In this instance fantasy is much better than reality

October 18, 2011

So I’ve mentioned before that the Hubs and I live live in a 2.5 storey house.  Which is now 75 years old.  So it needs some work.  Ok, it needs a lot of work, mostly cosmetic.  But house work is house work.

Our bedroom is in the attic.  So it’s nice and big.  The attic was “finished” in the early 90s, either by the people we bought the house from or the people before them.  I’m not sure.  I suspect it was the previous owners though because of the stairs.

See, the previous owners had “interesting” decorating ideas.  We’ve painted over most of them, although the chicken wire wall in our kitchen won’t be replaced until we renovate.  The front porch had a god-awful ugly sunburst in purple, navy and yellow.  One bedroom was eggplant, navy, British racing green and burgundy.  So you see what we had to contend with.

The attic stair case though was appalling.  It was glossy kelly green with hundreds of silver frogs stenciled on.  The Hubs HATED it.  Which is kind of interesting since he doesn’t usually hate much of anything.  But he hated these stairs.

Last summer we bought brown paint to repaint them.  A nice milk chocolate that’s not too dark.  It’s the same colour as our porch, although this sample looks grey and it’s not grey.  But anyway.  We had plans to paint the stairs in the summer.  Which didn’t happen for various reasons mostly to do with the fact that I loathe painting and the Hubs “wasn’t in the mood”.

But the biggest reason they didn’t get done, stairs are a pain in the ass to paint.  Especially if you have to use oil paint.  Which we did.  As a primer.

Now, years ago I saw a staircase I fell in love with in a decorating magazine.  It kind of looked like this one.  I love the way the step colour contrasts so starkly with the riser.  And I knew that if I ever had to repaint/replace a staircase this is how I’d do it.

I lobbied hard for the main floor staircase but the Hubs wasn’t having any of it.  He has no art in his soul.  And besides, we agreed we wanted a runner so the two-toned stairs would be pretty much lost anyway.

But the attic.  Oh yes the attic was perfect for this.  It’s a very narrow, two flight staircase with a small narrow landing.  The bedroom is white and will pretty much always have to be white given that the windows are so small and there is no decent light in the fall/winter.  I figured that a white riser would lighten the heavy brown and since we don’t wear shoes in the house anyway, it would be easy to keep clean.  Well, ok, easy-ish.

So the Hubs agreed, even though he’s grumbled that it will “look retarded”.  And on Sunday he broke out the palm sander to scrap off the “texture” on the side of the stairs (no idea what that is called –  the moulding?) and after the green dust was cleaned up, he primed the entire thing.  It looked great white.  Really really great.  But white, even though I love love love it, is a “retarded” choice for a floor.  Even one that doesn’t get walked on in shoes.

So then I stepped in.  Since I want the stairs to be two colours, I agreed to paint them.  Holy Mother of God I must have been drinking when I agreed to this.  This is going to be a 47 step process.  I just finished painting the side mouldings.  I still have a second coat to go.  Then, on Thursday, I’ll paint the actual steps and the landing (twice) and likely on Sunday I’ll paint the risers white.  Twice.  Maybe three times depending on how they look.  And of course, during all of this I’ll have to plan ahead and shower/change clothes on the second floor because I am working from the top down and even though it’s latex paint it still takes a few hours to dry.  And I’ll have to keep the cat away.  She’s a big believer in Feline Supervision and I’m a big believer in not having small brown paw prints all over my hardwood.  And let’s NOT talk about how much painter’s tape I am using and how small I have to rip the strips and how picky it is to tape off risers.

So.  It will look amazing when it’s done.  But I think maybe, I should have let the fantasy remain a fantasy and just have painted the whole shebang one colour.  It would have taken two days, next to no taping and I could spend all my extra time knitting.