Yes, being both flexible and unafraid of heights are two very important qualities of a true DIY personality. When we purchased our 1893 farmhouse, the stairs were covered in filthy yellow and orange shag carpet. The walls had giant holes punched into the plaster with packaging tape covering them, plus about a million nails, screws, and tacks in both the walls and trim. Though a wobbly railing existed, Michael fell down a few stairs during our initial walkthrough! From the beginning we knew this room would need a major overhaul.
First, my brother’s girlfriend Sarah Jane tackled the gross job of stripping the stairs. She spent an entire day in the dark, cave-like room ripping off the shag and consequent carpet tacks! Next we gave the stairway a good scrubbing. Then we pulled off the tape and did a rough plaster patch over the many holes.
Even at 9 months pregnant I was working to finish this project. My ginormous belly functioned quite nicely as a shelf for the putty bucket. Because of all the damage and because this is a high traffic area, we decided to install beadboard from the bottom of the stairway to about plate-rail height on the upstairs hall.
Underneath the shag, the stairs were already painted brown and some of the stair treads were cracked. So I decided to just paint them a lighter color in the hopes that later we can replace them with new stained wood treads.
On the landing/hallway there were a few walls boasting 1980’s wall paper. This took months to remove as it came off in miniscule chunks. Some of the wall paper brought the plaster with it, so we decided to add paintable wall paper to the top half of the walls to camouflage these bumps.
After sanding and re-staining the railing, we chose to bring reflected light into this space with paint. The soft gray color on the upper walls is a custom mix I made, since I couldn’t seem to find the shade I wanted. The beadboard and trim is a bright white off the shelf. The original pine floor only required a cleaning and coat of Old English wood conditioner.
I love the direction this space is going, but we have a lot left to do. The plate rail trim needs to be installed at the top of the beadboard, we need to add a hand rail, redo the electrical and add a light fixture, and of course (my favorite part) style the room. So stay tuned for the upcoming big reveal!1