The Bonus Room Stairs, painted

Over our  garage there is an unfinished “bonus” room, you can see pictures of our house and the garage here.  My husband Rick has begun the process of getting it finished and I can’t wait.  I’ve been using our bedroom as my sewing room and it’s getting pretty crowded with all my sewing paraphernalia!

Inspired by the old cape, colonial and salt-box houses and their painted stairs I decided to paint a runner on the bonus room stairs.  Here they are before, the railing and  risers are painted Farrow and Ball London Stone.  The treads are pine and the small landing at the turn is the antique, reclaimed maple that we used on the entire first floor, you can see the story of our floors here.  I had the floors finished in tung oil and after being in the house for a little over a year the floors look beautiful and have worn very well.

stairs before with Walter who supervised every step of the job

stairs before with Walter who supervised every step of the job

I agonized about the color/colors of paint and my husband stated “a real Yankee would use whatever they had on hand”.  So I went to my shelf of paints and picked out a red, it’s an oops paint that I bought a while ago, Martha Stewart Ohio Buckeye.  I measured and drew my guide lines and then taped them out in Frog tape, this is the part I dreaded but ended up being quite easy.

Here’s an in progress photo of the red.

as you can see this is a very matte paint

as you can see this is a very matte paint

I wasn’t concerned about the finish of the paint as my final vision was of the stairs/paint being worn and chipped.  This red coat was the first coat, I wanted a couple of colors so when they wore down you would be able to see the original color.  I don’t have a photo of the red completely done, it looked nice but I felt it was too dark and wanted to go with a much lighter second coat.  My husband and sons really like the red and wanted me to leave it, I assured them that as they used the stairs the red would make an appearance.  Here are the stairs in the second color.  I decided on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Louis Blue.  I LOVE this blue.

painted stairs in Louis Blue

painted stairs Louis Blue

painted stairs Louis Blue

painted stairs Louis BlueSee that little door under the stairs?  The one without a door knob?  That’s where we keep the cat’s litter box.  My husband designed this and is very proud.  I closed the door for the photos :)



Supervisor Walter

Supervisor Walter

I put some gold leaf on these old terra cotta pots, I think they bring some much needed light to this corner of the house

I put some gold leaf on these old terra-cotta pots, I think they bring some much needed light to this corner of the house

antique basket that's been in my family forever, it's very sturdy and we use it to hold shoes

antique basket that’s been in my family forever, it’s very sturdy and we use it to hold shoes

another angle from the hallway, this is the north west end of the house and can be quite dark

another angle from the hallway, this is the north west end of the house and can be quite dark

I used Annie Sloan floor lacquer to seal the stairs.  It’s a pretty matte finish and I only applied one coat to allow for some wear.  I’m living with the blue and deciding if I should paint some kind of design on the stairs.  I just don’t know yet and while I figure that out I’m just loving the blue, my husband and sons are getting used to it ;)

Happy Sunday,









  1. Jayne I’m loving your new runner! And even better knowing that you made it with paint you had on hand. It really gives just that bit of color and finished look to otherwise plain stairs. I’ve got 2 old sets of staircases to deal with and now I”m thinking painted runner too!!

  2. Wow Jayne! What a transformation on the stairs! that looks just like a runner, without the headaches of carpets on the stairs, so much easier to keep clean this way!
    I love the basket, since you are so far north, I am thinking that it may be pounded black or brown ash, which is most prevalent up north, more so than oak, as far as I know. It is a very well made basket indeed. Now on baskets like yours, oak, ash and hickory, were often coated with boiled linseed oil to help them keep from becoming brittle over time. It soaks in and feeds the wood, and helps to preserve it. Since I am certain your basket is now pampered after this many years, and not abused if you did coat with some boiled linseed oil you would not have to do it often, especially being in a climate controlled home these days.
    It is always so nice to read your blog and look at the wonderful progress you are making, and how you enjoy your home Jayne.

    • I knew you would be a treasure trove on info! I will pick up some boiled linseed oil and give it a coat, I have a bunch of old baskets that are similiar and will coat them all. You’re the best, thank you :)

  3. I love your house, Jayne, and Walter! You have wonderful taste!

  4. Your new runner is gorgeous. I think it is going to look fabulous when the red starts to peek through. Great idea. Your husband should patent the cat door idea.

  5. I LOVE this idea! Especially that you thought ahead that the paint would wear and so you planned for that with a color reveal. That’s really cool!

  6. Jayne, you used my two favorite colors. Blue has always been my dominant color so I really like your stair runner. While its gorgeous now having the red show through as it wears will give it a look of history. So much better than a carpet runner.

    • Hi Lois and thank you, I keep running up and down the stairs (hmmmm, good exercise) and asking my sons and husband to go up and down the stairs! I can’t wait to get them to wear a bit :)

  7. For some reason your feed has disappeared from my Reader so I missed this post. Your stairs look wonderful – I admire the way you put colours together making everywhere look very calm and composed! I think I’d have to get the sandpaper out to wear away a little of the blue, just to help things along.

  8. Dear Jayne,
    It turned out beautiful and yes, very much like the staircases in old New England capes and colonials. While in Maine last week, we visited an 1803 house with a white painted staircase with the middle blue like yours. So charming. I love it, and can’t wait for the red to peek through.

  9. What a lovely home you have Jayne (that basket by the stairs is DIVINE)! It’s a lovely idea with the painted runner (distressed white stripes either side would make it look like a grain sack runner) and it works so well with the rest of your decor! I also loved the ‘before’ with the Farrow and Ball too – you obviously have a great eye. Can’t wait to see more! Warmest wishes from England – Glenda

  10. That is absolutely lovely!

  11. I did not post this comment but someone did using my name and email address.

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