Friday, August 22, 2014

Forgive Me for Stair-ing

It's hard not to stare at our made-over staircase now. It's just so fresh and so clean. And so pretty.
As I mentioned in the last post, my best friend Katie came out for a visit and offered to help with a DIY project. We had discussed the staircase before, so we decided to just go for it. Here's what it looked like before:

The wood is actually really nice and it's a very well made staircase. It's just a lot of wood. And an ugly orange-y stain that has seen better days.

Not to mention the carpet squares that were stuck to each stair...
Obviously, those were the first to go. They peeled off pretty easily, but we had to scrape the residue away and give the whole staircase a good scrubbing.
Once that was done, it was already looking a lot better. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but in person it was a big difference to get rid of the carpet.
Next step was taping so we would end up with nice clean lines.
And finally, we were ready for primer. Because of the nasty stain, it actually took three coats of primer and two coats of paint-and-primer-in-one to cover it. The stain kept trying to seep through, even though we sanded it down a bit.
Here you can see what one coat of primer looked like. Still had a ways to go.
But once we were finished ... wow. What a difference. I love love love it now. It really makes the house look a lot newer and cleaner. And the white also highlights some of the really nice details on the staircase as well.

Here you can see the extra trim piece that sits below each step. It's a subtle detail but I think it really helps to make the stairs look more stately and substantial.
I'm still trying to figure out what should go in front of the stairs now. It's so crisp and clean looking that I hate to put the brown/cream color chair back in front of it. So if you have any suggestions ...

We were also debating about painting that column at the bottom white and extending the white paint up the handrail. Not on the very top piece, but the three-inch piece below it that connects to the column. We couldn't decide so we decided to leave it wood for a while and live with it. I have to admit that I'm getting more tempted to paint it. What do you guys think? More white on the rail and column, or leave it alone?
I also love seeing that beautiful wood grain instead of the carpet on the treads now. So much nicer. And yet again I feel myself wanting to refinish my floors to bring out that wood grain and improve the color some more...
But for now, so happy to have my pretty white staircase. Let me know what you think!