It feels good to be taking on a larger update in the house again, since the last time we tackled a big space like this was over a year ago. It also feels good being able to make headway into some of our house goals for 2014 this early in the year. The start to the new year and a freezing cold weather weekend seemed like the perfect combination to stay inside and get us in gear!
We'd originally left this wall leading up the stairs and hallway bare when we painted the rest of the downstairs, thinking we might want to go with another paint shade to differentiate the spaces. We even love the idea of exposing the brick along that entire stair-wall, but realize that's a much bigger project than we can tackle right now, so we wanted to go ahead put in the elbow grease to knock out the painting, trying to make the entry space feel more finished and tied together.
Here's where we'll share an excessive amount of "before" shots to give you an idea of the space we were working with:
The shot above shows the wall that lines the side of our house from the front entry and leads upstairs. Below is the upstairs hall view as you walk up the stairs, facing the back of the house:
When you turn around at the top of the stairs, here's the hall view looking towards the front of the house:
...and that same view panned out a little further, when standing at the very back of the upstairs hallway (you might remember when we installed our school map in this hall from way back when):
Finally, the view from the front of the house, looking back into the narrow upstairs hallway:
You can see, it's a narrow space with lots of character. After living with the two-toned walls downstairs for over a year, we liked the idea of painting everything in the same "stone" shade we'd painted the family room. The family room opens from the front entry, so since all of these walls connect, we felt like painting them the same neutral color would make the spaces feel joined in a continuous manner. Plus, the rich and deep tone of the "stone" has won us over as our favorite hue in the house, so why not go with more of a good thing?
We love the Restoration Hardware line of paints because their hues fall right in line with our tastes, but are also low-voc. The line is engineered for environmental safety, is odor free, mold resistant and contains fewer polluting toxins overall. Slowly but surely, we've painted all the walls downstairs in RH paint and hope to take on the rest of the upstairs overtime.
So! With all of that background, we were excited to pull away all the furniture from the walls and amidst our dwindling Christmas decorations (another cleanup project we tackled this weekend), we got started painting! In our usual fashion, Tim prepped all the walls by filling in the holes with spackle and sanding them down smooth while I went around and wiped down the tops of the baseboards to free them from dust and sanding particles.
He even uninstalled and removed the dated doorbell and old alarm systems from the walls upstairs. They were most likely used for the upper level when the house was a duplex, but are no longer functional and just became more of an eyesore for us than anything.
Since the walls were already a light color, we skipped priming and broke out the painting tools. I go with the paint brush to tackle edging (sorry for the blurry pic):
Then Tim fills in with the roller (in yet another blurry photo):
We've pretty much got our system down for painting a space in a matter of 2 days. It ended up taking 2 1/2 gallon cans of paint to cover all the walls with two heavy coats. The trickiest part, which we left for the end, was edging the strip of ceiling along the stairs:
This area is impossible (not to mention dangerous) to reach from the steps, and too far to lean over the banister on a ladder to do by hand. Tim ended up getting one of these paint edging tools that clipped onto the end of his long paint roller handle, very carefully running it along the edge of the ceiling:
None of us, including Basil, made it out of this project paint-free:
We think he must have tried to "help" paint while we were taking breaks.
Now that everything's dried nicely, we just need to finish cleaning up and snap a couple final shots. We're looking forward to sharing how it all turned out tomorrow and feel so good to have finally taken care of this bigger project on our list of to-do's for the house.