Friday, October 4, 2013

Progress and Some Ideas

We are working on that plan E for the stairs. It is going to sound a little bit like our kitchen floor, except different. But before we can actually address the step part of the stairs, we needed to do some prep work. 

It was probably a good idea that we did not know exactly how we wanted to go forward quite yet, as prep work is a weakness of mine. 

I am usually so impatient to get started on the part of the project that is just before the finished part.

I used to do things a little backward with projects - Starting in the middle and then having to go back to the beginning because the middle wasn't working out so good. 

Like painting a room - I would totally skip cleaning the area of cobwebs, and go right to painting. Then I would have to stop the painting, clean the brush of dust and cobwebs, clean the corners of dust and cobwebs, get a wet rag for cleaning my fingers, find some gloves, grab the tape to cover edges and get a drink of water and turn on some music.

And then get back to painting.

Hero has been working lots of overtime, so I have had to patiently wait on him to address the steps. And while I am waiting patiently, I am able to work out my impatience with prep work by doing the prep work while I wait. Make sense?

First, have to caulk those gaping cracks. Seriously. Having all that split molding just looks so unattended. It's not the end of the world that those gaps exist, but it is one of those little details that makes such a difference. And it is so easy to fix!

I just squirted that stuff in all the cracks. Piece of cake.

Looks gloppy at first - Don't worry about that. The middle usually looks not finished, because it's not.

Just run a finger along that bead of caulk and it smooths right out. It may need a swipe or two, but it is pretty darn forgiving. 

See how prepared I was? I wore gloves.

Here is how the steps look after they were vacuumed up. So ready to put this look behind us.

I pulled out the primer and got to work. I was hoping (as usual) that this particular project would only need one coat. I painted and painted and painted and when I got done with the first coat, I realized I would need two coats. Rats.

Good thing I am still being patient.

I was pretty pleased with myself that I remembered that if I painted each step all the way down, I would be stuck in the basement for a few hours.

A little tip about primer - It's stinky. There are warnings on the can to use in a well ventilated area, which this area was as much as it could be. Remember the stinky kitchen floor when we stained it?

Yep - I pulled out the candles again. They really work!

When the right side was dry enough to walk on, I got busy on the left side. At this point, Hero woke up (Remember Hero sleeps sometimes during the day because he stays up all night saving lives.)
and asked why I painted the step if we were going to cover it? That is a good question. I thought the same thing as I was painting them. 

You see, I thought our conversation went something like this:

Me - What can I do on the stairs while you sleep all day long?
Hero - Prime everything.
Me - Great idea! I will get right on that.

But Hero probably thought the conversation went more like this:

Me - What can I do on the stairs while you sleep all day long?
Hero - Prime the parts that need to be painted. Don't worry about the step part because we are going to cover that.
Me - I hate priming.

And that is why the steps look like this from this view. 

With the candles.

So that is how it looks in the middle of the project. Not necessarily better looking, but really it is, because it is progress.

Our plan is to cover the step part with the same plywood that we used for the kitchen floor. There simply is no hope for those steps the way there are - Remember they are about 55 years old and have seen plenty of action. Those two layers of linoleum we removed were only a small part of their history.

But we are not going to stain the stairs like we did the kitchen. Since we choose not to paint the kitchen floor at all, we thought the stairs would be the perfect place to do something fun with a painted floor. Here are some inspiration photos we are thinking are pretty darn clever:


Grey & Teal painted stairs for basement

Simple paint design idea for basement stairs.

Three blue stripes in middle of painted white stairs in seaside cottage,

Pretty neat, right?

The thing is with this space, we feel like we can be a little more clever ourselves. As I think about all the changes we have made in the stairwell, I feel like I am channeling all those who lived here before me. They took the opportunity to do something they thought was clever in this little area, and now it's our turn.

Maybe someday in the future, when we are long gone, someone will wonder what the heck we were thinking, too.

But so far, we are liking the plan E.

signature photo teresasig1.png

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