The stairwell is (finally) painted

Is there some sort of bad DIY-er award for the longest time something has been prepped for paint but ignored? If so, we should submit our stairwell. I think we would win. Remember when we painted the living room way back in March? Well, the stairwell was part of that major project too. Here’s the best before shot I have. (I didn’t know the stairwell was on our to do list. So it was not properly photographed before.)

001stairwell

Just like living room, it had a lot of areas that needed patched and an awesome (sarcasm) paint job that combined fire engine red (irony?) bits of tan and primed walls. 002stairwell 003stairwell

Oh and it was sporting an awesome (sarcasm) commercial-grade exit light system.004stairwell 005stairwell 006stairwell

Aaron turned to Hyde Wet & Set Wall Repair Patch to make the necessary patches on our plaster-with-metal-lathe walls.

007stairwell

Once the walls were white the treads started to look quite unfortunate. We had already decided to to paint them glossy black to offer some contrast to the walls. We thought it would add a huge amount of polish to the space, kind of like putting on eye liner (my reference, not Aaron’s.)

019stairwell

010stairwell

Because this is an industrial staircase, and one that gets lots of use, we opted to not spend any time trying to make the treads perfect. There are paint drips and rough spots and that’s fine. We just wiped everything down and accepted the imperfections.

011stairwell

Then, Aaron carefully taped all four sides of each tread and along the wall. The warm weather rolled in shortly thereafter and the carport turned garage took over our spring… and our summer… and our lives…

Sometime in July, I decided to be helpful and start working on the stairs. Wielding a paint brush is not in my skill set as I’m the paint roller in the family. So IĀ  carefully, painstakingly outlined each step and filled in each riser. I spent four hours on the lower treads and another four on the upper – just for the first coat. By my estimation, I was going to spend a total of 40 hours OF MY LIFE painting the stairwell.

Then House Hunters: Where Are They Now decided to pay us a visit and the stairwell painting shifted back to Aaron who knocked out ALL of the remaining coats in under 4 hours total. He’s a whiz!

That included some necessary touch ups due to the oil paint seeping under the tape.

012stairwell 013stairwell 014stairwell

And so, finally, here are way too many pictures of our FINISHED stairwell!

At the top of the staircase:015stairwell 016stairwell

P.S. Don’t those plants make such a difference? I forgot how cold and sterile that corner felt.

Looking down (before anything, after wall paint/before tread paint and donezo):

001stairwell017stairwell 018stairwell

On the second landing looking up:019stairwell 020stairwell

That bright blue blob? That’s our awesome, shiny treads reflecting my blue dress. This is also as close to a “selfie” as I get…

021stairwell 022stairwell

Note the light fixture, which we re-purposed from Aaron’s office at our last studio. It lived in the living room for a while and is now providing a lot of light in the stairwell (after we changed the bulbs.) We have plan for a more permanent fixture in this space, but this works perfectly for now.

On the second landing, looking down:023stairwell 024stairwell 025stairwell 026stairwell

So fresh! So clean!

027stairwell 028stairwell

On the first landing, looking up:029stairwell 030stairwell 031stairwell 032stairwell

I LOVE the contrast of the black against the white. The whole space feels so modern.

From the bottom, looking up the side:

033stairwell

From the downstairs living room:034stairwell 035stairwell

The stairwell also got the first piece of art that didn’t come from our camera. This etching stole our heart at the St Louis Art Fair. It’s perfect in this space – simple and complex, black and white, sweet and creepy. Plus I love that it signals that you are entering into a finished space (and leaving the perpetual chaos in the downstairs living room.)

036stairwell

We’re both SO glad to cross this project off our list! What home improvement projects have been hanging over your head?

10 thoughts on “The stairwell is (finally) painted

  1. That’s such a slick transformation. And I love that you embraced the imperfections along the way. šŸ™‚ We have too many home improvement projects hanging over our heads to list here, but one we’re thinking about at the moment is creating a mudroom-type setup for our entryway. The giant pile of shoes that keeps accumulating behind the front door isn’t cutting the mustard for me anymore. šŸ˜‰

  2. That looks sooo good! I love a good black + white combo, especially when there’s a bit of gloss. I NEED to see this place in person! Maybe this winter we can pick two days – one where I come see you, and one where you guys come see my place :))

  3. Pingback: Getting a handle on the garage door |

  4. Pingback: Our principles for buying art |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *