January 8, 2014

Our Gray Halls: Painting the Upstairs Hallway

Yesterday we shared all the prep and painting details we tackled in order to paint the front entry and upstairs hallway — today we're back sharing all the cleanup details and final pics of how it all turned out. Basil is most excited to get this mini home tour started, since the walls now more closely resemble the shade of his coat. He's felt real ownership in this latest project, as evidenced by the paint streaks he acquired while trying to "help" out.

For anyone just tuning in, we'd decided to paint the front entry wall along the stairs and the upstairs hallway in the same "stone" shade we'd painted our connecting living space with last year (full details here). Since painting over the weekend, everything dried up beautifully and we are absolutely loving the more unified feel of the newly painted walls:

After all the paint dried, we still had a couple minor areas to clean and update before being able to officially call this project complete — here's what went down:

We first went around to wipe the baseboards, stairs and floors to get up all the remaining sanding and dust particles, then went back with a sponge to get up any small drips that made their way onto the wood floors during painting. Good thing we had our trusty supervisor around to ensure a thorough job.

Next up, out came the tool belt for a couple quick electrical updates:

One of my favorite (and simple) ways to update a room is by switching out the electrical receptacles with fresh white switches and switch-plate covers. They're a nice final touch to make a space feel fresh and tied together. How nice is that?

The older plate covers were different variations of decorative stainless steel and the receptacle switches had all been painted over from years of different people and paint jobs. The new white ones complement the white trim and paneling details that are now really popping out against the gray paint.

After the new receptacles were installed and we pulled the furniture back in place, we were ready to call this update complete! It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do in terms of making a space feel cleaner and updated. The walls feel so much warmer, richer and tied together — I guess you could say, more homey.

The paint is subtle and neutral, but is enough of a variation to really highlight the trim and other original architectural details we love so much about our home. We're also feeling a little less jumbled upstairs — note the clear walls, free from dated doorbells and alarms systems from the house's duplex days of yesteryear...

And while our narrow upstairs hall still resembles a bowling alley, it somehow feels a little more welcoming.

As we've mentioned, the biggest difference turned out to be how much all the trim and paneling quirks we decided to leave white stand out now.

So! If you don't feel like you've seen too many pics of our walls already, here are some more, since we all like some good before & after pics.

The wall that lines the side of our house from the front entry and leads upstairs (before):

And after:

Upstairs hall view as you walk up the stairs (before):

And after (don't worry, we'll take care of that dated track light system at some point):

Hall view looking towards the front of the house (before, also note the stainless steel switch plate cover):

And after:

So that's where we are with the house right now. Next up in this area, we hope to add some more artwork to fill up the blank feeling of the walls, replace the rug in the front entry, maybe add some runners to the upstairs hallway and update the track light system up there. We are certainly open to any ideas...

That will conclude Basil's tour for today — thanks for taking a peek at what we've been up to.

Discover More:


  1. The grey really does add a warmth to the stairway and hallway. I love the little details like the light switch cover.

  2. For your blank areas where you mentioned wanting to add more artwork, you may want to check out this young lady's work -
    I just came across her site today via a friend's facebook post, and I'm very impressed by what she's up to. I'm renting, but if I owned my place I would love to have one of her murals in my rec room or entryway.

    1. We did check that out and she does indeed have quite a talent! Thanks for sharing!


© 17 Apart. Design by FCD. Privacy Policy.