It was time. No, it was well past time. This past weekend I decided to do away with the salmon / peach / orange colored hallway that has been plaguing me forever! The living room was that same color when I bought the house and was the first room to get painted (how well I remember those ridiculously late nights in those few days before I moved in). It occurs to me at the Nichols Homestead, the hallway went unpainted for 10 years… although it was a dingy white and not a nasty salmon. And no, I’m not a fan of painting stairwells. So much difficult maneuvering and unreachable edging to be done. This stairwell is even worse because of the old, narrow stairs. (Yes, this photo is mostly an excuse to show off my sliding french doors (aren’t they cute??) but you can also see the hallway in question through the open doors.)
Here’s a few token “Before” pictures for you, in case you don’t wake up and see these ugly salmon walls every morning:
I got out my fancy-schmancy-bought-for-half-off-on-Black-Friday-folds-a-lot-of-ways ladder and it worked as well as could be expected. It turns out a short person with a cool ladder may still not be able to reach all the awkward spaces a stairway affords. I need a friend with much longer arms to do a bit of touch up edging across the stairs for me.
As with many of my paint projects, this was a job for clearance paint. I found two gallons in almost the same color a few months back and bought them for $5 each. I loved the color but also thought I could play with it if it didn’t work. I mixed the two gallons together and tried a sample on the wall (in the darkest part of the stairway). I will admit it dried brighter than I thought but it is a splash of bright color in an otherwise dreary space and it is painted. I couldn’t be happier.
I would also like to note that this is a difficult project for a recovering perfectionist. The walls are not in great shape. They are covered with the same paneling board that I removed from the guest bedroom (Loathing, unadulterated loathing). I couldn’t bring myself to rip it all down, especially considering the unknown condition of the walls behind it. Frankly, I was not up for a project of that level (removing paneling, skimcoating old plaster walls, lots of wall repair, etc). It was just too much and in a space that is hard to work in and probably just plain not worth the effort!! So the paneling is far from perfect, but I caulked and spackled the worst gaps and holes. And it is a huge improvement over the salmon orange walls and the dingy white ceiling panels.
Lest you get the mistaken impression that I started and finished a project in one single weekend, there is still a lot left to do in the hall. This past week I found a $10 used chandelier at the Habitat Restore. In the midst of insane too many activities, I managed to clean, prime, paint it, and shorten the chain and cord. And I finally got it installed this weekend along with the new working smoke alarm.
Light fixture before:
Isn’t it adorable?!?!
And now the lists…
- Spackle notable holes / caulk gaps
- Prime and paint ceiling (2 coats)
- Remove broken smoke detector
- Buy chandelier from the Habitat for Humanity Restore
- Spray paint and install new light fixture
- Reinstall handrail (actually drilled into the studs this time so it won’t pull off the wall again)
- Install new smoke alarm
Still left to do:
- Paint all the trim and doors
- Spray paint the door hardware
- Replace switches with white ones
- Replace flooring with laminate to match the upstairs bedrooms (have the flooring already)
- Paint stairs
- Paint banister
- Install a couple pieces of trim to hide bad transitions
- Primer – have a huge bucket of Kilz I’ve been using on various projects $5
- Paint – two gallons of clearance paint mixed together $10
- Chandelier – from Restore $10
- Spray paint for chandelier & hardware already in the paint bins $5
- Caulk, spackling, and misc supplies already in the paint bins $5