Aug 15, 2012

Stairway to Havoc

It's painting time here again in the Turtles & Tails household. This week's project is the stairwell to the upper level. Let me show you just what we were dealing with before.

Builder Beige walls and golden baseboards and doorways. Design heaven, right?  I planned to continue the living room and foyer colours up the stairs, including painting the trim a clean white.

As well as those pretty colours, the skirting boards on the stairs weren't painted, they just had a clear coat applied. On the spur of the moment, while I was setting up to paint the trim, I decided to paint the skirting boards as well. I don't like how choppy it looks with paint - no paint - and then paint again. Cohesion, baby, we want cohesion.

First I spackled all of the bangs in the walls - most of them caused by furniture being moved in and out. There is a lovely crease I've been looking at for 3+ years that runs horizontally along the lower wall that was the result of trying to move the box spring in. After getting that all spackled and sanded, I had to wipe every surface down and putty the holes and visible joints in the wood. Sand it all again. Wipe it all down again. Can I start painting now?

It took three coats of white paint-and-primer-in-one to cover the yellow paint and the bare wood. I'm still thinking I may go back later and do another coat. I'm finding with this house that paint doesn't like to stick - on trim or on walls. I have no idea what they used before. It's like there's Teflon in it or something.

This time, after taping the trim in preparation for painting the walls, I took the time to put a light coat of white paint along the seam between the wall and the tape to seal it. It really didn't take as long as I thought it would. And the results were as good as everyone says they are. I'm a true believer!



The painting went along fine - I won't bore you with the details. Except we didn't have a ladder to reach the higher spots. I found that if I attached a broom handle to the roller, and leaned out over the upper railing, I could reach all of the walls, though I couldn't do the cutting in work. I was almost done the first coat when disaster struck. The broom handle (a cheapie from the dollar store) snapped off and the roller fell down the stairwell.

Have you ever had one of those moments of panic where you just stand there frozen? I hadn't tarped the lower part of the stairs so I was expecting the worst. Yet miraculously, the roller had hit the wall, hit the tarp, flipped at an angle and landed on the tile in the front hallway. Didn't touch the carpet at all. Unbelievable.

The next night Tom came home with an extension ladder. When it's freestanding, it's not quite tall enough for him to reach the ceiling, so he used it to climb up to the railing.

This is the point in the story when I say, "Children, do not try this at home." Though as you can see, he is wearing his safety sandals.

Check out some of these shots. 

 My favourite is the serious leaning, with a roll of tape in his mouth. 

Even the dog was concerned. She sat at the top of the stairs and watched him the whole time.

Today I got the second coat done though I had to wait for Tom to do the cutting in again. He won't let me climb the ladder when he isn't home. What does he think, I'm a klutz or something? (I am, oh yes, I am.)

That did leave me some extra time to give the brackets on the handrail a little oil rubbed bronze treatment.

Here is where we stand now. Just waiting a bit to take the last of the tape down.

And here is an all in one shot in which you can see where we were and where we're headed.

Much improved don't you think?


Joanne said...

I love white trim! It looks so clean and new.
I'm just looking at pictures and I'm worried Tom is going to fall, good thing Sasha was there to save him if he did.

Clever blonde - Donna G said...

Oh that brings back memories, not exciting ones. Your brighter, lighter colours look great. I used to love painting walls. They really are the easiest thing to paint and I love the satisfied feeling of cutting in really well. The older we get the harder it gets. I decided to do a feature wall when hubby was on a scout camp. My first coat fell off. I had to set the alarm to get up in the middle of the night to get the neccessary number of coats done before Sunday afternoon. Turned out the previous owners had put water based paint over oil based without the correct undercoat. I'm always cranky with ourselves for not noticing the dodgy paint job before we signed on the dotted line. Enjoy yourself and the journey, you are making good memories there.

BarbSteadman said...

Thank you! I used to think I loved painting too. I think I need a break from it to get that love back!

BarbSteadman said...

Crazy right? And he wouldn't let me even climb the ladder!

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