The next time I open my big mouth and say that some such painting project will be quick and easy…someone, please, be a dear and kick me. Why I thought painting a million billion skinny spindles and keeping my kids dirty feet off stairs long enough for paint to dry was going to be easy or fast is quite beyond me. Although the actual work time was a tad disappointing (hmmm or down right depressing as the case may be), the outcome was anything but that! They turned out exactly how I wanted!
I’m pretty much in love in with them. If you happened to read my original post about these stairs, you might have noticed I actually didn’t stick to my plan for this project. I was going to do something on the risers, like wood appliques or something along those lines to fancy them up a tad. I changed my mind once I saw the painted version, they were too clean and crisp to add anything too. I wanted them to be pretty and eye catching, but not busy and distracting…so I ditched that plan and I’m happy I did.
The actual painting wasn’t hard. By hard, I mean it doesn’t require great skill to paint stairs. It does require time, patience, and a steady hand! I did the whole shebang without touching a strip of painters tape which saved me money and heaps of prep time. (See HERE for how to paint without using painters tape) The only prep I did, was to clean the stair thoroughly. I didn’t sand the wood because I don’t mind dings, dents and scrapes. That stuff is just character and it’s an old staircase. I wasn’t trying to make it not old, I bought an old house because I like old. The idea was just to make it pretty again.
I used a regular angled paint brush for the spindles and hand rail, and a smaller one inch brush to get the lines straight along the actual stair treads. I found that painting the spindles before the handrail was easiest, and painting the treads before the risers (the white fronts of the stairs) was easiest as far as keeping drips and splatters to a minimum. I actually still need to touch up a few spots with a small artists brush before I’ll call it perfect (story of my life).
The painting process was pretty straight forward, two coats of primer (see HERE for more info on that), and two coats of each color of paint. I used Behr porch and floor paint from Home Depot for the black parts. You can custom mix that floor paint to whatever color you want, so I just matched the black to my interior doors. One gallon was way too much, so I’ll just use the rest to finish painting my doors upstairs. I’ve never used floor paint before, but it doesn’t behave any differently than regular paint. It feels a little thicker to the touch when dry, and I thought it was very forgiving as far as not showing brush strokes. I’ll probably use a mini roller to add a third coat of black at some point just for good measure. I didn’t put any Poly or sealer of any kind on top. I want to see just how well it holds up to foot traffic on its own before doing anything like that.
Beside it looking oh, about a million times better, the effect the paint has on the lighting in the stairway is pretty amazing. There is a little natural light, but even still, it was really, really dark walking up the stairs before painting.
All that white paint just bounces light around and makes it so much brighter! We installed a light directly above the stairs shortly after moving in…even after, it still remained rather dungeon like.
The paint was as good as about five more lights installed. (See HERE for a peak at my plans for this hallway) (see HERE for how I used an extender to paint that high wall when I couldn’t use a ladder) This staircase actually isn’t up to current building codes with how steep it is and that little twist it has, so the extra light does it a huge favor. I personally like it’s quirky, creaky personality quite a bit actually.
The staircase is front and center as you walk through the front door. Making it immediately set the tone for classic, homey feel was very important to me. You only have a second or two to make that first impression at a home’s entrance. Even if it means a migraine over painting stair spindles, it’s probably worth the effort! That said, let’s just not discuss the impression the outside of my front door is making…oh well. Different project for a different day.
Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Linking to: THESE great blogs Between Naps on the Porch Thrifty Decor Chick Home Stories A to Z Remodelaholic