Painting the Stairs | The Reveal

Oct 27, 2015

I'm back with another reveal! The inspirations just keep coming these days and you can't even imagine how good it feels to be checking all of these major projects off of my list!!

This one has been a long while coming. Can you believe we lived with stairs like this for over 6 months? (although it went by so quickly, we didn't really have time to tackle this before now). Yes, the carpet was extremely plush and comfortable but vacuuming them was an absolute nightmare not to mention the fact that it's red carpet.... I believe the photo speaks for itself.
To say the least, I am beyond relieved to have this transformation finalized; and very thankful for how well it turned out.

The overall process wasn't that difficult. The hardest and most time consuming part was removing all of the nails and staples that were left over from the carpet. Good music, podcasts, and wine helped but it's still an extremely painful and tedious process. Once this step is completed, the next step was to start sanding and painting. In my opinion, you have to be up front going into a project like this and realize that the end result is not going to look like a proper hardwood staircase, and if that's what you prefer then great! For me,  this is a tie-me-over solution but it definitely looks a lot better than where we started and who knows, maybe it will be our permanent fix.

For the whole process, I followed this tutorial from Young House Love almost to the tee, so if you're looking for detailed step by step instructions, check out their tutorial, it's great.

Once all of the nails and staples were removed, I started using putty to fill in the significant holes. Another gruelling and time consuming task, and I'm not going to lie, I definitely skimped a little and only covered those holes that were the biggest and most obvious. The end plan here is to install a carpet runner which will thankfully cover up the majority of the flaws.
All the red you see is carpet pieces attached to staples. Hundreds of millions of staples. 
Next it was finally time to prime! I had some grey primer left over from when we painted the wall in the living room black so I used this on the treads and white primer on the risers. My favourite product of all time, Zinsser Cover Stain was my go to for painting the handrail and balusters - it covers all of that shine and allows latex paint to stick; it did the trick in only one coat.
The grey primer decreases the amount of coats of black you need to apply.
Once fully primed, I did a final light sanding before starting to paint with the black and white. I didn't tape off anything, which Nick will tell you was a bad idea, however at this point I've got a pretty steady hand and with the right brush I made out ok.

If you're planning to paint your stairs, the best approach is to paint every other stair, let those dry, and then go back and do the others. That way you can still use the stairs!! (Some visitors were amazed at this process!)

After about 3 coats each of white and black (over the span of about a week), and the same amount in Polyurethane to protect them, the stairs were done!! Have a look and let me know what you think! I would definitely recommend this project to anyone who would like to remove their carpet but isn't ready, or does not need to replace the stairs entirely. This is a great solution for us.

I achieved the look I was going for with minimal cost and effort. Now if only there was an easy solution for that tile....
I still have to paint the railing at the top of the staircase but we are still plastering in the second floor hall so I'm going to wait until all of the dust has settled (pardon the pun) before I finish the makeover. The pretty finished stairs are also currently covered in packaging paper to protect them while we continue the upstairs reno.

This week I am completing a surprise project for the new master bedroom which I'm also entering into a local contest on creating something with reused materials. I will definitely share all of the details of this DIY project with you very soon! Have you painted your stairs before? How did they turn out?

Painting the Kitchen | The Reveal

Oct 14, 2015

Hi again!! It's been a while and I've been so anxious to post some updates because there's been a lot going on around here. Today's update - the kitchen.
 When we first moved in, we talked about entirely remodelling the kitchen next year. After tackling the major upstairs reno, which is still ongoing I might add, I'm happy to postpone a huge kitchen reno for a few years. Once I was able to admit that the kitchen remodel was not happening anytime soon, I decided to go ahead and spruce it up with a fresh coat of paint.

Any ideas of what color I went with? Yup...you guessed it...white! I am fully aware that this might seem like a boring and poor color choice to probably a lot of people, however, I'm absolutely in love with how it turned out (and well since I'm the one spending the most time in there...)

If I were to describe the "new" kitchen I would say fresh & bright. And a bonus - the tile that I dread so much actually doesn't look too bad now.

I don't have a great before photo of the kitchen. The one below gives you an idea of the yellow we were dealing with. There was just so much yellow in this house. Also, as you can see we recently changed the light fixtures and haven't had a chance to patch where the old florescent one was.

Unfortunately, the existing paint was oil based so we had to prime with Zinsser's Cover Stain. This product is seriously THE best. Especially if you're dealing with an old house like we are and you're not sure what your painting over, or if you're painting over something with varnish (I used this on our stair railings), this will be your life saver. After priming we applied three coats of Benjamin Moore's Snowfall White and that was it. The door to the laundry room got a coat of Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter to match the rest of the doors we've painted in the house. It took us about 7 hours, drying time included.
I'm not sure about the towel holder, it pre-dates us living here.
I recently refinished our kitchen table and the new finish looks so much better against the white walls. The yellow really wasn't doing the grey/whitewash finish any justice. 
(ps. check back soon for a post on refinishing the table!)
The owl theme prevails!

It's amazing how the ceiling lights as well as the under-the-cabinet lights look so much brighter, whiter, and clearer once the yellow walls were gone. And am I right about the floor? Not quite as bad?

The kitchen is the just the perfect size for two, however, I can't imagine a whole family functioning well in the space. Since we're leaving the layout and cabinets for now, we talked about just replacing the fronts of the cabinets as a lot of them are stained or chipped. This would be a much easier and less stressful way to make improvements to the kitchen without any major project or financial burdens.

With the kitchen painted, I'm happy to say that other than the ongoing reno upstairs, this is the last room that will receive any major attention from us for the next little while. I'm sure I'll be repainting, re-decorating or re-arranging one of the rooms soon enough, but this marks the last of the changes we'll make to the pre-existing decor. Phew and yay! I think this deserves a glass of wine :)