I love my our big, beautiful old staircase. When we bought the house (as a foreclosure on an online auction) it was obvious that there had been a carpet runner going up them. There was some of the backing or padding or something still stuck on some of the steps, and there were all the metal clips that held it in place on each step. They were stained and looked dirty, even when they were clean!
This wonderful lady Sue, wife to our realtor John Rockey, came one day to lend this overwhelmed lady a hand. My little girl stuck by her side! After they scrubbed up the mildewy front door...
She took to taking off all the metal pieces that held the runner in place once upon a time.
They were extremely difficult to pry up because like I've said before, nothing in this house was ever meant to come apart!!! Quality is not an issue we have with anything! :) And by the way, she did this all with a broken hand, and my little Tori next to her making sure she yelled a big "OOFTAAAAAH" after each one came loose!
And here is my hard-working mom scrubbing the daylights out of the stairs to prep them for paint! Whenever she comes from Iowa for a visit, it's work, work, work. "Mom, can we please break for a coffee?" "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! There's SO MUCH work left to do and there's only about thirteen hours of daylight left! NO TIME FOR BREAKS!". And now you know why my friends all nicknamed her Sargent Hayes.
After my double-the-energy-of-5-year-old-boy wonderful Mama scrubbed the daylights out of the stairs, it was time to paint.
No it wasn't. There were big gaps, and I had to caulk them with paintable caulk first. Ugh. I hate caulking. I think I'd rather go to the dentist. Well, I just like going to the dentist because of the bag of freebies they hand you at the end, actually.
So after CAULKING, it was time to paint.
I had some dark charcoal-y colored blackish brown paint that I bought as a $5 mistint.
First I dumped about a 1/4 cup of plaster of paris into a container and added hot water.
I stirred this until it was well dissolved, and then added my colored paint. It was pretty thick. I made enough to almost fill a Cool Whip container.
I used my DIY chalk paint as the "primer". I made sure to paint the left half of the stairs first, so we had the other half to use. The cat got the memo and did great at using the dry side. But after the third coat of doing opposite sides, the cat got confused and ran up the wet side and into my WHITE GUEST ROOM - HEART ATTACK! After cleaning up all the kitty paw prints, she got locked in the dreadful basement. (It's not that bad, kitty just thinks the boogie man lives down there. I kind of do, too).
Why use chalk paint you ask? Why add Plaster of Paris? Because, folks. Let me tell you something. IT DRIES HARD. Good and hard and is much more difficult to scratch or chip. Unless your little girl has a friend over who decides to clunk down the stairs in a pair of stiletto heels from your closet. So yes, I do have a very small chip or two, but they are pretty unnoticeable and it's been almost a year.
After the chalk paint was good and dried for a couple of days, I painted the plain paint (as in the mistint I was using all by itself - with no Plaster of Paris mixed in) for the final top coat. It was a semi gloss. The top coat can not have the Plaster of Paris in it because it dries flat and its harder to clean. You would have to use a polyurethane or other sealer on as the top coat and I didn't want to mess with that!
They lead up to the spot I drink my coffee and read every morning:
So let's have one last look-see and compare the before and after:
And ohhhhhh the mirrors!!!! I know. I want them gone. I get so many mixed opinions on that wall of mirrors! Some are in love, some hate them, I'M CONFUSED! But if I didn't think they were glued, and screwed, and hung under crown molding, and attached in every possible way so they wouldn't come down if there was a 9.5 Richter scale earthquake (remember what I said earlier about how nothing done in this house was ever going to be undone?) .... I'd probably have them off by now.
Oh I forgot to mention? I used white semi-gloss on the risers. :)
And so sorry that I don't have a name for the color I used on the treads. It is an almost black, with a little brownish gray.......