  4. Christy
    Aug 29, 2011
    Sara and Shawn did a fabulous job on this-love the tread color, the wall color-everything!!! Yet,they made it look so easy and provided such good step-by-step directions that I feel like ever I could do it :)
  5. Shaun
    Aug 29, 2011
    I didn't skip over picture 5, and what a STUD. Sara spends countless hours on our house and I LOVE her for it....
  6. Brian
    Aug 29, 2011
    The stairs look so good they must lead to heaven! vote: 5
  7. Stacey
    Aug 29, 2011
    Your stairs look amazing! I give it a 5!
  8. Aug 29, 2011
    Beautiful makeover! Love your blog! :)
  9. Aug 29, 2011
    The before and after pics along with the entertaining dialogue makes this a site to visit often. After all the work it's a beautiful home and they should be proud of their accomplishments.
  10. Aug 29, 2011
    WOW - Fabulous transformation ... a definite 5!
  11. Aug 29, 2011
    the project is beautifully captured, so much so that I could expect to see something like this on OldHouseWeb.com. Sara, too, flexes some wit. This post definitely deserves consideration. jb agentsofmoxie.com