August 23, 2010 14

stairs and downstairs hallway…

By in Downstairs Hallway, Stairs

I have been considering painting my stairs, stairwell and downstairs hallway for a while now. My original plan had been to rip down all the paneling in the stairwell and hallway like I did with my upstairs hallway, but it is in good condition, and I’m not sure I feel like dealing with what could possibly be underneath the paneling right now. I think it would like really nice painted white like the upstairs hallway. I would paint the top trim a brighter white along the window trim and windowsill. The rest of the paneling trim I will paint the same soft white as the walls. I will eventually be adding a baseboard when I redo the floor. I think I want to paint the stairs white as well. I need to figure out what kind of paint to use. I’m wondering if I want to paint the handrails black or possibly bright white as well? One thing I do know, this is going to be a lot of caulking!

14 Responses to “stairs and downstairs hallway…”

  1. Anna at D16 says:

    I think painting the paneling white is a really good compromise — especially in an old house like yours, where it will just look like real wood paneling once it’s all white.

    As far as the stairs go, have you considered a rug/runner? With all that white, it might be nice to have some texture and warmth underfoot. Of course, the turn in the stairs complicates matters. I’m not sure if my DIY brain can really wrap itself around what would be involved with making that turn!! I definitely think you’re right about painting the stairs all one color, though (as we talked about a few weeks ago).

    I wish I could remember where I saw this photo, but it was of a hallway with everything (walls, stairs) painted white, and there was a wrought iron handrail just like yours that was painted a medium gray. It looked really nice. I’ll see if I can find it!!

  2. Anna at D16 says:

    Oh yeah, also — are you planning to put wider trim around the window? I think that would make a huge difference, and really bring attention to those great, deep windowsills.

  3. Anna at D16 says:

    I just had a crazy idea. Don’t hate me.

    What if you cut wood boards (maybe 1/2″ thick?) to fit the tops of your existing stairs, but with a smidge of overhang? You wouldn’t have to do any demo, just nail the boards in place. Then the rise of the stairs could be painted, and the new wood could just be stained or whatever. That would give you some warmth and texture variation without costing a billion dollars. I bet you could get it done in a day if you have a circular saw.

    • Adam says:

      I had thought about doing this. There is already some overhang. I’m not sure if it will make my seem even steeper though. That is the same reason I took the carpet of as well, it seemed like it made the stairs more dangerous!

    • Adam says:

      Maybe I could paint the treads a very light gray and the risers white?

      • Anna at D16 says:

        Oh, is there an overhang? I can’t really tell in the photos, I just remembered you saying that there wasn’t.

        I think the only problem with using two colors might be that because the wood is so thin, the contrast might just draw more attention to the fact that these aren’t “finished” stairs (since they were probably put in with the intention to be carpeted, right?).

        Here’s an idea…

        Maybe you could attach a strip of wood to the front of the step that’s the same thickness as (or slightly thinner than) the overhang — then paint the tread and the strip the same color. That would create the illusion of the treads being thicker than they are. People do this all the time with countertops to make them look thicker.

        What about using the paint color from your bedroom floor to paint the treads? It’s the same formula that you’d want to use on the stairs, anyway, so if you have enough left over, maybe you wouldn’t even have to spend any more money…

        • Adam says:

          I like the idea of using the same color I used on my bedroom floor as well. So many decisions! I’m going to do some measurements of the overhang and tread thickness then I will post them.

        • Adam says:

          The overhang is 1/2″ and the treads are 1/2″ thick.

          • Anna @ D16 says:

            That seems easy to match, then? You could just add a strip of 1/2″ thick (or slightly thinner) trim under the overhang, and that would give the treads a much more substantial look.

          • Adam says:

            I wonder if some half-round molding would look nice attached underneath the treads?

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