Wednesday, 22 June 2011

...has grey stairs (Hallway Stairs makeover phase 2.)

Well begun is half done...

 When I posted about the beginning of our stair makeover, I really thought we'd be finished by now. Remember the plan to strip and varnish the stairs and paint the uprights? Oh how optimistic that was. The week after, I went down to Paisley on the Friday and started the arduous and ultimately pointless task of stripping the old paint from the stairs. The paint turned out to be thicker than we thought, which meant the sander melted it rather than removing it, so I moved onto plan B, paint stripper. Rather than the paint stripper removing the paint, it mixed with it and became a bit tar like. And then I realised the bottom layer was more than likely lead paint(our flat is about 80 years old, I suspect the bottom layer of paint is too) and I shouldn't really be pouring chemicals on it. Realising this four steps in was a bit of a worrying moment!

The stairs after 4 hours of me attempting to strip them -
hopefully you can see why I gave up.

At this point, we decided it was going to take a hundred years to remove all the paint, so two weeks later (this weekend) we bit the bullet, sanded the stairs, removed the square metre of cork tile topper board nailed atop the landing floorboards (I have no idea why they didn't put them on the actual floorboards, we keep expecting to find a dead person or something), hammered in the millions of nails we couldn't remove, and painted the stairs grey(Dave painted them. I wasn't allowed. I have a tendancy to spill things).

Cork glued to board nailed to floorboards. I don't understand!

Dave doing some painting

For the moment, the uprights are grey too. They have A LOT of bent nails hammered in as far as possible, and it would take a few more coats of paint to even vaguely even the surface up. It's a bit unsightly at the moment. Originally, we were going to paint them yellow, and I was going to stencil a pattern of some sort on, but it seems we night have to use something a bit sturdier. We have considered wallpaper, but anything I think nice enough is well out of our price range(the most we can spend on this is about £30, and also, we'll only need about two metres, it just seems like a waste).  I have been reading up on wallpapering with fabric, and I think starching thick fabric and then varnishing over it might be the trick as it might smooth over where bumps are.

HURRAH! Grey floorboards!
(excuse the mess at the bottom, and paint on the walls)

I thought stripping the stairs would be fine though, so we'll see! Next task is to give the walls a new coat of white and find something for the uprights.


each of the two said...

AHhhh, the beauty of old homes. Consider this, whether you end up going paint/stencil or fabric (and paint will be more durable as the starch will eventually ease up, plus paint in anything eggshell and glossier will wipe up clean from muddy shoes), a pattern will help hide all those unforgiving nails and bumps, in fact the busier the better! A damask or neat geometric, even a floral, though I suppose that is NOT dave's aesthetic.... make sure its not too large as the rise of the stair is a small surface.

annelise said...

The grey does look really good. Looks worth the trouble.

trashsparkle said...

coming along nicely! congrats on all that persevering with the sanding and stripping - its a right pain. how long did you have to leave the paint before you could walk back downstairs??? hope nobody rang the doorbell... the cork-on-the-board was probably because floorboard-wobble would have cracked the cork tiles - they have to be laid onto a flat surface. says me, who found that out with lino tiles in the bathroom that had to be taken back up :( patterned risers sound fab - can you print anything out to save money? look out for retro wallpaper in charity shops/car boots maybe? x

Alison Cross said...

Next time you need to remove a lot of gloss paint, look into hiring a paint gun. It burns off the paint and you use a scraper to remove the residue. Smells vile, but is pretty speedy.

I think it looks great.

There are lots of places that sell second hand stair carpets, LM - you might be able to find a nice vintage one that takes your fancy.

If memory serves me right, there's an antiques place down by the Clyde, along the Clydeside Expressway and they had lots of rugs and stuff when we were last in. We needed a massive amount of stair carpet cos ours has a run of 13, then a dog-leg and another 9!

It's all looking GREAT!!!!

Ali x

Julia said...

those stairs are looking fab! And, I hate it when people put things on top of the base flooring, that original floor will look fab!

islabell said...

hurray! It looks awesome, all that work was worth it.

Hazel said...

it looks quite good :) sounds like a lot of hard work though :(

Shoreditch Sisters said...

Ooo love them. I'm looking for some nail varnish in that colour actually!

Evil Pixie said...

I'm loving it!

Fay said...

An epic task! But awesome colour. Can't wait to hear how work on the uprights goes X

Siobhan said...

It is looking really great! Well done and I think patterned risers would be good. If you would be happy with different patterns you could use samples? If they all had the same colour theme it could work quite well maybe?

Lisa-Marie said...

Each, I completely bow to your superior knowledge! Thanks for the tips.

Annelise, that's what I keep telling myself!

Trashsparkle, we had to leave it 5 hours per coat. of course, we had only past in and in that 5 hours the ice-cream van passed 3 times and the chipper van once. Ah, that explains it. it's still stupid though. cork tiles? who thought that was a good idea?!

Ali, we thought about that but apparently with Dave's asthma, even with a mask it is a BAD PLAN. Thank you for the tip - we need a runner for the hall even if we don't put one on the stairs, and Clydebank is not far from ye old Paisley as you know :)

Julia, thank you!

Islabell, it really was!

Becky, me too! I have charged my makeup blogger friend with finding the perfect grey nail varnish!

Hazel, lots of work yes, but doesn't it look MILES better than that cream carpet!

Fay, epic indeed, and thanks!

Siobhan, you are an actually genius! i like the idea of mixed patterns that colour match!

Cass said...

I am going to have to take notes- ours has just gone on the market and the flat we move out of may be easier to deal with than the house we're hoping to one day move into!!

Michelle said...

Sounds like a truly fun experience - ouch. There is an online shop called Spinster's Emporium that does vintage wallpaper (and fabric) which might work for you? Otherwise hope you are able to find something you like.

p.s. really like the painted stairs (I would love to be able to paint something in house grey but unfortunately we rent).

Elizabeth @rosalilium said...

I love watching the progress on your stairs. They grey is fab colour. Well done to you guys!


Alan said...

Tut Tut !!
I think that you have given in too early on the battle with the lead paint. Neither of you were injured as far as I could see. I don't think you give up until at least one of you has had a near death experience or there has been a visit to A&E. It was this stupidity in the face of adversity which made our nation great. It was trying to get the all the bumps out of a new carpet that developed the tenacity which lead to the expansion of the empire. Getting carpet grippers up bare-handed honed the combat skills which tamed continents.

Recognising the difficulties and changing tack might be modern (and might leave you with all your fingers) but will not fortify the soul.

I think a blow-torch and an insurance policy for the next birthday.

On the other hand the stairs are looking much better.

lethemeatkate said...

looks wonderful! i did something similar a few years ago to my stairs (the carpet on them was beyond repairable!) and i did a shoddy paint job but haven't gotten much further than that! can't wait to see what you end up doing!

NordicBliss said...

The grey looks beautiful. Looks like the perfect shade of grey as well.