It’s Before & After day, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start than with these seriously disgusting stairs. I’m pretty sure this is just exposed and worn-down wood, but the first few times I looked at this “before” picture, I thought it was straight up dirt. This was how Liz of ELA’s Smile and her husband found their staircase (and other parts of the home) when they first bought it. Their fixer-upper project started with the staircase, which was originally painted a dark forest green. Torn between painting and grasscloth wallpaper, Liz decided to save some money and stick to paint. Describing herself as “mildly obsessed with stripes,” Liz decided to create a light, beachy feel with thick horizontal stripes in a gray/blue. The result is fresh and airy, a vast improvement from the dark green walls before. Although just about anything would have been better than those stairs before — yikes! Read the full story after the jump for Liz’s clean-stripe technique and more photos. Thanks, Liz! xo, grace
From Liz: Our ceilings are vaulted in that area, so we had very tall walls to measure and plan out evenly how many stripes we wanted and how thick they were going to be. Enter Jeff. Jeff roughly marked out horizontal lines with a tape measure and pencil where the stripes would be. Instead of painting a second coat of white across the whole wall, we painted a second coat of white paint just where the white stripes would approximately go (saved us on paint). After the paint dried overnight, we more accurately marked [the walls] and placed painter’s tape where the gray stripes would be. Now here is the secret that I learned from my carpenter husband that will save you a lot of time and frustration: To ensure that we got crisp lines, we put a VERY thin line of caulk where the tape and wall meet and where the gray stripes would be painted between. This helps a lot if you have textured walls like I do.
Just place a few beads of caulk along the edge of the tape and smear it with your finger down the line of tape and wall. Wipe off any excess caulk on the wall with a damp rag. We let the caulk dry and painted the gray stripes between the caulk-edged painter’s tape. We pulled the tape off just before the paint was completely dry. Voila! Straight, crisp, non-bleed-through stripes.