DIY diva

Dueling DIY: Looks Better Than It Is

February 11, 2013 | 8 Comments | Dueling DIY
DIY diva

Sarah said last week that the best thing about our Dueling DIY challenge is that it forces you to be at least a little accountable to put time into a project that may otherwise take a backseat to things like, oh, getting ready for the miniature donkeys that will be here in four days. Or showering.

So true, because in all other versions of reality I would not have spent any time on the stairs in the last week, but since I knew I had to at show up today with something, I found an hour of time yesterday when I wasn’t tangled up in 1000 feet of electric fence to put a coat of actual paint on the newel post, risers, and handrail of the stairs.


If my other trim-painting experiences in this house are any indication, I still have about fifteen coats of paint to go. But still, it’s starting to look more finished and less, well… less like this…


It’s actually pretty crazy, because I don’t feel like I’ve put a significant chunk of time into this project in the last couple of weeks, but I’m still getting somewhere. Not quite as fast as things are happening over at the Ugly Duckling House, of course, but the truth is that finding an hour here and there to work on a project does make a difference over time. (I know, hard to believe, but I’m usually an “all in or not at all” kind of person when it comes to projects.)

So even though I’m getting my ass kicked, this has been a great learning experience for me… and I’m going to keep on putting time in where I can over the next several weeks (when I’m done spending the next eternity hugging my donkeys, of course.)

If you want to see more progress than what I’ve been able to stir up this week, check out how Sarah is leaving me in her dust, and what the other Dueling DIY challengers are up to:

Micha @ Little Old House
Christine @ Little House on the Corner
Ann @ Our Handmade Home
Nicki @ Perfect Prospect
Sandra @ The House of Bing


DIY diva


  • MarieRoxanne

    But you have donkeys to take care of in 4 days! That’s a reason to “slack” off a bit. And the stairs looks good so far! You’re doing great!

  • Sarah In Illinois

    I know exactly what you mean about the all in or nothing. My dad has told me countless times, “If you just put in an hour an evening you can make a lot of progress.” Which he is right, but I never do that!

  • Sarah @ The Ugly Duckling House

    They are looking great. And there is no way in hell I would have given a rat’s ass about my stairs if I’d just spent several days trudging around a donkey barn. So kudos to you!

  • Jess

    It actually is pretty amazing what you can get done in small chunks of time…I like to throw myself headfirst into projects, then power on till a) it’s finished or b) I keel over from exhaustion (then start again tomorrow).

    They’re looking great though! As I said, I only found your blog a few days ago, but the speed at which you work (not to mention the humour with which you recount)is like catnip to my vicarious-DIY-thrill-seeking self…every time I check you’ve done something new!

  • Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication

    It’s definitely coming along and looking good! My husband and I were just discussing painting our risers in the near-ish future.

  • Guerrina

    They’re really coming together! Just catching up after 15 hrs of digging out of Winter Storm Nemo/Charlotte. Really impressed with the donkey barn and look forward to seeing the little guys in your home!

  • friendly electrician corona

    Excellent DIY info – thanks, will visit again…

  • Kareem

    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow
    you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look
    forward to new posts.

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