The Stairwell Is Painted…Well Almost

I know it’s kind of unconventional to share after photos of a project that isn’t really done, BUT  a.) I’m so dang close to being done b.) I don’t know exactly when I will get it done and c.) I may break my neck in the process of trying to finish it, so I figure I better just share it now.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should), then you already know that I started painting the stairwell a few weeks ago. It is the last area of unpainted paneling in the whole house, so I’m really excited to be done with it…you know, almost. I was super unmotivated to get started on it though, because I knew it was going to be a tricky project. I’ve painted a stairwell before in our previous house. It was a pain….and it was nowhere near as steep as this stairwell, so I was really dreading it. I consulted Brian about it and he borrowed a ladder for me and helped me devise a plan to at least get me started. I knew once I got started, I would be heavily motivated to finish.

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In case you are wondering why we don’t just remove the paneling, our house is 100 years old and the plaster that is behind the paneling is cracked and marked and would be awful to look at and super expensive to fix. So we are keeping it up, and I have to say, I don’t hate it. I quite like the texture it adds, even if it is kind of a pain to paint.

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We used Brian’s dad’s extension ladder, which extends and also folds over into an A-frame ladder. I used it both ways to make my way up the stairs. It was terrifying in some places. I have no problem with heights, but I do have a problem with being at the top of a very tall ladder and it moving on me. So I got as high, and reached as far as I could, but there is still one spot that I can’t quite reach where the ceiling and wall meet above the first few stairs. I can’t get close enough to it without setting the ladder on the actual stairs and I need something that we can put under one half of the ladder to make up the difference in height from the stair that the other half of the ladder sits on…does that make any sense?? So we have a plan, but it sounds super scary and sketchy, so I don’t want to share it just yet until I live to tell the story!

 

So in the meantime, here are some almost after pics. I decided to go with a neutral color, since I have no plans to EVER paint this area again. I used Valspar’s Smoked Oyster which is the same color as in the kid’s playroom. It’s kind of a warm grey beige (greige?). I love how it works with the dark wood trim, but still adds some contrast. It goes with everything so I think we can live with it for a long time…We have to, because I’m not painting in here again…did I mention that already?!

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I love this next picture because I have been DYING to get some sort of window treatment hung on this window along the stairs, but could never reach it. See how much light comes through that window?! It would make the second floor a sauna in the summertime, and I can’t tell you how many birds die because they try to fly through that thing! I’m so excited to have blinds on there and I can actually reach the cord to adjust them, so it has been really awesome the last few weeks with them up.

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If you are wondering if we are living with a giant ladder on our stairs still, the answer is yes. Yes we are. It’s there just taunting me at this point.

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So there you have it! An almost after post. I’m loving how much brighter and less busy the walls feel. I feel like the beautiful wood trim is really highlighted now, where as before it sort of got lost with the pattern of the paneling. I still have to switch out the switch plates and need to add some artwork to the walls, maybe, I can’t make up my mind so I’m living with it pretty bare until I decide. Say a little prayer for me while I finish up this last spot, would ya?!

Well This Is Embarrassing…

Have you ever lived with something for so long that you forgot how much you disliked it until you saw a photo of it? This is how I feel about our stairway and landing. (This is also how I feel every time I see a picture of myself ;)) I walk through this room every day, multiple times a day, but I guess I must do so with blinders on.

I didn’t notice how bad things were looking until we set our Christmas tree up in this room and I went to take some pics of it. I never posted them because I was so embarrassed at how the the rest of the room looks. We only have two rooms of paneling left that have not been painted and this is one of them. The office is the other one, and I planned to paint it first, but now I’m thinking I should tackle this room first.

Here is how it’s looking right now….it really hasn’t changed much since we moved in.

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The time of day/sunlight determines just how orange it is in here. Please notice all of my mismatching window treatments or lack of any treatments on a certain window that is out of my reach.

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This shot of the stairs helps explain why I haven’t tackled the painting yet. I am going to have to find a ladder that will allow me to reach the walls along the staircase. And since being pregnant, I’ve had to cross tall ladder projects off my to-do list.

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As you can see, I’m using this area as storage for baby clothes currently until I get little man’s closet redone. The large white cabinet houses my crafting stuff and sewing machine. It will most likely have to stay here (I don’t have anywhere else for it yet…) and I’d like to get rid of the totes and dollhouse and add a small table or desk where I can draw/sew/craft.

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My next issue is the rugs. This ivory rug came with the house and the rug at the bottom of the stairs is just a $20 Ikea rug that I had and threw in there. I’d like to replace both of them. The problem with the one upstairs is that the size of it doesn’t seem right to me in this space, but I can’t figure out what size would be better. The room is kind of a fat, L-shape and I can’t decide if two runners would be better (in an L-shape), or one runner down the larger part of the room,  or if I should replace this area rug with a smaller sized rug that can be centered better.

