31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 2

Well, hello friends.  I made it to Day 2 of the 31 Days Blogging Series!  Impressive, huh?

Day 2:  Do it yourself  aka: DIY

This might be one of the biggest money savers of all time when you're decorating or updating your home on a shoestring budget.  Hiring a contractor can be super-duper expensive, usually doubling if not tripling the cost of your job after buying the supplies.  Doing things yourself will really save you lots of money.  Even if you don't think you're very handy, some things are worth trying.

An overwhelming job Mr. Chic (my hubby) and I took on was staining our dated oak stair rails and banisters.  This job was not fun.

Not fun might be an understatement.

In fact, it was a huge pain in the booty.  But, the results were awesome.  The stairway is one of the first things you see when you come in our front door and staining the rails really updated the look of our home.

Because we have an open stairway with lots of railing exposed this job would've been a couple thousand bucks.  This is one of those jobs that the supplies were cheap and you would be paying all labor.

You can read about the whole process HERE.

Stain your oak stair rails

We've done so many DIY projects in our home we have probably saved ourselves over $10,000 in the 3 short years we've lived here.

If staining your stair banisters is a little out of your comfort zone there are tons of other DIY things you can do yourself.  Start with something easy like painting a room.  Another DIY job that isn't too difficult and can really update your home is painting your trim and woodwork white.  This will instantly brighten and modernize your home.  It's not too hard to do and not too expensive.

 If you must hire a contractor for a job get as much done as you can... for example if you hire someone to lay down hardwood floors get everything out of the room and tear out the carpet and clean the floor.  Do as much as you can so they aren't charging you money to do something you can do yourself.

There are tons of other DIY projects you can do that can help you decorate your home on a shoestring budget... we're just getting started.  Make sure you come back for the rest of my series for more ideas!   Thanks for stopping by. :)

See the rest of my 31 Day Series of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget HERE.


  1. The stairs look amazing. Great job. Can't wait to see more. Hugs, Marty

  2. Love it!! They sure stand out. We are going to replace our railings and spindles this fall. They were painted white over white over white... You get the picture, so when we moved in they painted latex over oil to clean them up... So instead of trying to remove the paint we will put in new ones.

  3. great! sometimes we really have to try before telling ourselves that we can't do it :) look at that stairs now! it looks amazing :)


  4. Your stairs look great! You've given me an idea now for our stair railings; we also have oak rails. They would be much prettier with a dark wood stain.

  5. Amazing stairs! I am in the process of sanding our stairs and I know how much work it took you. I am using the same kind of stain as you. I am just debating between satin or gloss finish. Gloss is just a little too shiny for me, but maybe the low-shine finish will help. Any other suggestions before we slap on the stain? Any advise would be helpful.

  6. WOW! The difference is amazing! And I had never thought of getting as much as you can do yourself done before a contractor comes over. I mean they generally charge by the hour, so that would totally help! You did way better with day 2 than I did. I posted my day 2 like an hour ago! LOL doh!

  7. You have give right difference . To do Ourself bring our confidence at higher level . We like your page it is intresting and useful . Thanks a lot


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