Stairs. Finally. Finished...

If there's a heaven, my father most certainly deserves to go there because he's an angel.
My companion in paint stripping and home improvement projects are the Audible audiobooks. It keeps a handy little ticker of hours spent listening. Based on the books I listened to while working on the stairs, I think I'm somewhere around 84 hours to remove all the paint from the spindles and take a solid first whack at sanding out the little bits that I couldn't get with a scraper.

My lovely father could see the desperation in my eyes and as a Christmas/Birthday present said he'd finish the stairs for me. And the clouds parted and angels sang...because I was absolutely kaput on sanding and pretty intimidated at the prospect of figuring out how to stain and varnish the top of the railing. He and his handyman buddy, John, finished it up with probably an additional 50 hours on top of what I put in.
He did an awesome job. At some point I'll need to put another coat of porch paint on the stairs. But right now I'm basking in the beauty of "done". (IGNORE the window to the left of the picture. It's a figment of your imagination. And it's single pane glass that I don't dare finish stripping with a heat gun until it's warmer outside. Sometimes prudence wins out over my impatience)

To celebrate, I bought out half the frame department at IKEA and had fun picking out photos from my different travels. I tried to include a picture from each country I've been to. I haven't been to nearly enough, so there are numerous repeats.
For anyone else trying to figure out frame placement to go up stairs, it was a bit of a bitch & I'll tell you what I did: All of them are RIBBA frames because the widths/lengths worked well with each other. I used 15 of the 9" squares, 2 of the 20", and 3 of the 9" x 20". In the photo, there's supposed to be one more 9" square at the very top of the stairs to make it 3 vertical spots. (I'm saving this pic for when my niece/nephew arrives this summer!) I used about a 1" gap between the frames to make 2 9" squares equal the 20" frames.

Here are some more before/after pics of the hallway:
Not a "true" before, because this was after I started pulling down the acoustic ceiling tiles. The railing looks good in the pic, but there were a lot of layers of paint and the finish on the railing was rubbed off in places.

This is a picture of all the plaster & lathe that I pulled off the walls and ceiling.

This one is after removing all the paint, but before Dad's intervention.