Black and White Painted Staircase Transformation

Black and white is such a classic, crisp color combination. Not to mention: Oreos. And also pandas and zebras, but mostly Oreos and beautifully designed spaces. Combine the beauty of black and white with a good stair transformation, and I’m sold! I love this black and white painted staircase that our guest is here to share with you today:

Black and White Painted Staircase | Chapter37 on #makeover #stairs

Read on (below) for Abby’s how-to on painting a staircase. If you’re loving the black and white but wanting it somewhere else in your home, you really can’t go wrong -it’s great in any room in your home!

Try it in your master bedroom:

black and white master bedroom
Raising Up Rubies on Remodelaholic

or your office:

black and white office
White Life Photography on Remodelaholic

or in the nursery:

black and white nursery
Just the Bee’s Knees for Remodelaholic

or the kitchen:

black and white kitchen remodel
Eating in the Shower on Remodelaholic

or the bathroom:

black and white bathroom
Tell’er All About It on Remodelaholic

or make a huge difference to your powder room!

black and white powder room makeover
The Boys and Ruby on Remodelaholic

And here’s Abby to show you how some black and white paint and plenty of elbow grease transformed her old staircase!

Black and White Painted Staircase
by Abby of Chapter37

Black and White Painted Staircase | Chapter37 on #makeover #stairs

Hello Remodelaholic readers! I am Abby from chapter37, a blog about how to make, paint, build, sew or scrub your house into being the home you want it to be. I didn’t know much, if anything, about home remodeling until I fell in love with a mess of house built in 1959. From reading blogs like Remodelaholic, I knew there had to be a pretty house under there somewhere if we just got to work on it!

For the last year we’ve been up to our eyeballs doing loads of fun things like remodeling our kitchen. I’ve learned a few things along the way like how to save money on a home remodel, some handy tips on painting wood walls, and above all to keep a sense of humor when the sawdust is flying!

The staircase in this old house was one of the first things in it that caught my eye. It was steep, narrow, dark, had a funny twist at the top, and creaked like a haunted house. I loved it! Anything with that much personality has to have some great potential!

painted staircase before makeover, Chapter37 on Remodelaholic

Granted, it did need a little help, a good cleaning for starters. The whole house, including the stairs, had about a decade of dust and grime all over it. My weapon of choice to restore sanitary order was TSP (Trisodium Phosphate), a heavy duty cleaner available at your local hardware store. After a rigorous attack with a scrub brush and mop, it was ready to paint.

I chose not to sand the stairs for a couple of pretty solid reasons. One, the stairs were fairly rough, and had no finish on them of any kind. Two, I liked all the dents and scrapes the wood had in it. My goal has never been to make the house look new, just to make it clean and pretty again. Lastly, sanding wood…have you seen the dust that makes?? I might have already mentioned, dust and I are not friends.

I covered the walls, stairs and rails with two coats of Zinsser 1-2-3 Bullseye primer. I have used this stuff as the base throughout my entire house, and I hugely recommend it. It stops the wood from bleeding through the paint (very important), it’s water based, very affordable, and easy to find (any hardware store carries it).

priming the stairs to paint, Chapter37 on Remodelaholic

After the priming was finished, the real fun began, painting. I’ll be honest, this part was quite a bit more tedious than I had imagined it would be. Of course, I always imagine my projects to be finished within a day, but that’s beside the point. I used Behr paint in semi gloss for the white (color matched to Glidden Antique White), and Behr porch and floor paint in eggshell for the black. I lost the black paint chip, so I’m not sure precisely what it is called.

I painted the black hand rails first, then the white balusters, then the black treads, following up with the white risers last. I used a one inch brush to cut in the paint, a small trim roller for all the flat parts, and a small artist’s brush for hard to reach spots. It took a couple weeks to get it all done, mostly because I have a four and two year old living at the top of those stairs. I had to work in quick snatches during nap times and after bedtime when little feet wouldn’t be pounding up and down them.

repainted staircase makeover, Chapter37 on Remodelaholic

As much as I absolutely love the change that paint made, I must point out a few factors to consider before doing it yourself. Black and white shows dirt. It just does, so if you aren’t ok with cleaning a lot, don’t pick black and white. They will have to be cleaned pretty much daily. Not a problem if you can convince your kids that wiping down the stairs is a fun new game!

Also, I can’t say I was overly impressed with the porch and floor paint I used. It scratches easier than I had hoped it would. I’m not a perfectionist, and I’m ok with doing a quick touch up of the paint every now and then. It is something to keep in mind though. If I had to do it again, I also would not have primed the treads. The white primer is rather obvious under the black paint when a scratch appears. It would have been much less obvious with just wood underneath. I will probably eventually cover the treads with some floor grade polyurethane at some point to help alleviate some of the scratching problem.

black and white painted staircase makeover, Chapter37 on

As far as I’m concerned, the positives of this project far out weigh any negatives. Painting the stairs made them a unique part of the house, made them lighter and safer for use, and even got rid of the squeaks! Who knew paint was good for all of that?!

So, to recap… I spent about $80 on paint and primer. Time spent on this is a little hard to nail down. If I could have worked without a million interruptions, I would say a week would have been plenty long enough. Stairs are big “bone” of the house. They are conspicuous, and probably not one of those things you’ll be likely to take a sledge hammer to anytime soon. Spending some money and time to make them as nice as possible is an investment worth making in my opinion.

painted staircase makeover, Chapter37 on


Thanks for being our guest today, Abby! Love the work that you’re doing in that old house!

Remodelaholics: Between submitting this post and today, Abby has had a whole lot of life going on, including a brand new micro-preemie baby girl. Go pay her a visit at Chapter37 and give her and her baby some love and prayers!

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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.

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  1. This black and white stair case is simply stunning. I never thought to do something as bold as paint my stair case, simply because I am worried I will ruin something. Thank you for the inspiration I love this.
    Cynthia |