Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Stairs

The person who owned our little home before us tried to make most of the house neutral. It was his goal to buy cheap, put in a little money and work and then flip it for a profit. 

But for most of the house, all he succeeded in doing was making the house pretty drab.

But not the stairwell to the basement!

Just look at this lovely space. Really, all that pattern in one small space was more than drab. 

Not sure what though.

Patterned wallpaper and that lovely linoleum floor that is also in our kitchen. It was a good idea to hold onto that handrail - It made you feel a little loopy just walking through.

See on the back wall? The brown stripe? That is the thinnest piece of molding that has ever been available. It actually went all the way around, fortunately keeping the wallpaper from going all the way up to the ceiling.

The yellowy strips that are torn off are the result of just walking by, grabbing a little corner and seeing how far you could tear off. I figured each strip off would mean less work later. 

What I did not realize was that under that layer of wallpaper was another layer of wallpaper.

Um. First, who wallpapers the stairwell, and second, who wallpapers it again?

I know the answer to the first. Hero's mom. She did the whole kitchen with the wallpaper. But it was the late 50s and that was very trendy. The second? Not sure, but after scraping these walls, I can see where someone just might be tempted to wallpaper over wallpaper.

But not me.

See those little pieces? This is a great project for someone with OCD issues. You just want to grab those little things a peel away.

The funny thing was, the first layer of wallpaper was painted over, too. This stairwell sure got a lot of attention.

First wall almost clean!

The best way to remove wallpaper is a spray bottle of water, a scraper and boat loads of patience. Seriously. Just spray the heck out of that wallpaper, let it soak in for minutes (really) and then scrape. If you start scraping too soon, you only get little bits. If you are patient and spray every time you want to scrape for at least 5 minutes, you will get nice long, very satisfying strips.

Evidence of my patience - Big pieces.

All clean! Horray! 

A quick wipe down of the wall and we are good to paint.

I taped a paint brush to a pole, got busy with the Bristol White (Valspar from Lowes) and painted the actual wall (not wallpaper).

Look how glorious and clean and white and wallpaper free! 

I can hardly wait for paint to dry and I am ready to accessorize. It may be a problem. 

But, really, all those hours in the stairwell spraying, scraping, wiping and painting - I had lots of time to make my plan.

Hero on the job. Always ready to help with whatever I have cooked up.

I wanted to hang stuff on the stairwell - Apron, broom, etc. I searched high and low for a good hook rack, but did not find what I wanted for cheap enough.

Genius idea moment - I remembered this green board that Hero and I made a long time ago for another project. I had not seen it since we moved to the small house, but Hero had it in the garage, just waiting to be loved again.

It was perfect! And free! Even more perfect!

This space is sooooo much better. And functional. The little kitchen needed help from this area. 

This space has gotten on board with the neutral plan, but not the drab plan. No wallpaper needed.

It is little things like this that are making this house our little home.

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