We live in an antique colonial-cape. Upon entering my home you have a choice of three directions. You can close the door behind you and turn right, through the french door, into the living room,
|Old photo, not these colors anymore.|
|Also doesn't look like this anymore...click here to see after.|
When we moved in the stairs were covered in carpeting (no pictures) and ya know that had to go! The stairs, in keeping with the old house feel, are narrow and steep.....and boy, did they creak!
We painted it to look like this:
The bead board wainscoting and stairs were a raspberry-chocolaty color. In keeping with the times, the walls had gotten a paint technique. First we painted the walls a warm yellow. Once dry, I went over with white paint that had an additive that extended the drying time. It allowed me to roll on a coat of white then I pulled a wallpaper brush through the wet paint to leave a stria effect with the yellow showing through.
Of course I couldn't leave it like that. Using my Donna Dewberry (remember her?) skills and stencils I painted two topiary on either side of the stairs. The floor was covered with an ugly piece of linoleum but neither of us were brave enough to want to try to tackle that at the time as it was securely glued down to the wood floor.
|This was taken after we had already started the process, hence the big blob of white paint on my topiary.|
The stairs. Ugh. We first had to fix the squeaky steps so that took us to the basement door and a big mess of taking down the peel n' stick wallpaper, horse-hair plaster and lath. Yuck!
|When we took down the plaster the only support was the dark piece of wood going down the center.|
Once that was done we were amazed that we had not fallen through to the basement long before now! There was nothing supporting the stairs other than either end of each stair. No center support!
|The center wood was not even notched into the stairs; just resting on the inside corner of each step!|
Because these stairs were put in 150-200 years ago they were not done on uniform sets of stringers. Each step was individually cut thus the uneven stairs.
Mister put in a center support (1" thick plywood) then cut individual triangular-ish pieces to screw into that support in order to sure up each step. He went back up to the top side of the stairs and screwed right into the top of each step. That did the trick; not a squeak nor creak! Next, our favorite tool for an old house... caulking1 We used wood putty on the top side.
Now we (yup, Mister) could paint. Mister painted one side of the stairs first leaving us access to the upstairs while it dried and the next day he painted the other side. They ended up getting two coats as did the trim and doors upstairs. Ahhhh...clean. We used my go-to white, December Starlight, by Valspar.
The walls got a couple coats of this lovely gray, Ralph Lauren's Elgin Gray.
And............... bad idea............that was NOT going to work! The treads were going to be ugly within days. We decided that the risers would stay white but the treads would get a nice couple coats of blue; Behr's English Channel.
Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl pants and let go of the pretty dream. I will be much happier, long term, with the blue.
And this is the tiny entry way now. I still want to replace that light fixture as it does not go with my decorating style now but I have not found what I am looking for yet.
Now I am thinking I may need to paint the front door but don't know if I can bring myself to do that. What do you think?
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