Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Long Awaited Stair Renovation

It all started what seems like 72 hours after I moved in to my brand new, built just for me home. Those who know me know that at that time, I had two of the sweetest little tow headed twin cherubs who were an adventurous and busy 4 years old. They were in love with the new big house, the giant barren desert of a back yard, and the stairs. They loved hanging out on those soft carpeted stairs. This was about the same time that Xander became obsessed with the letter X (go figure). First, he drew a giant X on the floor of the game room with a magic marker. He lived through that one thanks to the miracle of Spot Shot. If you don't have this in your cleaning bin, you have never had ballpoint penned X on your tan sofa. Lol. After repeatedly stressing to him that tagging everything in the house with a marker is not acceptable, he found what I guess he thought was an invisible ink marker... In fact, it was a Clorox bleach pen. Need I say more? Picture brand new tan carpeted stairs with a huge white X in the middle. After looking at it daily, I could look at it no longer and ripped all the carpet up. What I found was lovely,beat up, knotty,gouged planks fashioned into what some contractor decided would pass for stairs. Being too cheap ( to buy all new hardwood treads and risers (can you say daycare x2?), I got creative and covered the risers in embossed wallpaper border and painted it. I tried several different colors and ended up sticking the longest with black. Not a wise choice when stumbling down the stairs in the middle of the night to get medicine for a sick little one, let me tell you! After MUCH wear and tear and a cat that decided she would help me out by removing the carpet from the landings as well, it was time for a real makeover! Look at this tragic mess!

The first thing I had to do was take care of that nasty chip board landing. Yikes. Freebie flooring in the garage to the rescue!

Next was the ridiculously odd fitting risers. Off to Home Depot for thin sheets of ply wood. The sweet boy there even cut it to size for me! Sometimes it pays to be a single girl at the big orange box! I had to cut the width to size when I got home, but that's cake :) They already looked so much better!

The next step was a WHOLE lot of wood filler, sanding, scraping, filling, sanding, and you get the point. After FINALLY filling in all the gaping holes and pits, I decided it needed trim under the treads. Home Depot was my friend on this project. I believe I got just a simple chair rail trim. One that I also used to trim out a table top if that helps you get the idea. After the trim was installed, I caulked all the seams and left to dry a bit.

Now to select a paint! I am a crazy huge fan of Behr paint. I can't think of a paint project that I've done without it... Spray paint projects not withstanding. I opted for the super duper premium paint with primer. I am lazy when I can be. I decided a creamy white was to be the base. My brother wanted to know if I just enjoyed cleaning stairs, but cream is what I had set in my brain. I had a plan!

After the white was dry to the touch I began the taping process. Second guessing that trim now... Not sure how long it took me but I'm pretty sure I listened to at least 2 episodes of sweat equity.

The border color was to be a delightful goldenrod color just as my inspiration Pottery Barn stairs! Two coats and all was lovely.

Taping off for the pin striping was just as exhausting, but I think you will agree, totally worth it!

Only one more step, and I would have my long anticipated stairs... That one step has incited more taunts and jibes than I expected, but I think my fabulous PB inspired stairs are more than worth any amount of teasing by usually those men people who just don't get my aesthetic, quirkiness, or sense of humor! Because I didn't feel like stenciling that day, and because I already had rub on transfer printer paper, I took the easy route (remember my "I'm lazy when I can be" comment from earlier?)

And now...The finished product! Bear in mind they were done just in time for Halloween. The rat silhouettes don't stay year around. Enjoy!

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