Oh Say, Can You Believe These 200 Star-Spangled Stairs?

After quitting her town job and moving into a beach cabin in northwest Michigan to start a new life together with her loved ones, Erin Southwell was in no place to invest additional money. “We had been living on savings and a prayer, literally,” she says of the first year in her new residence. But she wanted her family to live in a gorgeous property. Tackling the stairs was on her record.

Project at a Glance
What: Staircase makeover
Location: Northwest Michigan
Cost: Under $200

With $200 and elbow grease, Southwell changed a 1970s shag-carpeted stairway into a cheery beach-inspired space.

“We’re delighted with how it turned out,” she says. “I just wanted a casual, bright, whitewashed look for a beach cabin for our young family. My husband did not want me to run up a credit card. We call it a win-win.” The stairs lead from the home’s living area into the upstairs bedrooms.

Before Photo

BEFORE: Although the cabin was constructed in 1888, it was remodeled in the 1970s: shag carpeting, wood paneling, the functions.

Before they place a deal on the home, Southwell had uttered a peek at what had been under the carpet — luckily, it was hardwood. But once the carpet was wrapped up, she realized the wood staircase would have to be refinished.

AFTER: With the staircase professionally refinished wasn’t in Southwell’s budget. “I couldn’t stand to live with it the way that it had been, and I knew the only way I was going to have the ability to alter it was to find creative and DIY it,” she says.

After yanking the rug, she spent several hours pulling up the carpet tack strips and principles with pliers. After sanding and cleaning, she implemented three to four coats of white Kilz primer and one coat of white latex porch and flooring paint into the staircase, trim and railing.

How to Paint Your Hardwood Floors

Before Photo

BEFORE: The bannister has been required, but it had a little something special too.

AFTER: Southwell screwed in a classic newel — located online for $10 — into the end place for additional charm.

Of course, the bright yellow stair runner would be the star of this staircase. Southwell desired a bright yellow to tie with the cottage’s other beachy accents; she found this runner at Garnet Hill, installing it using carpet tacks and staples.

Southwell completed the DIY nearly a couple of years ago, and it has held up well — despite the tear and wear of a toddler running around. “You do not have to spend a great deal of money or have mad DIY skills — I truly do not! — to really have a gorgeous home,” she says.

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