Monday, September 5, 2016

first steps: the staircase project

In January of 2012 I blogged about this staircase, featured in my overdue library book Thrifty Chic, and how someday I wanted to try this idea at home. As noted then, this endeavor was at the bottom of the home improvement list for a bunch of reasons, the main one being that my oldest son loves racing down the stairs at lightning speed. Now that he's almost 16, I'm thinking he can take his time or wear no-stick socks, or I can investigate no-slip paint additive.

I painted the bottom half years of the staircase years ago in preparation for Fifi's visit but never got around to finishing the job. Aside from vacuuming, all these years the dark narrow staircase has been fairly neglected and bare. With a high shiplap ceiling, I'll admit, the entire project is a bit daunting.

With the long Labor Day weekend in front of me and a large writing assignment completed, I started to daydream about the staircase again. On Saturday I washed the walls and closet door figuring I'd repaint everything but the steps and leave that for another time.

However by Sunday morning I was ready to start the project as a whole.

The Hubs got on-board big time and pulled up the carpeting, foam and plywood strips revealing years of unidentified stains and even sand (or as we concluded, filtered dirt).

What's better than a friend with a dumpster?! Thank you, Sue!

There's a lot of pulling nails and staples and uncomfortable sitting positions amidst dust and grime so having protective gear such as leather work gloves, goggles and a dust mask are good ideas, as are knee pads or a pillow! It's also beneficial to play music because this is boring work that can take a while.

Half-joking I offered five cents a pulled nail or staple and my oldest son took us up on the offer! He did such a great job, we doubled the rate!


I hosed-down the wooden bi-fold panel to remove all dust, let dry overnight, and am spray-painting the exterior as a first priming step to reach inside all of the grooves. I'm not concerned with removing or replacing the hinges  -- I don't care for the brass and no one will really see them anyway. #lazy

So, what's next? Mapping out a list and realistic timeline of next steps which will include: filling holes, sanding, washing, priming, and painting everything white! And finally, deciding how I will decorate the blank slate once treated to a much needed freshening.

Chances are good that I'll continue to document step-by-step on my Instagram page so click on over.

Thanks for reading and happiest wishes always!