I Love Upstate left me a comment about my stairs - she likes the worn look and thinks I shouldn't paint them. I totally agree. Here are a few pics of my inspiration stairs. I found them in a beautiful brownstone-restaurant in Brooklyn and shamelessly snapped away. I want to do some sort of groovy stencil but maybe a little less cute than this one. I don't know... can anyone think of a semi-edgy stencil? I just want to avoid Holly-Hobby land which isn't easy when you like distressed stuff. I think we should probably seal the exposed wood with something non-shiny. Otherwise it's going to splinter off really quickly and won't ever feel clean. Welcome to the fascinating inner-workings of my brain.