I also don’t know what color to paint in here. I keep going back and forth between a bright, cheery color, or a nice neutral color. Either way I want something that will highlight all the wood trim. I’m leaning towards the neutral options because painting in here is going to be a pain and I want something I will love for a looooong time. Since I can’t decide,  I think I’m going to shop for rugs first and then choose my wall color based on that. I want the rug upstairs to feel cohesive to the rug downstairs, but I don’t want them to be an exact match.

Here are some rugs I’ve been looking at:

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1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

 Apparently I’m subconsciously drawn to greens and blues. I like the idea of the rugs having some color in them, especially if I do a neutral wall color. I’m surprised at how much love #5 for upstairs. I think it would look so nice with the kelly green and navy blue bedrooms in that hallway. Actually, the more I think about it, I think it would look really nice downstairs too with all the dark wood. Of course it’s the most expensive option. I don’t want to spend a fortune on these guys since I’m having to buy at least two rugs.

Any thoughts or advice on wall color or rugs?! I’m open to any and all suggestions at this point!

 

Time To Lighten Up the Wood Paneling

Normally I love to paint. It’s such a cheap, fast way to makeover a room or piece of furniture. I love cracking open a can of paint, especially a new color I haven’t used before. I can usually knock out a room in a day or two with no problem. There’s not a room that my paintbrush and I couldn’t tackle.

Until I started painting the living room…in all of its wood-paneled glory.

photo 3-006photo 2-005I feel like this room has taken forever to paint. Because it has. I actually started painting this room as soon as we moved in. (a few months ago) I couldn’t wait to paint over the paneling and I knew exactly what paint color I was going to use.  I’ve painted paneling before so I wasn’t too worried. I got one wall done and then, I don’t know what happened, I lost my mojo…my painting mojo (it’s a thing).

Fortunately, Hollis’ baptism is next weekend and I will have a house full of people. Nothing lights a fire under my bum like the pressure of having people see my house and judge me. I’m fairly certain my house would never get dusted without the fear of someone randomly stopping by or having to take photos for this here blog. Don’t get me wrong, the room is nowhere near finished, but at least we no longer have one half painted wall and three wood-paneled walls. (Although I do still  have a half painted brick wall. Sigh.)

Here’s how it went down. Slowly. Here’s how it slowly went down. I think I maybe averaged 1/2  a wall per week.

I had to cut in around the ceiling, trim, and then I had to use a small brush to get into all those grooves in the paneling. I hate those grooves. I may have used some choice words while filling in those grooves.

IMG_0335We painted the trim in the newer part of the house, but we are leaving the original woodwork in the older part. I’ve never had dark wood trim, I’ve always had white, so choosing paint colors is a whole new adventure now. I taped off around the floor boards, but I just cut-in with a small brush around windows and doors.

IMG_0332One bad thing about paneling is, that it hides all the nail holes and imperfections in it with the busy wood grain pattern. I had a heckuva time seeing all the holes  that nails left behind until after I got a coat of paint on it. So I had to do all my wood filling after my paint dried, which didn’t speed things up any.

IMG_0331It’s also really obvious if you forget to paint a groove, or don’t fill one in all the way….this was also a time-sucker.

IMG_0334I eventually got in a rhythm and got all my cutting in done, then filled my grooves, then rolled on two coats to finish it off. The whole process shouldn’t have taken so long. I blame myself mostly. I get easily distracted, especially in the living room where the baby’s playing and the t.v. is on. That darn Pioneer Woman makes me want to stop whatever I’m doing and get in the kitchen and make something. So really this all her fault if you think about it.

Anyway, things are looking much lighter and happier in here. I like the way the pale blue looks with all of our dark brown furniture. Even that futon, which is not a permanent inhabitant of this room. He’s just visiting until we find something else.

IMG_0527IMG_0529IMG_0533Here is a close-up of the curtains. I love them. I love them so much I’d marry them if I wasn’t already married.

IMG_0545Now that the little one is officially crawling, we are in full baby proofing mode. That’s why our coffee table is against the wall like it’s being punished. And we have the wall mount for the t.v. ready to go, I just need the hubby’s help getting it hung up there. You can also see I’ve started to prime the brick wall, I’m sure it will take another month or so for me to get that done too.

IMG_0530I still have a couple of seams where the panels but up against each other that need to be filled with more than just paint. You can see what I mean in this photo below. That pesky seam on the left corner is practically screaming at me. Overall, I feel like the light blue really contrasts with the dark brown and shows off the great detail on the wood trim. Details that seemed lost next to the busy wood grain on the paneling.

IMG_0532Here’s my checklist for this room:

  • paint walls
  • wipe down/clean trim
  • hang curtains
  • hang artwork/decor
  • hang t.v.
  • add floating shelves to the t.v. wall
  • prime/paint brick
  • find window covering for door
  • replace futon
  • organize toys
  • replace carpet (some day)
  • fill panel seams
  • new furniture (this one’s a long way down the road and I mostly just put it on here to see if the hubby’s reading)