Before & After: Funky, Eclectic Stairs

September 18, 2010 | by Ethan (email) |

It hard to believe how quickly summer has come and gone and unfortunately, that means we are down to our last Before & After! All of our weekly winners are entered in the end-of-year contest for a $150 gift card to the home improvement store of their choice so stay tuned.

Our last Before and After winner for 2010 is Donna from Funky Junk Interiors! We’ve already featured one stair redo but this Before and After takes things in a totally different direction. Now her stairs practically ooze spunky personality, all on a very small budget.

For being our last winner, Donna gets a $50 gift card to Home Depot, Lowes, or Amazon. And, we’ll make a donation to Habitat for Humanity for $100 in her honor. Plus, there’s that bit about being entered into the grand prize contest. Read on for the full details about Donna’s stair makeover and this weeks Habitat Quick Fact.

Funky Stairs by Donna

I’ve always loved the look of stamped numbers and logos on wooden crates.

So back in April, 2010, when I walked by my carpetless stairs (that had been like that for 2 years!!), I came up with an even BETTER plan! Sometimes it pays to not have the funds for all the things you THINK you need. 🙂

2010 sign stairs-1

Grabbing some crate and label inspiration I had close by, I started drawing up my plan.

Sign equipment used

The drawing programs I use are CorelDraw and Signlab, alongside a vinyl cutting machine built for commercial use. I use this equipment in my vehicle lettering business, which aren’t priced for novice type users. However, stencils anyone can make is all this takes.


And then I got right to work. 🙂 Yep, right ON the stairs.

2010 crate stairs

And here’s the result. Come on in and I’ll show you around my old crate staircase! 🙂




The stairs were designed to appear to have been made out of old signboards and wooden stamped crates.


Some steps share one logo, looking as if a large sign was cut in half in order to create the steps.



Different ideas for treads were utilized for a fun eclectic look!



The end result is something so fun and outrageous, you can’t help but smile. 🙂 And a funny story? My two cats think there’s something on the stairs so they wind themselves around each logo as they use them. 🙂


The very fuzzy before.

2010 crate stairs-1

And the very funky eclectic FUN!! after.

A wooden crate staircase is one wild way to enter this house and suits my own personal style to perfection. The more banged up and paint splattered the stairs previously were, the more authentic they appeared! My favorite splatters are from the dog after she ran through a knocked over paint spill. 🙂

The stairs fool most anyone that walks in. They aren’t authentic, but they sure look like it.

Method used:

  • Sand and vaccum the stairway as is
  • Latex paint with stencils – the white is leftover ceiling, the rest acrylic craft
  • Distress the painted stencils.
  • Stain – oil based I had on hand, went overtop the stencils
  • Varnish – satin in a spray can for wood

There was simply nothing to lose in trying out this crazy idea. The stairway can always be covered with carpet right on top of the wildness at any time.

Give your own old carpeted stairway some thought on what design may suit your own home!

Thanks from One Project Closer!

Donna, I love the stairs! I could picture these going into some sort of game room (or man cave). Thanks for sharing this inexpensive stair redo.

Habitat Quick Fact

From World Habitat Day:

On Oct. 4, 2010, in recognition of World Habitat DayHabitat for Humanity will raise awareness of the need for improved shelter and highlight Habitat’s priorities: the worldwide connection between human health and housing, and, in the United States, neighborhood revitalization. These themes echo the United Nations’ chosen theme for 2010 for events in the host city of Shanghai, China and the rest of the world: “Better City, Better Life.”

habitat_house_washington_dcThe most important thing you can do is take action! Below are three common ways that people take action in their community.

In addition to building homes in partnership with people in need, Habitat advocates to address the causes of poverty housing. Advocacy activities always include a specific request, such as asking supporters to sign a petition, send a message to an elected official or take part in a rally.

World Habitat Day is a great way to raise funds for Habitat in your area. A fundraiser can help educate the public and generate publicity for nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

Organize a public awareness event for World Habitat Day 2010 that not only highlights the need for affordable housing in your own community, but also discusses the need for improved shelter for billions of people around the world.

For some ideas on how you can take action in your community, click here.

Grand Prize Contest

You’ll have to save the rest of your Before & After submissions till next summer when we kick off another annual series. But the winning isn’t over! Stay tuned as we open up the voting to see which B&A project you liked most!

7 Responses
  1. Carol says:

    Oh. my. gosh.
    I absolutely love this!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Robyn says:

    I love love this project. Now I just wish I had stairs.

  3. Oh my goodness! I’m estatic!!! Thanks so much for the win!

    The stairs are just as much fun to look at today as the day I did them. And they’re just getting better looking with time. 🙂 It was a risky project I’m so glad I went for. 🙂

    Thanks again!

  4. Lisa~ says:

    I have loved these stairs ever since I saw them on Donna’s blog. She is so funky and creative! Lisa~

  5. Whoa, I love this!!! It fits that stairway perfectly, congrats!!

  6. Homepodge says:

    This is an insanely convincing faux finish! Scrolling through the pictures, I was certain the stair treads were reclaimed lumber from shipping crates.
    Very well done. The staircase looks awesome – and the patinated metal balusters are a nice touch!

  7. William says:

    Those are some awesome stairs. I’d be afraid the rest of my house would just kind of suck in comparison.

Leave a Reply