Need Your Vote !

By Kate Riley October 5, 2009

Hello friends.  I need your help !  I was honored to be one of the weekly winners in One Project Closer’s Before & After 2009 contest supporting Habitat for Humanity. 


Our July staircase transformation was one of the weekly winners.  Remember all of the sweat that went into revamping our foyer?  Remember how I took our blonde oak ordinary staircase and gave it a fresh modern design? 


stairs before


staircase after

Remember how I stripped, sanded, stained, painted and polyurethaned the banister to give it this espresso finish? 

Before and After:

bland to grand

Up close:

bottom swirl


Read the entire article about our staircase transformation here

But oh, I didn’t stop there! 

I also added a chair rail, panel trim, and a wallpaper treatment up the stairwell.


panels up wall

brown and white contrast from below

Here I am, attaching those panels by hand.  Whew!

cg diy

Read the wallpaper treatment article right here.

Now the voting has begun !

If you’re impressed with this transformation, well I could sure use your vote ! 

Click on over to One Project Closer to check out all of the entries.  And place your vote right here.   The best part about this contest?  One Project Closer donated $490 to Habitat for Humanity in honor of all the winners. 

Now get on over to One Project Closer and rock the vote !   Thanks friends. 


  1. I do love that transformation! So tempted to do something similar with our staircase- it too is blonde oak.

    I’ll go vote for ya!

  2. I voted for you too!
    I’m so in love with your site. I’ve been visiting it everyday for about a month now but I hadn’t subsribed yet…. untill today. I’m so inspired by your DIY projects and I’m ready to tackle my own. I just got a place of my own and it needs a lot of DIY love. Keep those project ideas coming cuz I’m gonna need ’em.

  3. I also support Habitat for Humanity by frequenting their Restore in my area. It’s like a wonderland to me!

  4. I voted for you. I loved this project. I showed it to my husband. You know that he enjoys seeing all the things that I find on the blogs I read:)

  5. Allthough I hated you when I saw yesterday your master bathroom :):) , I am going now to vote for you!

  6. Done!! I love this redo and think that you are an incredibly gifted lady.

    God bless…

  7. I went over and voted! Whew! You are up against some heavyweights. How great to have your DIY acknowledged. Good luck to you! I just love the staircase.

  8. My staircase (which looks very similiar to your old one) is on my to do list. Has been for a few months. You have inspired me. I am running over to vote for you. Great job

  9. I’m going to vote for you now!
    (Can I ask a favor in return? Did you mean to change your feed settings so that the whole post doesn’t show up in Google Reader? I’d love love love it if you’d change it back!)

  10. you have my vote! and this project has inspired me to do the panels for my dining room. but i have so many other projects before i can get to this one in particular. and you debuted this like a couple of months ago!

  11. I still think that is one of the best before and after posts I’ve ever seen!! :)

    Hope you’ll stop by my 3rd Decorating Dilemmas Party. I’m posting it tonight after 10 pm (EST), and it will up all day tomorrow. I have a prize. ;)

  12. Voted for you! Love to help out another Bay Area Gal. It really looks amazing. Love to watch creative people like you in action Amazing. Holly at

  13. You got my vote. It is amazing what you did with this project. I hadn’t seen it before. When I voted you were tied for 2nd place…good luck!


  14. Hi Kate,

    I tried to leave a message and nothing happened, so I will send this again.
    Lovely transformation of your staircase ~ will just go and cast my vote.

    Good luck.


  15. I just voted for you, of course!! You’re right up there with the top vote-getters. Good luck. (I know you’ll let us know when you win!!!!

    Pat B.

  16. Kate, I actually was on someone else’s blog and clicked over to the voting site…when I saw your staircase renovation I voted for you and not the other person. I love your staircase. You got my vote.


  17. I LOVED your staircase renovation. I just went over to the site and voted for you. While there were many great projects posted, I really hope you win!

  18. Are there details on your site to show how that look was accomplished? Is that wallpaper inside the panels or did somebody handpaint that design that is by the way beautiful. I could use you here in Md. to hang all my pictures on the wall.

  19. I am new to your blog, so a little late to the party on this one, but I LOVE this transformation.
    (Perhaps especially because I have the same blonde wood/white staircase. Ohh…now I amm inspired.)

  20. Hi, I came across your blog while looking for more info on stripping and painting banisters. I love your blog! I had a question, did you tape up all the spindles prior to stripping? Did you use painters tape? I had some issues trying to strip the bannister only last night and looking for tips on how cleanly strip the bannister only. I’m also using Klean Strip. Thanks!

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