Things around here are taking shape. Like this one single corner of our bedroom:
Slowly, but surely. Sometimes more slowly than surely. But we’re getting there!
As I mentioned in a previous post, we are in the midst of renovating a little 145-year-old house in coastal Connecticut. Much of the work we are having completed by (a really awesome, patient) contractor, but there are a few projects that, with the help of my amazing mom, the Husband and I are tackling ourselves. One of those with the biggest impact has been our staircase update!
When we moved in, the entire house had hardwood flooring, except a the carpeted master bedroom, a small landing, and the staircase. It was horrid. So, project #1 was to pull it up. The stairs weren’t horrible, but they weren’t in great shape, either. We knew we didn’t want to completely overhaul them, but they needed something… so, painting it was!
After browsing for ideas, and chatting with our local Sherwin Williams, we chose our paint, grabbed wood filler and a sander, and started:
1| You can see the original state of the stairway. The wood was finished on the edges only, and wasn’t of high quality. And, that carpet…. woof.
2| After pulling up the carpet and nails, we washed the steps down with a vinegar solution. There were a lot of holes from this, and previous rounds of carpet, and the trim didn’t match along the bottom lip of the steps. We contemplated replacing the trim, but ultimately decided that after filling the gaps, we wouldn’t need to completely replace it. This saved a lot of work, and we avoided having to find tools we didn’t have on hand. Like, anything but a hammer, screwdriver, and sander, tbh…
3| We sanded with a handheld sander, fine grit. Then, we went ahead and went crazy with the wood filler. Then, we sanded again. Finally, we wiped everything down with a slightly damp cloth to get rid of dust, and prep for paint.
4| We chose SW trim paint in Extra White, and SW Porch and Floor Enamel in Gauntlet Gray for the tops of the stairs – the same color we painted our master bedroom, and part of a very neutral gray palette used house-wide. After sanding and cleaning, we painted the white trim, and every-other step. We only have one staircase, and needed to be able to make it up and down throughout the day while each coat dried! We used a 2″ flat brush, and a 1.5″ angle brush, and a bit of painter’s tape came in handy…
5| We painted each step with two coats of paint, and let it dry thoroughly in-between. I am in LOVE with the finished product. What a difference! After more than a month of heavy use and lots of drywall dust and dirt, they’re holding up wonderfully :)
The stairs were one of the big reasons I fell in love with this house in the first place. You might have noticed a little something embedded in the rail:
It’s an “Indian Head” penny, dated 1899! When I saw it, my history-loving, American-girl-obsessed, authentic-costume-wearing-period-interpreter-in-high-school-self almost exploded. It’s just SO COOL! And now, it graces stairs fitting its historic cool-factor. And that makes me happy.
There are roughly 1,543 other projects in various stages of completion throughout the house, so there will be more updates to come. But, I cannot wait for the big kitchen/dining room/laundry room/bathroom reveal – fingers crossed it’ll be coming soon!
6 thoughts on ““rahrighouse” projects|diy staircase refresh”
Thank you so much for sharing these post and for letting us join along! I love your style and am so excited that you’ve decided to write again! Keep the posts coming- I’m loving each one!! :) Also, the steps turned out beautifully and the penny is a really cool, unique piece to the house.
Thank you so much! Writing our journey down helps me enjoy the (sometimes slow and painful) process, even in the middle of the chaos! You’re the best :)
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Love the house and how you are updating it. What’s the paint color on the walls in the livingroom and stair area ?
Thank you so much! All colors in the house are Sherwin Williams, and the living room and stairway are “Repose Gray”.
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