Katie’s House: An Upstairs Update

We’ve been putting every spare moment to work around here lately –  painting, nailing, sawing, and caulking.  We are walking a perilous line between house project elation and house project burnout, but the satisfaction I get from seeing all the changes is worth it.  In my last post I showed you some progress we’d made in our upstairs:

hallway progress
The fresh white walls and new subfloor were already a big upgrade from the dirty carpet and urine-hued walls, but we’ve made a lot of progress since then.  Here’s where we’re at now:

Red House West||Charcoal Stairs

I’m so excited!  (And also sore and a little tired).  Look at the way the floor just keeps going into the Chamber!  It’s like it’s all part of the same house or something!

Red House West||Charcoal Stairs

The closed door leads to our bedroom – which is not yet part of the same house, alas.

While I never once considered that the slate floor of the bathroom would relate nicely to the charcoal of the stairs, I’m glad it does!

Red House West||Charcoal Stairs

Sorry the photos aren’t great (low light has been the name of the game around Eugene lately).

We’ve still got some trim work to finish up, but it feels like the lion’s share of the work is done.  Painting the stairs didn’t end up being too hard, though it did require a fair amount of pre-planning.  Pro-tip: make sure to put the lid of the paint can at the bottom of the stairs, so when you’ve painted yourself down there you have it.

Red House West||Charcoal Stairs

To prep the stairs, I hand scraped and sanded them to get the overspray from the wall texture off, then I filled the most egregious (splinter-edged) holes with wood filler. The stairs are old and worn-in and I don’t mind that, so I didn’t fuss about filling everything.

To paint, I started at the top 🙂 and had with me a dustpan and broom, a damp cloth, and a microfiber cloth.  I made sure each step was clean as can be before painting.  Because the stairs are a mix of plywood and hardwood, some of it painted, I did a coat of dark-tinted primer first.  I had floor and porch paint color-matched with Benjamin Moore’s ‘Raccoon Fur,’ which is the prettiest shade of charcoal with some blue-green undertones.

Red House West||Charcoal Stairs

Don’t worry about those paint splatters near the wall; they’ll be covered by trim soon enough!

You might remember that I was worried about keeping Fat Bunny at bay, but it ended up being simple.  I just painted down to the lower landing and shut the door, then waited until he’d entered his daily 10-hour torpor to do the bottom few steps.

Red House West||Charcoal Stairs
I’m so happy with the way it looks! There’s a fair amount of finish work still to do, but I dare say we’re well on our way to the British farmhouse aesthetic that I aspire to.
Red House West || Stairs

Red House West||Charcoal Stairs

Thanks for reading!  Have a great week!

12 responses on “Katie’s House: An Upstairs Update

  1. Sally

    The stairs look great and I love this colour. Am pinning it, and your painting tips, for when I do the floor of the back porch. Well done.

  2. Carol Bryner

    Wow! I’m so impressed. The stairs look masterfully done, and I absolutely love the mirror at the top of the stairs. But I can surely understand that fine line between elation and burn-out. It’s always good to look at the before and afters to get that elation back.

  3. Emily

    Who in the WORLD got to the end of putting that carpet down and thought they’d done a good job?! A vast improvement, great work!

  4. netzy

    Those wood floors that match the chambers are beautiful. I love the way that there is no pattern.

    Raccoon fur is a beaut…… you really are a star designer.

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