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.)
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.
Oh and it was sporting an awesome (sarcasm) commercial-grade exit light system.
Aaron turned to Hyde Wet & Set Wall Repair Patch to make the necessary patches on our plaster-with-metal-lathe walls.
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.)
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.
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 I 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.
And so, finally, here are way too many pictures of our FINISHED stairwell!
At the top of the staircase:
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):
On the second landing looking up:
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…
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:
So fresh! So clean!
On the first landing, looking up:
I LOVE the contrast of the black against the white. The whole space feels so modern.
From the bottom, looking up the side:
From the downstairs living room:
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.)
We’re both SO glad to cross this project off our list! What home improvement projects have been hanging over your head?