Farmhouse Staircase With Chalk Paint®

7 Materials
3 Days

For this project, the staircase, my husband told me to hire a company instead of trying to do this ourselves. We decided a professional was needed to ensure we have a quality job and that we’re up to code in our home. The company we hired to build and install the staircase was fantastic. They gave us the option to demo the old staircase ourselves and they provided tips on what needed to be demoed. Everything was totally up-front. The company didn’t stain or paint the wood and they didn’t pretend they did. They knew what they offered and their quote reflected that. Having an installer took care of the hard laborious parts but left the fun things to me (painting). This gave me the ability to paint everything exactly as I was envisioning, while also saving a bundle. Painting the newels and handrails is not difficult but it is time-consuming. It was particularly time-consuming because I was working toward a very specific look while also accenting the farmhouse feel we were already building.
Watch the video above to learn how I painted my staircase to give it a farmhouse look using Chalk Paint®. All of the steps covered in the video are also touched on here in this post.
As I mentioned before the company we hired would only do the installation of the wrought iron staircase and railing.
I painted the newels and skirt-boards with one coat of Sherwin-Williams® primer and two coats of Sherwin-Williams® white semi-gloss latex paint. This matches the trim in my house.
Make a whitewash using Chalk Paint® in Old White. Ratio 1:2 (Paint to water)
Paint the railing with one coat of the whitewash and let it dry.
Make another wash this time using  Chalk Paint® in Coco. Ratio 1:1 (Paint to water)
Paint the railing with one coat of the Coco wash and let it dry.
Mix the Dark and White wax. Ratio 1:1
Apply the wax with a clean cotton rag. Let it cure at least one day before applying the second coat of wax.
Apply one coat of white wax, let it dry and buff it with a cotton rag.
This project is showing how to get the look of a farmhouse staircase with brand new components. However, it’s absolutely possible to use the techniques I’m illustrating in this post and video on an existing staircase. The methodology is useful in most homes and will provide an updated look even if demolishing and installing a new staircase and handrail is impossible.

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Eli15413922
    on Jun 19, 2018

    Lovely look. Wondering how it holds up sans sealant? I like the end effect so am toying with applying this to a bathrm vanity that needs a new "do"

    • 16999903
      on Aug 3, 2018

      I think this turned out beautiful. The biggest lesson you demonstrated was discussing the project with a professional and doing what you can do to DIY the rest of it. Many projects need someone familiar with building codes and city permits, so it's absolutely ok to do a PRO/DIY!

Join the conversation

3 of 16 comments
  • Pamela
    on May 23, 2019

    Looks beautiful !!!

  • Em
    on May 23, 2019

    It looks nice but not understanding how modern wrought iron posts are all that "farmhouse."

    • Jeanne Martin
      on May 28, 2019

      I don't know the answer but the paint wash on the railings, the dark wrought iron

      and the white posts sure look modern farmhouse to me! Not farmhouse, but modern farmhouse.

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