Thursday, March 19, 2015

Painting the Stairwell

We are not DIYing for once!  We hired pros for this one because of the 20 foot ceilings in the stairwell.  When I saw what the painters had to do to paint the ceiling, it was worth every penny.  There were two ladders, one balanced horizontally on top of the stair railing on one side and the window molding on the opposite wall, and then the other ladder was vertically placed on top of the horizontal ladder.  Terrifying.    

This is what we started with.  I liked the paneling and the Art Deco anaglypta wallpaper.  However, I hated the beige color above the paneling, and the olive green of the painted wallpaper.  I spent a long time thinking about what colors to replace the olive green and the beige, without painting the wood trim.  Here was my dilemma: The hallway is dark - it has no hanging lights and wiring one is out of the question.  It has sconces about 6 feet off the ground, but as you get closer to the ceiling, the corners get very dark.  Hence, white and beige wall paint are out of the question, because both would turn dingy in dim light.  I knew I needed a cool, light-colored neutral for the walls above the paneling. However, the warm-toned red oak was proving difficult: I didn't want the "two-tone" paneling look anymore, and a dark mahogany color seemed too dark for the room.  

Ultimately, I bent my own rules a bit and had the trim painted WHITE.  My rationalization?  There is lots of natural wood left intact in this stairway, plus, the faux paneling was a cheap trick in 1919 and it's a cheap trick now.  If it had been real wood paneling, I 100% would have kept it, however these are just boards nailed to a wall to half-heartedly resemble real paneling.  I don't feel bad about the decision from a preservation perspective, and when I saw the results, I was so pleased.  

I really love the color we chose for the walls: "Shoreline" by Benjamin Moore (#1471).  It provides just enough definition to the white paneling, while still looking clean and bright.

The paneling is done in Martha Stewart "Picket Fence", which is a nice, clean white with just a little more character than if you just pulled a can of white paint off the shelf.  The Martha Stewart line at Home Depot was discontinued, everything's been pulled, but I've been having ACE Hardware mix my Martha Stewart colors even before Home Depot discontinued the line.  Home Depot reduced its stock at some point, and started mixing all the Martha colors into a Glidden base.  The Glidden paint was by far the worst paint I've ever worked with.  It was like fingerpainting or watercolor paint, so thin that 3 coats didn't even cover. So, ACE would color match my paint into Clark + Kensington, though I'm thinking of switching to Valspar.

Where this really shines is in the entryway.  I love the grey and white walls with the black and white marble entryway.  Gorgeous!  

Now that the paint is dry, I can put in my chandelier sconces (yes, I still have MORE of those).  I'm also thinking some gilded framed mirrors would brighten up the room a bit by bouncing some light around from the south-facing window.  Something like the room below, perhaps?

1 comment:

  1. WOW! This entryway just took my breath away. I LOVE it! It pops, it`s elegant, it`s funky, it`s fun, it`s crisp..... GREAT work Jenelle and Doc!! Please take me antquing and scavenging with you :)