Monday, May 21, 2012

Staircase: Before and After Picture time!

AFTER: The foyer/grand staircase

BEFORE: Chipped, old lead paint and dirty stairrunner

DURING: A big messy project that took forever

DURING: Ripping off the old runner, layers of dirt underneath

One of the many things we are doing renovate the old house is painting the inside. With over 20 rooms, most of which have not been re-painted in 60 years, that is a daunting task. We are just taking it one room or hallway at a time. Most recently, we finished the grand staircase foyer. It turned out so nicely with such a dramatic difference, that we just had to share.

Here are the before and after shots and here are some statistics:
  • about 50 hours of sanding, scraping, sealing, priming trimming, painting, and touch-up
  • 4 1/2 gallons of paints, 
  • 6 paint colors used, including gold, 
  • 16 rollers, 
  • 4 brushes, 
  • 2 respirators and body coveralls
  • 1 new chandelier tassel
  • 1 can of teak oil for banister
  • and many books on tape, and radiolab podcasts

Here is the history: The ENTIRE foyer and staircase was painted a muddy brown-grey for as long as anyone can remember. The stair-runner had faded and been worn to the same sad color. It started out fresh sometime last century, but it was time for a change.

When we started scraping, we found four previous paint layers underneath. Ours was the fifth layer. The bonus is that our layer doesn't have lead in it! Among the old paint layers, we found the two colors that we had chosen - pale green and ivory - to match the adjacent dining room. I researched MANY Late Victorian era staircases to choose these colors. In the end, it was like the old house was telling us that we chose correctly by bringing it back to its (one of the) original colors.

Color run-down in Behr:
Main - Mild Mint
Inside Trim - Ivory Lace
Staircase and Outside Trim - Off-White
Stair treads - Wildhorse
Mirror and chandelier medallion - Bronzed Gold
Ceiling - Pure White

Halfway through the project, we realized we are very lucky. These stairs - however old they are - were in great shape. The hubs had to seal a few cracks and patches here and there, but those stairs are very sturdy and not creaky at all.That is a testament to a sturdy house that has been here a long time and can stand for a long time to come.

In the end, we are very happy with how we turned a dark stairwell into a clean, bright cheery space. See those cherub faces on the chandelier? Yep, they are smiling now, too!


  1. Beautiful!! You guys are amazing. Can't wait to see it in person :-)

  2. Fantastic job, you two. I can't wait to see more photos as you continue your remodeling!